How do I set up and manage dual SIM?

Learn how to use two numbers on one dual SIM device.

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    What is dual SIM?

    A 'dual SIM' device can accommodate at least two mobile services, each with their own mobile plan. 

    The following dual SIM combinations may be possible, depending on your eSIM-enabled device.

    • Single physical SIM with single eSIM 
    • Dual eSIM profiles 
    • Dual physical SIMs (not supported by Telstra)

    Setting up dual SIM with two physical SIMs may be possible, but we can’t provide technical support for the use of two physical SIMs in a single device purchased outside Telstra.

    We offer many eSIM-enabled devices including all iPhones from the XS/XR model (September 2018) onwards.

    Check with the manufacturer of your device to see if it supports eSIM.

    How many different mobile numbers can I have on one dual SIM device?

    You can download and store multiple eSIM profiles on your device, each with its own plan and mobile number. However, only one eSIM profile can receive calls and messages at one time, unless using dual eSIM on an iPhone 13 or above. 

    What does 'Primary' and 'Secondary' mobile service mean?

    Your dual SIM device may allow you to assign phone numbers and services as 'Primary' or 'Secondary'. You can customise these labels to make them more meaningful – for example 'Home' and 'Work'.

    The 'Primary' number and plan will be the one used for outbound calls, text and data transfer by default. You can also assign individual contacts to be called or messaged by your primary or secondary number. 

    Switch between primary and secondary through your device settings. 

    If you have more than two numbers on your device (multiple eSIM profiles), you can assign any of these numbers to either Primary or Secondary.

    How do I use two services on my phone, tablet or laptop?  

    Most dual SIM phones use one service on physical SIM and another on eSIM to achieve dual SIM functionality. Some devices, like the dual SIM iPhone 13 and above, provide the option of using two eSIM profiles without any physical SIM.

    Each service will have a unique mobile number and separate plan, although as a Telstra customer your data and call allowances may be shared. Do note you can only send or receive mobile data from the primary service.

    While you’re using one service, the other will be temporarily inactive. This means you can’t conduct two conversations at once.

    Tablets and laptops need both a physical SIM card and an eSIM service, but only one service can be active at a time.

    For more details, please refer to your device manufacturer's website.

    You won’t be alerted to an incoming call to an inactive number unless you set up call forwarding. If you don’t apply call forwarding, the caller can leave a message on your MessageBank, but voicemail messages won’t be accessible until the number becomes active.

    To enable call forwarding

    1. Go to Settings on your mobile  
    2. Select Phone 
    3. Choose Call Waiting, then Secondary Service  
    4. Enable Call Forwarding and enter your Primary number.

    There is no option to forward text messages, however texts sent to a temporarily inactive number will be received immediately upon that number being switched to primary status.

    Frequently asked questions

    Separately purchase and activate two or more mobile plans, using a physical SIM and eSIM profiles. Then:    

    1. Go to Settings on your mobile 
    2. Select Network and internet 
    3. Choose SIMs from the menu options and set both SIMs to active.

    Select the SIM to set it as your primary or secondary service. You can customise settings for calls, SMS and mobile data.

    Yes. You can use your Apple Watch 3 or above, or your Samsung watch with a dual SIM device. For more information, visit Apple or Samsung’s guides on how to use dual SIM with their cellular watch models. 


    To use your watch with a dual SIM device, the primary and secondary services on your phone will both need a Telstra One Number. This will incur additional cost.

    Get Telstra One Number

    Yes, you can, but it's best to do this on your primary service. If you make or receive a call on your secondary service, which doesn't allow mobile data usage at the same time, the connection on your paired device will be interrupted.

    If you're on a call with your primary service (which also enables mobile data), you can send and receive standard text messages, but not send iMessages.

    If you're on a call with your secondary service which enables call and text only, not mobile data, you won't be able to send iMessages or use the internet.

    To work around this, you can: 

    1. Connect to a Wi-Fi network  
    2. Go to Settings 
    3. Select Mobile Data  
    4. Choose Mobile Data Switching.

    When you're on a call, your data line will automatically switch to the service you're calling from for the duration of the call. This data switching will not work if you're also using data roaming. Additional fees may apply. 

    Yes. If you’re the account owner for multiple Telstra accounts – a personal and business account for example – you can activate and use mobile numbers from those accounts on a single dual SIM device.

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