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What are Dual SIM and eSIM? How do I use them?

What are eSIM and Dual SIM?

An eSIM (short for embedded SIM) is a digital SIM that’s built into certain mobile devices. It lets you activate a plan with a phone number without needing a physical SIM card.

A Dual SIM device is able to use two SIMs instead of one. Depending on the device, this can be a combination of physical SIM card(s) and/or eSIM(s).

With a Dual SIM smartphone, you can have two phone numbers on a single smartphone for calling and texting (SMS and MMS). For example, you can have separate personal and business numbers. The two phone numbers can be on the same account, or on different accounts.

Activating an eSIM

If you are bringing an eSIM-compatible phone to Bell, you can choose to activate an eSIM instead of a physical SIM card.

For new customers: activate online, in the MyBell app, or visit a Bell store.

For existing customers: log in to MyBell and select eSIM when you add a new line.

If you just want to transfer your Bell Mobility service from a physical SIM card in your device to an eSIM, visit a Bell store, or log in to MyBell and select Manage my SIM and device on your Mobility Overview page.

Setting up eSIM on iPhone

Setting up eSIM on Samsung

Setting up eSIM on Google Pixel

eSIM and Dual SIM FAQs for iPhone

I set up my eSIM before I transferred my phone number, and my previous line (on SIM card or eSIM) no longer works on my phone. How do I receive the port-out confirmation message (SMS) from my previous carrier?

  • Your previous line on a SIM card or eSIM can be turned back on in your phone settings. Ensure your previous SIM card is in the phone. Go to Settings > Cellular on your phone to toggle it back on. Complete the number transfer and then set up your Bell eSIM on your phone.

 

Which iPhone models support eSIM?

  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR and iPhone 11 or later support eSIM.

    Note: if your iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro doesn’t have a physical SIM tray (if purchased in the U.S.), you will have to activate with an eSIM.

 

Do I need a Wi-Fi network to activate my eSIM?

  • To activate an eSIM on iPhone you will need a Wi-Fi or cellular connection.

 

Can I use dual eSIM mode with both lines on my iPhone?

  • If you have an iPhone 13 or 14 series device or an iPhone SE (3rd generation), you can activate both lines on eSIM.

 

Can I transfer my physical SIM to my eSIM, or my eSIM to my physical SIM, on my iPhone?

  • To transfer your physical SIM to an eSIM, manage your SIM settings in MyBell or visiting a Bell store.

    Note: Apple eSIM Quick Transfer is not supported in Canada yet.

 

Can I transfer my phone number from my Android device to an eSIM on my new iPhone?

  • You can transfer a physical SIM from an Android device to an eSIM on a new iPhone by logging in to MyBell or visiting a Bell store.

 

What rate plans are available for the two lines?

  • Either line can be activated on any Bell Mobility smartphone rate plan. You can choose to have a voice and text plan or a voice and data plan on either line.

 

If I am travelling to Canada from abroad, can I download an eSIM on Bell’s network?

 

If I have an eSIM-only iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro, can I use it on Bell’s network?

 

I have two phone numbers with Bell Mobility, on two separate devices. Can I move one of my phone numbers to an eSIM so that I have both phone numbers on one smartphone?

  • Yes, as long as you have an eSIM-compatible device. You can manage your SIM settings by logging in to MyBell or by visiting a Bell store.

 

Can both lines be connected to the network at the same time?

  • Yes, both lines can be connected to the network at all times for voice calling, as well as call waiting alerts if a second call comes in. However, data usage charges may apply for simultaneous incoming or outgoing voice calls when using this Apple service

 

How do I set up my Dual SIM device so I can use both lines simultaneously?

  1. Go to Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Under General, ensure your software has been updated to iOS 13.0 or higher.
  3. Activate the Wi-Fi calling option in Settings> Phone> Wi-Fi Calling, on each of the two lines. For more information on how to set up this function on your device, see Wi-Fi Calling.
  4. Select Cellular Data, and then choose a default line (either line 1 or line 2).
  5. Set Allow Cellular Data Switching to ON, which allows your iPhone to use either line depending on coverage and availability.

