AT&T Becomes First U.S. Carrier to Activate eSIM Support in iOS 12.1.1

Esim Dual SIM on iPhone Credit: Justin Meyers / Gadget Hacks
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AT&T has become the first major carrier in the U.S. to “flip the switch” and introduce support for the dual-SIM capabilities of Apple’s 2018 iPhone lineup.

Support was activated in iOS 12.1.1, which was released to the public yesterday. AT&T has also published a support document noting the added ability and other details about its use.

Here’s what you should know about AT&T’s dual-SIM support.

? What Is Dual-SIM And Why Do I Want It?

Essentially, Apple’s Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS) capability allows its iPhone XS, XS Max and XR devices to have two cellular lines on a single device.

All iPhones in the 2018 lineup sport two SIM cards: An embedded eSIM and a standard removable nano-SIM. With DSDS capabilities, users can use both SIM cards on their devices.

That means you can switch between those lines, offering you some flexibility as far as your number and plan.

Apple Ios Dual Sim

You can, for example, have both a work phone number and a personal phone number on your device and switch between them at will.

AT&T notes that you’ll have to choose which number to use before sending a text, picture or video message. You’ll receive messages from either number automatically, however.

? Are There Limitations?

In a word, yes.

At this point, it seems that cellular data can only be activated on one number at a time. That means if you’re calling from your “work number,” you’ll need to use your “work data” for browsing sessions while on that call.

Connecting to a Wi-Fi network will allow you to use that internet connectivity for either line.

AT&T also notes that you cannot place a call on hold from one number and make a call from the other number. If you’re actively using one number, AT&T notes that all calls to the other number will go straight to voicemail.

? How Do I Get It?

AT&T notes that dual-SIM support and activations are now available on iPhone XS, XS Max and XR devices running iOS 12.1.1.

Presumably, that means you can go to your carrier and add a second cellular line to your plan. The exact method and details are vague at this point, so contact your carrier for more information.

? How Much Will It Cost?

To put it succinctly, adding a secondary cellular line to your dual-SIM iPhone will likely cost just as much as adding a secondary line in general.

There’s no indication that a second cellular line specifically for dual-SIM will cost any more or less than a standard line.

Of course, it’s still early in the carrier rollout of the feature — at least in the U.S. So that may change as time goes on.

What Other Carriers Support/Will Support It?

Most major carriers in the U.S. will add support for eSIM. There’s no word on when T-Mobile or Sprint will launch eSIM activations, but Verizon is rumored to announce their rollout on Dec. 7, 2018.

For Canadian users, eSIM is currently supported by Bell, Fido, Lucky Mobile, Rogers and Virgin Mobile. eSIM support is also much more widespread through Europe and Asia.

Apple currently has a page detailing which carriers currently support or plan to support eSIM and dual-SIM.

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