How to activate your Airtel eSIM

Airtel offers an eSIM service to subscribers with select smartphones, including some Apple, Samsung, Google Pixel and Motorola Razr phones (2021). The eSIM or Embedded Subscriber Identity Module, as the name suggests, is embedded directly into your smartphone or any device in place of or together with your physical SIM card. The eSIM service not only saves space for a phone manufacturer, but also allows remote SIM provisioning from any mobile device.

How to activate your Airtel eSIM

If you are an Airtel subscriber, you can activate eSIM functionality as long as you have a compatible device. As mentioned, the latest phones from Samsung, Apple, Google and Motorola Razr (2019) are on the compatibility list. If the subscriber has an eSIM, the mobile operator can remotely switch the user to a different circle or even switch the telecom operator remotely. To convert your physical SIM to eSIM, follow the simple steps below:

  1. To start the process, SMS Yes it is Registered email ID for 121.

  2. If your email is valid, you will receive an SMS from 121 confirming the start of the process. You would need to respond back with “1” to confirm the eSIM change request within 60 seconds. If your Email ID is invalid, you will receive an SMS from 121 asking you to restart the process with the correct Email ID, which will also guide you on how to update the Email ID.

  3. Once verification is done, the subscriber will receive another SMS from 121 requesting their consent during the call.

  4. After giving your consent to the call, you will receive a final SMS from 121, referring to the QR Code that you will receive in your registered id email.

  5. If you are an iPhone user, click on Settings> Mobile data> Add data plan> Scan QR code. Read the code received in the email and make sure the phone is connected to mobile data / Wi-Fi during the scan. After the scanning process, tap eSIM tag under Label for your new plan.

  6. If you are a Samsung phone user, click on Settings> SIM card manager> Add mobile plan> Add using QR code. Scan the QR code received in the email (make sure there is Wi-Fi or mobile data available). Post scan, click on Add at the Add new cell plan option.

  7. If you have a Google Pixel or Motorola Razr smartphone, select Settings> Network and Internet> Wi-Fi> Connect to a Wi-Fi network (required). so go to Mobile network at the Settings> Advanced> Carrier> Add Carrier> Scan QR Code received in the email (make sure your phone is connected to Wi-Fi while scanning). After scanning, click on Download> Completed.

  8. Motorola Razr 5G users must login Settings> Network and Internet> Select + subscribe in addition to Mobile network > Click on Next (Download your SIM). Scan the QR code received in your email (make sure the phone is connected to Wi-Fi / mobile data while scanning). Post the scan successfully, click Activate.

  9. Airtel notes that the QR code is unique and is only applicable for one-time use on a single device. Once scanned, be sure to complete the operator addition process. Customer must not select “Delete“in the eSIM settings as this will permanently delete the eSIM profile.

  10. If postpaid users do not receive an email with the QR code within 30 minutes or the subscriber interrupts the scanning process midway, they will need to send it as SMS NOSIM to 121 to avoid disconnecting the physical SIM.

  11. Likewise, prepaid users need to send messages NESIM to 52212 (for prepaid numbers in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka) and NESIM to 51619 (for prepaid numbers in rest of India) to avoid physical SIM disconnect.

  12. Airtel says the eSIM will be activated in approximately 2 hours after scanning the QR code. During this period, the physical SIM will continue to work.

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Tasneem Akolawala is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360. His reporting experience spans smartphones, wearables, apps, social media and the entire tech industry. She reports from Mumbai and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecommunications industry. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips and releases can be sent to Most

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