 

How can I transfer my existing Bell eSIM to a new Dual SIM iPhone?

  • Transfer your existing Bell eSIM by logging in to MyBell or by visiting a Bell store. Be ready to provide your current eSIM phone number and the EID of the new Dual SIM device you are transferring to. (This can be found on the box or in the settings of the new Dual SIM iPhone by going to Settings > General > About > EID General.)

 

What happens to my cellular plan if I erase my eSIM?

  • If you delete your eSIM, your cellular plan doesn’t get cancelled. You can recover your eSIM by logging in to MyBell or by visiting a Bell store

 

How do I tell which phone number I’m using?

  • The default labels for the phone lines are Primary and Secondary. To create your own labels, go to Settings > Cellular or Mobile Data on your iPhone. For example, you can name your lines Work and Personal, or something else.
  • Use these labels when you choose which phone number to use for making or receiving calls and text messages, to designate a number for cellular data, and to assign a number to your contacts so you know which number you will use when calling or texting them.

 

If I have a data plan on both lines, which data plan will I use and therefore be billed for?

  • Both lines can support data plans, however, only one number at a time can use cellular data. If you want your iPhone to use cellular data from both plans, depending on coverage and availability, turn on Allow Cellular Data Switching.
  • Your data usage will come from the line you assign as your preferred line in your iPhone’s Cellular settings. You can choose to toggle to your other line within those settings at any time. For example, during work hours, you can use the data from your "Work" line, and after work you can switch to your "Personal" line. For details, please see the Apple support page

 

Can I use data while on a call?

  • Yes, if you turn on Allow Cellular Data Switching, then while you're on a voice call on your voice-only number, that number automatically switches to use voice and data. This lets you use both voice and data while on the call.
  • However, if you turn off Allow Cellular Data Switching and you make a call using a voice number that isn't your designated cellular data number, then cellular data won't work while you're on the call.
  • You can also access Wi-Fi on either line regardless of which line you have selected for your data usage.
  • To learn more about changing your cellular data number, see the Apple support page.

 

How will I be billed for voice and messaging?

  • Voice and messaging are calculated according to the rate plan of the line used for each activity. With Dual SIM, you have the choice of which line to use for each call and text.

Note: data charges may apply during simultaneous voice calls.


What happens when I roam?

  • Just as you can choose which line to call, message or use data from while in Canada, you can do the same while you roam. Please note: you will receive your roaming notifications from Bell for both lines in the same message thread. It’s important to pay attention to the line indicator (Line 1 or Line 2) in the message thread so you can tell which line you are using for roaming, especially if you have different roaming features on each line.
  • Data roaming charges may be incurred if both lines are used for simultaneous voice calling. 

 

Will E9-1-1 and T9-1-1 work on both lines?

  • Both lines have the capability to dial 9-1-1. Where E9-1-1 is available, the caller’s number and approximate location will be provided, regardless of the line used.
  • Enabling Wi-Fi Calling on both lines has implications to 9-1-1 calls.  If you call 9-1-1 from Line 1, your phone then disconnects and you get another call on Line 2, you will not receive a notification when the 9-1-1 operator calls you back.

For T9-1-1, each line needs to be registered separately. Register for T9-1-1.

 

How do I access my voicemail with Dual SIM on an iPhone?

The voicemail message waiting indicator, represented as a red dot on your voicemail icon, shows that you have an unheard voicemail message from your primary line. The secondary line does not have a voicemail message waiting indicator.

To check for voicemail messages on your secondary line:

  1. Change the dial pad to the secondary line.
  2. Press and hold the 1 key to access your secondary line’s voicemail.
  3. If a password has been set, you may be asked to enter it.

