Sunday, December 28, 2014

Activating iPhone's T-MOBILE SIM (USA) without leaving your couch

If you happen to get an unlocked (T-MOBILE) iPhone during the holidays, then you are probably wondering: what do I do to activate it and use it on T-MOBILE's network.

A little bit of googling around might disappoint you, since the options offered are:

First option will need you to go to a T-Mobile Store. On the Internet era. Really?

Second option does not make sense: iPhone already comes with a T-Mobile NANO SIM. Why would anybody want to buy another one? Besides, unless you go to a store to buy it, you will need to buy it online, so it might take you one or two business day to get it.

Fortunately, there is a solution not needing to buy an extra NANO SIM or going to a T-Mobile store, or waiting for something to arrive by regular mail. Here's what you could do:

  1. Buy an activation code that you will receive by email (no need to move). It will cost you something between 158 and 199 if you buy it from eBay1, or a little bit more if you buy it from Amazon
  2. Activate your T-Mobile SIM on this page. You will need three pieces of information:
    1. Activation Code: the one you bought from eBay or Amazon
    2. SIM Card Serial Number: instructions below
    3. Phone Serial Number (IMEI): instructions below
  3. Select your plan.
  4. Pay for it.
  5. Done.
Here's how you get SIM Card Serial Number and Phone Serial Number (IMEI) from your iPhone:

Go to:

Settings -> General -> About

You will see a screen like this one, with the two pieces of information you need to complete the process.

Lastly, this should also work for any other non Apple (iPhone) phone. Although I don't know if there is another brand with an unlocked phone with a T-Mobile SIM preinstalled.

Hope you find this information useful.

As a side note, do keep in mind that if you travel for a couple of days/weeks to USA, buying a T-Mobile Prepaid plan to remain online is a very good deal (cheap and good phone/internet service).

1It took me two hours to get the code by email when I bought it from eBay.

No comments:

Post a Comment