eSIM support

Here’s all the information you need to know about eSIMs and eSIM technology.

What are eSIMs?

  • An eSIM is a virtual SIM card that’s been pre-installed into a device, so it removes the need to insert a physical SIM.
  • They work exactly like physical SIM cards, but they make setting up a new phone a breeze.
  • Instead of having to buy a SIM card from a store or waiting for one to be delivered, you can get connected immediately.
  • Not all devices support eSIM technology, but most of the latest smartphones, tablets and laptops do.

Why choose an eSIM?

Getting started is faster

It makes setting up a new phone a breeze and you won’t have to wait for a SIM to arrive. Win win.

Dual SIM functionality

With a physical SIM card too, you can have 2 numbers on one phone. That’s great for business and travel use.

eSIMs are greener

No physical SIM card means no plastic, plus there’s no need for any postage and packaging.

How to activate an eSIM

Activating an eSIM if you've upgraded or replaced your existing device

If you’ve upgraded or replaced your existing device with us, you’ll need to activate your eSIM. You can do this by logging into My3 or via the Three app and following these steps:

In My3

  1. Login to my3
  2. Go to Your Plan 
  3. Click on More Actions
  4. Select Activate SIM
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions

In the Three app

  1. Open the Three app
  2. Go to Account 
  3. Select Help
  4. Select Activate SIM
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions

Activating an eSIM bought with a new contract

If you've just bought a new contract and want to activate your eSIM, please follow these steps: 

On iPhone

  1. Turn on Wi-Fi
  2. Open Device Settings
  3. Select Setup Mobile Service
  4. Select Use QR Code
  5. Scan the QR code that we emailed you
  6. Enter the confirmation code sent in a separate email

On Android

  1. Turn on Wi-Fi
  2. Open Device Settings
  3. Select Connections
  4. Select SIM Card Manager
  5. Select Add Mobile Plan
  6. Select Scan Carrier QR code
  7. Scan the QR code that we emailed you
  8. Enter the confirmation code sent in a separate email

On Google Pixel

  1. Turn on Wi-Fi
  2. Open Device Settings
  3. Select Network and Internet
  4. Select Mobile Network
  5. Select Download a SIM Instead
  6. Scan the QR code that we emailed you
  7. Enter the confirmation code sent in a separate email

Frequently asked eSIM questions

eSIM is currently available by taking one of our Three Your Way plans and choosing an eSIM compatible handset, tablet or SIM Only plan. 

If you already have an account with Three and want to swap your physical SIM to an eSIM, you can do this by calling our contact centre or by visiting one of our stores to swap your SIM.

An eSIM is a virtual SIM card that is embedded in the mobile device. It comes in the form of an integrated SIM chip that can't and doesn't need to be removed from the device. To activate it, you just need to scan the QR code and enter the confirmation code that we send to you via email. It works just like a regular SIM with some extra benefits.

Once you have scanned the QR code and entered your confirmation code, your eSIM should activate instantly. However, in some cases this can take up to 7 hours. In the event that your eSIM doesn’t activate within 7 hours, please get in touch.

It's quick and easy to set-up - no waiting for a SIM to arrive in the post, you can activate your eSIM straight away.

Users can store multiple profiles on a single device, effectively having two numbers and switch between them easily.

Less waste. Most of the plastic surrounding a physical SIM goes in the bin. eSIM is much more environmentally friendly as it gets sent to you by email.

You can check if a device is eSIM compatible by checking our device support page. You'll also be given the option to choose eSIM while you're buying a compatible device.

If your phone is dual SIM compatible, you can have both a physical SIM and an eSIM. The benefits of this include:

Option to have two different phone numbers and plans on one device.

Have a plan on two different networks. Note: for this to work, the phone needs to be unlocked otherwise you can only have two different plans on the same network.

Add a local data plan when you travel abroad (unlocked phones only).

We would recommend checking out your device manufacturer's own website for more information on how to activate dual SIM, as it differs depending on your device.

Yes, eSIM is available on Pay As You Go. New and existing customers can get it by calling our Contact Centre or visiting one of our stores. You can see if your current device is compatible by checking our device support page.

Yes, if a phone is 5G compatible then any of our SIMs will support this including eSIM.

Please follow the steps below depending on your device manufacturer.

Apple Devices:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select “Mobile Data”
  3. Select “Set-up Mobile Service”
  4. Select “Use QR Code”
  5. Tap “Enter Details Manually, at the bottom of your iPhone screen
  6. Enter the SM-DP+ Address and activation code from your QR code email. You’ll also need to enter the confirmation code that we sent in a separate email. 
  7. Select Continue
  8. You will be asked to Activate eSIM. Select Continue.
  9. You will see a message that says “Activate eSIM” please give it some time
  10. Once completed, you will see a message that says “Mobile Plan Setup Complete”. Select done.
  11. Once your plan has been added, you will be taken back to the Settings menu and will see that eSIM is active

Samsung devices:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select “Connections”
  3. Select “SIM Manager”
  4. Select “Add Mobile Plan” (may say “Add eSIM”)
  5. Select “Scan carrier QR code”
  6. Select “Enter activation code”
  7. Enter activation code found in your QR code email we sent you
  8. Select “Connect”
  9. You’ll also need to enter the confirmation code that we sent in a separate email. 
  10. Select Confirm
  11. You will see a message that says “Adding plan to your phone” please give it some time
  12. Once your plan has been added, you will be taken back to the Settings menu and will see that eSIM is active

Google devices:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select “Network and Internet”
  3. Select “Mobile Network”
  4. Select “Download a SIM instead”
  5. You will be see a screen that says “Download your SIM”. Select “Next”
  6. You will see a screen that says “Scan QR code from network” and at the bottom of the screen the option for “Need Help” Select this.
  7. On the page that says “Help adding a network” select “Enter it manually”
  8. Enter activation code found in your QR code email we sent you
  9. Select “Continue”
  10. You will be asked if you want to use 3UK. Select “Activate”
  11. You’ll then be asked to enter the confirmation code that we sent in a separate email. Enter and select Continue
  12. Once completed, it will say “3UK is active”. Select Done.
  13. Once your plan has been added, you will be taken back to the Settings menu and will see that your Three plan is now active

When you buy your Three Your Way Plan and opt for eSIM, we'll send you two emails. The first will have the QR (Quick Response) code for you to scan and the second email will be a confirmation code. QR codes are designed to be scanned using your smartphone's camera, and this is how you will download your eSIM profile to your device.

When you buy your Three Your Way Plan and opt for eSIM, we'll send you two emails. The first will have the QR code for you to scan and the second email will be a confirmation code. You will be prompted to input the confirmation code after you scan the QR code.

If you’re a contract customer, you can swap to eSIM by contacting our contact centre or visiting one of our stores.

Please ensure that you have given us the correct email address. The QR code and confirmation code will go to the email address you have given us. If you have given us the correct email address, the emails may have gone to your junk, spam or promotions folder. Please check there. If you can't find the emails, please contact us.

No, the QR code is single use only. Once you have downloaded your eSIM profile to your phone, the QR code will become ineffective.