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Bring your phone along!


No activation fees & no contract

Check your phone's compatibility

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Dial *#06# and you'll receive your phone's IMEI/ESN code

Don't have the IMEI at hand? Check Tello requirements.

You can bring your own number only after the package has been delivered and the service has been activated in your online account.

To replace a device and keep your line on the CDMA network,
please go to My Phone section.

What phones can be enrolled to Tello?

GSM Phones

Any GSM device free of contract, VoLTE compatible.

Tello phones

You can choose a phone from our handpicked collection starting from $79

Other unlocked smartphones

Unlocked iPhone models from 6 to SE and Nexus 5 to 6P

Frequently asked questions (FAQ):

The Tello GSM SIM card you already have can be used with any other Tello GSM compatible and unlocked device.

To change the phone on your current Tello GSM line, the first thing to do is confirm that your new phone is Tello GSM compatible.
To do this, enter the IMEI of the new phone into our device checker.
Assuming your new phone receives the "Awesome" result on our device checker page and you have confirmed with your current provider that it is unlocked, simply take the Tello GSM SIM from your current phone and insert it into your new compatible phone.

Restart your new phone, follow any on-screen steps provided and your device should start to automatically activate the Tello GSM service.

If 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 under the FAQ at the bottom of the "My Phone" page in your online account.
There are a few easy ways to check if Tello is the perfect fit for you:

1. Check the coverage map to verify the service in your area.
Please be aware that outside factors like terrain, building structures, weather, and other conditions may also interfere with the actual service available. When you intend to travel out from your regular location, consult the coverage map again to check for service in the areas to which you will travel.
2. If you are bringing your own phone, make sure your device is compatible with Tello. It must be GSM, VoLTE, use our Bring Your Own Phone checker to confirm.
3. If you are bringing your own phone, make sure your device is unlocked.
You need to check this with your current provider. Tello cannot check locked status or unlock any locked devices.
If your phone fulfills 2 requirements - compatible and unlocked - it should work with Tello:

1. Compatible
This is something you can check quite easily.
In general Tello GSM-Compatible BYOP devices usually include:
  • Most unlocked, GSM-network phones
  • Most unlocked T-Mobile, AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Simple Mobile, and Straight Talk phones
  • Many 4G LTE phones used on Verizon may also work with Tello GSM as long as they have been unlocked.
  • Only models manufactured for the US market will activate on our network - phones made for overseas markets will not work.

Please don't contact our support team with just the make & model of the device because with just that information we cannot say for certain if it will be compatible with our network.
Here is how you can quickly & easily check compatibility yourself:

You have the Phone to hand:
If you have the device to hand, then you have access to the IMEI and so you can use our online device checker at https://tello.com/bring_your_own_phone.
This is a very reliable checker (our Customer Support team uses the same checker!) so you can trust the results from this.

You don't have the Phone at hand:
If you don't have access to the IMEI, you must look at the device's tech specs and check them off against the 2 compatibility requirements listed below.
The "tech specs" of the phone you have (or are considering purchasing) will contain the information related to these requirements.
You will find them in the description of the device you are thinking about buying (ask the seller directly), in the manual of the device you already purchased or via an online search.

(a). VoLTE
VoLTE means Voice over LTE and provides crisp, clear audio quality and helps prevent dropped calls.
The device must support VoLTE (the type of VoLTE compatible with our network).
Older phone models tend to be missing this feature more often than newer models.

(b). Bands
The device must support (at a minimum) the following set of LTE bands:
  • Band 2 (1900 MHz)
  • Band 4 (2100 MHz)
  • Band 12 (700 MHz)

However, for best service on our GSM network, your phone should have at least 1 of the following bands/frequencies in addition to the above 3:
  • Band 5 (850 MHz)
  • Band 66 (1700 Mhz)
  • Band 71 (600 MHz)

For example, if the phone has bands 2, 4, 12, and 71, then that is ideal.
Phones made for overseas markets and older CDMA-network phones are more likely not to accommodate these band requirements.

2. Unlocked
Whether you device is compatible or not, the phone needs to be unlocked.
Unlocked and Compatible are 2 completely different unrelated requirements.
Our device checker can check for compatibility only - you must check that the phone is unlocked.
So even if you receive the "Awesome" message on our device checker, you still need to check if the phone is unlocked or not.

Contact the existing carrier to confirm the locked status of the device or if you are buying a new phone, confirm with the seller.
Locked phones will not work on Tello and we do not lock or unlock any phones so this can only be checked with your carrier or the phone seller.

In summary, when acquiring a new device, please ensure it supports the 2 technologies outlined above and of course check with the seller or carrier that it is unlocked.
You can also purchase a compatible device (with a free Tello GSM SIM) from us.
See our phones selection.
Note:
Mobile routers (e.g. Netgear) will not work with Tello. Only a Tello GSM SIM will work on Tello. No other SIMs will work. Once you successfully bring a compatible & unlocked phone through our device checker page at https://tello.com/bring_your_own_phone, then simply follow the prompts to acquire a Tello GSM SIM and proceed to checkout.
Your phone must be unlocked to get Tello GSM service.

An unlocked phone is a phone that is not tied to a carrier or a phone plan.
It allows you to move freely to choose the best provider for you.
If you're on a prepaid or pay-as-you-go plan, your phone is probably unlocked.
However, if you're on a two-year contract or something similar, your phone is probably carrier-locked until you finish paying it off.
Phones need to be unlocked prior to activating your Tello service and only you can confirm this with the phone carrier or phone seller.
Tello cannot check if your phone is locked and we cannot unlock devices.

Unlocked and Compatible are 2 completely different unrelated requirements.
Our device checker can check for compatibility only - you must check that the phone is unlocked.
So even if you receive the "Awesome" message on our device checker, you still need to check if the phone is unlocked or not.

If you try to use the service without getting the phone unlocked from the previous carrier, then you are likely to get SIM error messages on your device and won't be able to use Tello until your previous carrier unlocks the device.
Transferring your number to Tello is fast and easy (and free) but for security reasons, it must be made via your online account only. (This feature is not available in the "My Tello" App).

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 https://tello.com/activate and follow the prompts to activate the service.

Once you have successfully activated the Tello GSM service, follow the steps below to start the number transfer process.

Submit your number transfer request directly from: https://tello.com/account/port_in.
(The port in form will only become available & visible after successful SIM 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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