Or, you can change the primary line on your iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings > Cellular > Default Voice Line to change your primary line.

eSIM and Dual SIM FAQs for Android

I set up my eSIM before I transferred my phone number, and my previous line no longer works on my phone. How do I receive the port-out confirmation message (SMS) from my previous carrier?

  • Your previous line can be turned back on in your phone settings. Ensure your previous SIM card is in the phone. For Samsung Galaxy devices, go to Settings > Connections > SIM manager and toggle your previous line back on. Complete the number transfer and then set up your Bell eSIM on your phone.

 

Can I transfer my physical SIM to my eSIM, or my eSIM to my physical SIM, on my Android?

  • Yes. You can manage your SIM settings by logging in to MyBell or visiting a Bell store

 

What rate plans are available for the two lines?

  • Either line can be activated on an Unlimited Data, Connect Everything or Bring your own device rate plan. You can choose to have a voice and text plan or a voice and data plan on either line.

 

I have two phone numbers with Bell Mobility, on two separate devices. Can I move one of my phone numbers to an eSIM so that I have both phone numbers on one smartphone?

  • Yes. You can manage your SIM settings by logging in to MyBell or visiting a Bell store

 

How do I tell which phone number I’m using?

Upon activating your eSIM second line, you will receive a message on your device recommending that you create your own label for each line. To do so, follow the steps below:

  • Go to Settings > Network & Internet
  • Touch the pencil icon beside the label you would like to edit.
  • Enter the new label.

 

When you make and receive calls, as well as send and receive text messages, the smartphone will identify each line by the name you have chosen. Compatible apps will also display different colours for each line. 

How can I transfer my existing Bell eSIM to a new Dual SIM device?

  • Transfer your existing Bell eSIM by logging in to MyBell or by visiting a Bell store. Be ready to provide you current eSIM phone number and the EID of the new Dual SIM device you are transferring to. (This can be found on the box or in the settings of the new Dual SIM Google Pixel by going to Settings > About phone > SIM status.)

 

If I have a data plan on both lines, which data plan will I use and therefore be billed for?

  • Both lines can support data plans; however, you can only access one line’s data plan at a time. Therefore, you cannot access both data plans simultaneously.
  • Your data usage will come out of the default data plan you selected in your Google Pixel’s Network & Internet settings. You can choose to toggle to your other line’s data plan within those settings at any time. For example, during work hours, you can use the data from your "Work" line, and after work you can switch to your "Personal" line. For details, please see the information from the Google support page.

 

Can I use data while on a call?

  • Yes, but only one line can use data at a time. 
  • If you’re on a call using a line that was not set as the data preferred line, you won’t be able to access that line’s data while on a call unless you enable Data During Calls in your Network & Internet settings.
  • You can also access Wi-Fi on either line regardless of which line you have selected.
  • To learn more about changing your data preferred line, see the Google support page

 

How will I be billed for voice and messaging?

  • Voice and messaging are calculated according to the rate plan of the line used for each activity. With Dual SIM, you have the choice of which line to use for each call and text.

 

Can both lines be connected to the network at the same time?

  • Yes, both lines are connected to the network at all times. However, when you are on a call on one line (e.g., Line 1), the other line (e.g., Line 2) automatically goes on standby mode. This means, if someone tries to call you on Line 2 when you are on a call on Line 1, you will not receive a call waiting notification for the incoming call. Instead, that call will be directed to your Line 2 voicemail.
  • Please be mindful that this has implications for 9-1-1 calls. If you call 9-1-1 from Line 1, your phone then disconnects and you get another call on Line 2, you will not receive a notification when the 9-1-1 operator calls you back.

 

What happens when I roam?

  • Just as you can choose which line to call, message or use data from while in Canada, you can do the same while you roam. Please note: you will receive your roaming notifications from Bell for both lines in the same message thread. It’s important to pay attention to the line indicator (Line 1 or Line 2) in the message thread so you can tell which line you are using for roaming, especially if you have different roaming features on each line.

 

Will E9-1-1 and T9-1-1 work on both lines?

