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Common errors in eSIM Installation and Activation

What they are, and should I be concerned?

· 3 min read

Travel eSIMs makes it a lot more convenient and affordable for travelers to stay connected. However, some users may have encountered issues or error messages while trying to install and activate the eSIM - and it could definitely be rather unsettling if you encounter these error messages. Let’s take a look at what are some of the common error messages that you might see while installing and activating your eSIM, and whether you should be worried about it.


1. eSIM Cannot Be Added

A common method for eSIM installation is through the scanning of a QR code. However, some people may encounter an error message that says the eSIM cannot be added or that the QR code is invalid.

As eSIMs can only be installed on one device, and the QR codes associated with the eSIM installation are a one-time use, the QR code will no longer be valid if your eSIM has already been installed and added to your device.

This is also why it is important to not share your eSIM installation QR code with anyone else. If they have installed their eSIM before you did, you wouldn’t be able to install the eSIM on your device anymore.

If you encountered this issue, double-check your device settings to confirm if your eSIM has already been added to your device; if it has, then this error is expected.

If you haven’t already installed your eSIM to your device, reach out to your eSIM provider as they would be able to do a more in-depth troubleshooting.

2. Cellular plans from this carrier cannot be added

If you see an error message that states that the cellular plan cannot be added, this could be due to your device being carrier-locked.

A carrier-locked device means that your device can only be locked to a specific carrier, and that it wouldn’t be able to connect to other carriers. Double-check if your device is locked to a specific carrier by confirming in your device settings that it has ‘No SIM restrictions’.

If your device is carrier-locked, you will need to contact your carrier to lift the restrictions. If restrictions are not lifted, then you wouldn’t be able to use a travel eSIM on your device.

3. eSIM is stuck at ‘Activating…’

If you are using an iPhone, you will sometimes see that your eSIM status is stuck at ‘Activating…’ even after adding it to your device. Or, you might see an error message that says that your eSIM cannot be activated.

This is because in most cases, eSIM activation takes place when the eSIM connects to the local network. This implies that you will need to be physically at a destination that your eSIM has coverage in and that data roaming for your eSIM needs to be turned on.

So, if you are installing your eSIM at home, and you see that your eSIM appears to be stuck at ‘activating…’, this is perfectly normal.

Once you arrive at your destination, make sure to toggle on the data roaming settings for your eSIM to allow the activation to take place.

4. eSIM indicates ‘No number’

If after installation of your eSIM, you see that the eSIM has ‘no number’ on your device, rest assured that this is per-design, especially if your eSIM is a data-only eSIM.

Data-only eSIMs do not always come with a number, especially since they do not support calls or messages, and only serve to provide data.

The fact that you are seeing the eSIM being listed on your device means that your eSIM has been successfully added to your device, and you don’t have to worry about the ‘No number’ label!

Get a Nomad eSIM to help you stay connected when you travel

Nomad offers data plans in over 170 countries, and you can be sure to find one that is suitable for your travel needs. And if you will be traveling across multiple countries, there are also regional plans available so you can stay seamlessly connected as you hop between countries. Data plans are available from as low as $1.10/GB.

The networks that Nomad's eSIMs use for each plan are stated on the plan details on the web store and apps, so you can check which networks are supported before buying your plan. Data sharing and tethering is also supported on Nomad's eSIM plans.

In the event where you run out of data, Nomad also allows you to purchase add-ons for your data pack. With a purchased add-on, you will be able to seamlessly stay connected with the same eSIM.