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Activate your Tello GSM SIM

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have just purchased or received your new Tello GSM SIM, here is how to get the Tello service activated.

When you purchase a Tello GSM SIM, you receive a 3-in-1 SIM card that includes mini (2FF), micro (3FF), and nano (4FF) sizes to fit any type of compatible phone.
You receive 1 SIM card and that 1 SIM card contains the three different sized punch-out SIM options.

When the package arrives, follow these steps:
1. Go to the "Activate SIM" section of your Tello online account.
2. Complete the field(s) required and follow the prompts.
3. Once the website has confirmed that the activation process has finished which can take up to 20 minutes, wait another 5 minutes.
4. Insert the new Tello GSM SIM (logo side up) and switch the fully charged phone ON.
5. Follow any on-screen steps provided and your phone should start to automatically activate the Tello service.
6. If your phone does not activate automatically, please wait 30 minutes, then reboot your phone and try again.
7. You can also manually activate your phone by following the steps under the FAQ at the bottom of the My Phone page.
8. Start calling, texting & surfing the web with Tello!

Tello Phone Number & Porting
Every SIM delivery for a new line generates a new Tello phone number by default so you will see a new Tello phone number in your online account once shipping is initiated.
You will not be able to port in a new number (to replace that Tello number) until you have successfully activated that SIM in your online account.

Once you have successfully activated the SIM in your online account, you can then port in your own number to us by submitting a port-in.
The port-in form will only become available & visible after a successful SIM activation and it can only be done from your online account.

If you need help inserting the SIM, see How do I insert the Tello GSM SIM card?
If you have just purchased or received your new Tello Phone, here are the next steps to get the Tello service activated.

Your phone will arrive in a plain generic packaging box with simply the device, battery & charger.

It will not contain any manual or guide or accessories.
The phone manual is available in your online account, however.
Simply go to our Phones page, click "View Details" and scroll down to the Tech Specs section where you will see "User Manual".

When the package arrives, follow these steps:
1. Unpack the phone, plug it in and leave it to charge fully.
Do not turn it on yet.
2. Go to the "Activate SIM" section of your Tello online account.
3. Complete the field(s) required and follow the prompts. The activation code is the 14 or 15 digit code printed on the box of the phone.
4. After activating the service, which can sometimes take up to 20 minutes, wait another 5 minutes and then switch your fully charged phone ON.
5. Your phone should start to automatically activate with the Tello service.
6. If your phone does not activate automatically, please wait 30 minutes, then reboot your phone and try again.
7. You can also manually activate your phone by following the steps under the FAQ at the bottom of the My Phone page.
8. Start calling, texting & surfing the web with Tello!

Tello Phone Number & Porting
Every SIM delivery for a new line generates a new Tello phone number by default so you will see a new Tello phone number in your online account once shipping is initiated.
You will not be able to port in a new number (to replace that Tello number) until you have successfully activated that SIM in your online account.

Once you have successfully activated the SIM in your online account, you can then port in your own number to us by submitting a port-in.
The port-in form will only become available & visible after a successful SIM activation and it can only be done from your online account.

When you activate the service with Tello, all your APN settings are usually set automatically.
However, if you're having any issues with data, hotspot, MMS or group messaging, you need to check your APN settings to make sure that they're correct.
See "What APN settings are needed with Tello?"
If your phone displays a SIM Card error message, do a couple of quick checks.
Firstly, ensure that you have inserted the Tello GSM SIM into a compatible device - use our device checker to confirm this.
Secondly, ensure that your phone is unlocked. Contact the previous phone carrier (or phone seller) to confirm this.

Once you have confirmed the above, follow these steps:
1. Turn your phone off.
2. Remove the SIM Card.
3. Make sure the SIM Card isn’t damaged or you’ll need a replacement.
4. Insert the SIM Card back into your phone.
5. Turn your phone back on, follow any on-screen steps provided and your phone should start to automatically activate the Tello service.

Here’s a quick list with some of the most common SIM Card errors you may run into:
  • "sim not supported"
  • "network lock,"
  • "network unlock pin,"
  • "unsupported sim"
  • "SIM Lock"
  • "SIM Invalid"
  • "Network Lock"
  • "SIM Not Supported"
If you receive any of these error messages, your previous carrier may have enabled a lock or restriction to your phone and you will have to reach out to them to remove this lock.
On most phones, the SIM card can only be installed one way, with the logo side up and the cut-off corner of the sim card matching with the cut-off corner of the phone's SIM tray.

When you purchase a Tello GSM SIM, you receive a 3-in-1 SIM card that includes mini (2FF), micro (3FF), and nano (4FF) sizes to fit any type of compatible phone.
You receive 1 SIM card and that 1 SIM card contains the three different sized punch-out SIM options.
Follow these simple steps to install the SIM correctly but only AFTER you have activated the SIM from your online account.

1. Turn off your phone. If you already have an old SIM Card in your phone, remove it using a SIM card eject-tool or the tip of a paper clip.
2. Take a close look at your phone's SIM Card tray size and then note the three different sized cut-out SIM options we sent you.
3. Carefully punch the size that will fit your phone and insert the new SIM logo side up. Your Tello SIM is now installed.
4. Turn on the phone, follow any on-screen steps provided and your phone should start to automatically activate the Tello service.
5. If by chance your phone does not activate automatically, please wait 30 minutes, then reboot your phone and try again.
You can also manually activate your phone by following the steps provided under the FAQ at the bottom of the My Phone page.

Video Tutorials & Phone Manual
Your phone manual (or a google search) will also tell you what sized SIM your phone requires (mini, micro, or nano) and tell you where the SIM slot is located. You can also check online video tutorials on how to install your SIM correctly.
Firstly, you need to ensure that, you have received and successfully activated your new Tello GSM SIM in your online account.
If you have not done so already, go to the Activate SIM section of your Tello online account and follow the prompts to activate the service.

Once you have successfully activated the Tello GSM service, go to your Port In page. (The port in form will only become available & visible after successful service activation):
  • Enter the phone number you wish to transfer and click "Check".
  • If the number can be ported, you will be prompted to fill in the port-in details and follow the prompts.

Note:
If you have not done so already, you will need to contact your current provider to retrieve the following information directly from them:
  • Account number from current provider
  • PIN number from current provider
  • Your address as listed on the phone bill
  • First name and last name as listed on the phone bill
  • If the number to port is a landline, the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number.
Consult our "Carrier Transfer Information" to help guide you in the right direction.

The speed of the port-in process depends on your current provider and can take anywhere from 2 hours to 2 working days for regular mobile numbers and up to 5 working days for landline and VOIP numbers.

If any of the information submitted is invalid and is not corrected by you within 3 business days we may cancel the port request.
Once the port in is submitted, any notification about the port in status will be sent to the email address you registered with Tello.

Note:
- Even after your number has been successfully ported to Tello, it may take up to 3 business days before your ported number is reflected correctly as your Caller ID.
- If 3 business days pass after the successful porting, and your Caller ID still shows the wrong number, please email our Support team with the details.

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