  • Both lines have the capability to dial 9-1-1. Where E9-1-1 is available, the caller’s number and approximate location will be provided, regardless of the line used.

For T9-1-1, each line needs to be registered separately. Register for T9-1-1

 

eSIM-compatible devices:

  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, , iPhone XR, or later (dual eSIMs supported on iPhone 13 or later)
  • Google Pixel 3 series or later
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 / S21+ / S21 Ultra or later
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 / Z Flip 3 or later
  • Samsung Galaxy Note20 / Note20 Ultra or later

eSIM compatibility may vary for models purchased outside of Canada. Please check with your manufacturer if you have any doubts.

To finish setting up your Bell Mobility line, you’ll need to download and set up the eSIM on your iPhone.

If you are porting in from another carrier, transfer your phone number first.

Activations in the MyBell app

If you use the MyBell app to activate a Mobility line on eSIM, you’ll be prompted to set up your eSIM in the app.

If you haven’t completed your eSIM setup, log in to the app and select Set up eSIM. The steps below won’t apply.

Other activations (website, etc.)

After activating your Bell Mobility line on eSIM, if you receive a notification on your iPhone, click on the notification to complete the eSIM setup.

Otherwise, follow the instructions below for manual eSIM setup.
  1. Make sure your iPhone is on iOS 13.0 or above and connected to Wi-Fi or mobile data.
  2. Go to Settings > Cellular > Add eSIM (or Add Cellular Plan).
  3. If prompted, select Use QR Code.
  4. Scan the following QR code and follow the prompts:
    img_QR_code_250X250

Alternatively, you can enter the details manually

  1. Select Enter Details Manually.
  2. In the SM-DP+ Address field, paste or type:
    bmc.prod.ondemandconnectivity.com
  3. Leave the Activation Code field blank.

To finish setting up your Bell Mobility line, you’ll need to download and set up the eSIM on your Samsung device.

If you are porting in from another carrier, transfer your phone number first.

Activations in the MyBell app

If you use the MyBell app to activate a Mobility line on eSIM, you’ll be prompted to set up your eSIM in the app.

If you haven’t completed your eSIM setup, log in to the app and select Set up eSIM. The steps below won’t apply.

Other activations (website, etc.)

To set up your eSIM, your Samsung device must be operating on Android 12.0 or higher and connected to Wi-Fi (or the mobile network).

  1. Open Settings > Connections > SIM Card Manager.
  2. Select Add Mobile Plan > Scan Carrier QR Code.
  3. The Camera will open. Scan the following QR code and follow the prompts:
    img_QR_code_250X250

Alternatively, you can enter the details manually:

  1. Select Enter Activation Code.
  2. In the Activation Code field, paste or type:
    bmc.prod.ondemandconnectivity.com
  3. Follow the on-screen prompts.

To finish setting up your Bell Mobility line, you’ll need to download and set up the eSIM on your Google Pixel phone.

If you are porting in from another carrier, transfer your phone number first.

Activations in the MyBell app

If you use the MyBell app to activate a Mobility line on eSIM, you’ll be prompted to set up your eSIM in the app.

If you haven’t completed your eSIM setup, log in to the app and select Set up eSIM. The steps below won’t apply.

Other activations (website, etc.)

To set up your eSIM, your Google Pixel phone must be operating on Android 10 or higher and connected to Wi-Fi (or the mobile network).

  1. Go to Settings > Network & Internet.
  2. Select SIMs.
  3. Select Download a SIM instead.
  4. Select Next and follow the steps.
  5. Select Activate.
  6. If prompted to confirm your network, select Bell. If Bell is not listed, select Use a different network and scan the following QR code:
    img_QR_code_250X250

Alternatively, you can enter the details manually:

  1. Select Need Help at bottom of the screen. If prompted to confirm your network, select Bell.
  2. Select Enter it manually.
  3. Enter or paste the code below:

    bmc.prod.ondemandconnectivity.com