Is my phone “unlocked” to use eSIM?
What is an “unlocked phone”?
Mobile phones rely on a carrier to make calls and connect to mobile data. Carriers allow your phone to connect to their network.
If your phone is unlocked, it means it can connect to the network of any carrier.
If your phone is locked, it means that as part of your contract your phone can only use the network from one carrier. So if you put in a new SIM card, it wouldn’t work on your phone.
How to check if your phone is unlocked: four methods
1. Where did you buy your phone?
If you bought your phone directly from the manufacturer’s store (Apple or Samsung, for example) it is almost certainly unlocked.
However, if you bought the phone from a telecom provider (such as Orange, AT&T, or Movistar), then it might be tied to that provider – so you cannot use eSIM.
This step cannot confirm 100% if the phone is unlocked, so please check the following points.
2. Use another SIM card
The easiest way to find out if your phone is unlocked is to borrow a SIM card from a friend or family member. Put their SIM into your phone and try to make a call with it.
If the phone call goes through, that means your phone is unlocked.
If you cannot make calls or SMS messages with the new SIM card, that means your phone is tied to your provider and cannot be used with eSIM.
3. Check on your settings (iPhone only)
This following steps work with IOS 14 and later:
1. Go to your Settings Menu
2. Scroll down and click “General”
3. Go to the “About” section
4. Now scroll down and look for “Carrier Lock” or “Network Provider Lock”. If you see “No SIM restrictions” that means your iPhone is unlocked and can use an eSIM. If not, then the iPhone must be tied to a specific carrier.
4. Contact your provider
If you cannot work out if your phone is unlocked, the best thing to do is contact your provider.
They should be able to tell you if your phone is unlocked or if it is tied to their network.
They can also help unlock your phone if it is network-restricted.
My phone is unlocked. Can I use eSIM?
If your phone is unlocked, great, that’s the first thing to check before buying an eSIM.
But you must also make sure that your phone is compatible with eSIM.
eSIM is a very new technology and is only compatible with the latest cell phone models.
You can check if your device is compatible by using this guide.