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Most popular questions
How can I get started with Tello?
To get started, simply click here to join Tello.
Once you arrive on that start page, we check your coverage and you choose your Plan.
Then you either shop for a Tello Phone or Bring Your Own Phone, where you have the option to purchase a Tello SIM. Once you select the option you'd like, you will be guided through the easy purchase process and then, when your package arrives, guided through activation.
For security reasons, opening an online account can only be done by the customers themselves. Our Support team does not create accounts or place orders for customers and we do not have any physical stores.
Payment can be made with most credit/debit cards & PayPal. We do not accept checks, bank transfers, Venmo or other payment methods. Tello is a contract-free service and our checkout page shows you the full purchase price (with tax) before you proceed to finalize an order.
You need an unlocked and compatible phone, alongside a Tello SIM to join the service.
When you purchase a Tello 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.
Once you successfully activate your Tello SIM in your online account, you will then have the option to port in your own phone number.
Tello does not participate in the EBB (Emergency Broadband Benefit) / Lifeline program at this time.
What's included in my Tello plan?
All Tello plans (except for data-only plans) include calls to more than 60 countries as well as the US... at no extra cost! So, for example, if you make a 20-minute call to Canada, that 20 minutes come out of your monthly minutes' balance. Overseas freephone numbers may not be available.
5G is available to anyone with a Tello plan, a 5G-capable phone and located in an area that provides 5G coverage (see our Coverage map). Your service will switch seamlessly between 5G and 4G/LTE, whichever signal is stronger.
Our plans also include the mobile Hotspot feature at no extra charge. The data you use via Hotspot just pulls from your monthly Data balance. All you need is a Hotspot-capable phone.
When your data plan balance runs out and your Pay As You Go balance falls below $0.50, throttling is automatically enabled and Hotspot automatically disabled.
Although we do not provide roaming, we do have 2 great alternatives for calling and texting when you are traveling abroad or simply in an area of poor coverage at home:
- WiFi Calling & Text -- This is a feature available on the vast majority of Tello-compatible phones and you can check your phone settings to confirm. It allows for calling & texting via the closest available Wi-Fi network which could be at a hotel, your office, at home, or even a Wi-Fi Hotspot. For more details check out our blog.
- "My Tello" App --You also have the option of using our free "My Tello" app to make calls through Wi-Fi. You can not receive calls via the App and texting is also not available via the App - this can only be used to make calls. The "My Tello" app is a free download for iOS and Android users.
3-Way calling is available and allows you to add a third party to a call so that all three parties may talk to each other simultaneously.
Visual Voicemail is only available for Android users on our network at the moment. If your Android phone does not natively support Visual Voicemail, you can download and use a third-party app available in Google Play Store.
Calls to all Toll-Free Numbers in the USA are charged from your voice balance as normal.
Shortcodes and 2-factor authentication messages can be received on your Tello line.
Tello does not provide a 411 directory assistance service.
Where can I find the account details needed to port out?
For security reasons, all customers are required to retrieve their porting information (Tello Account Number & Temporary Port Out PIN) directly from their own online account. (this feature is not available in the "My Tello" App)
- Go to the "Porting" tab in your online account
- Scroll down to the "Port Out" section and click "Information"
- Click on the "Retrieve Port Out Information" button
- Provide the required information.
What APN settings are needed with Tello?
When you activate the service with Tello, all your APN settings are usually set automatically.
However, if you're having issues with data, hotspot, MMS or group messaging, you need to check your APN settings to make sure that they're correct.
On an Android device, you can view and adjust your APN settings in the following location:
- Tap More networks (under the Connections tab, or More, Wireless & networks, Wireless Controls, Wireless Manager, Phone Information).
- Select Mobile or Cellular networks.
- Choose Access Point Names.
- Tap the Menu icon.
- Tap the Access Point you would like to check.
- If you're adding a new APN, tap New APN and enter the following APN: wholesale
Save the APN, restart the device, and test the service.
On an iOS device, you can view or adjust your APN settings in one of the following locations:
- Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Cellular Network OR
- Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options > Mobile Data Network.
Here are the APN settings required when using an iOS device on Tello:
- Mobile Data
- APN: wholesale
- APN: service
- MMSC: http://wholesale.mmsmvno.com/mms/wapenc
- Personal Hotspot
- APN: wholesale
- Leave everything else blank.
Now double-check that the iOS software is updated, restart your phone, and test the service again.
How can I use Wi-Fi Calling?
Wi-Fi Calling & Text is included with your Tello service.
This feature is available on the vast majority of Tello-compatible phones and you can check your own phone settings to confirm. It allows for calling & texting via the closest available Wi-Fi network which could be at a hotel, your office, at home, or even a Wi-Fi hotspot.
It is an ideal alternative to Roaming (which we don't yet offer) when you are traveling abroad or even when you experience poor network coverage at home in the US.
You can use Wi-Fi Calling with Tello if the following conditions are met:
- your device supports Wi-Fi Calling which the majority of Tello-compatible phones do.
- you have enabled Wi-Fi Calling on the device.
- you have registered an E911 address in your Tello online account (or through your phone Menu).
- the Wi-Fi network you are using allows Wi-Fi Calling. Obviously, this is not within Tello's control or responsibility.
How is Wi-Fi Calling & Texting Charged?
Wi-Fi Calling & Texting has no additional charge.
It's simply taken from your existing plan balance or your Pay As You Go balance, whichever applies to the activity.
For example, if you receive any calls (no matter where from) or if you call the US or any of the 60+ included international destinations then the minutes of those calls will be deducted from your minutes' plan balance.
If, on the other hand, you call an international destination that is not included in our plans (Ex: Cuba), then it will be charged from your Pay As You Go balance if you have one.
The same logic applies to Wi-Fi Text.
One-Time Passwords (OTPs)
You can receive any kind of text message if you have successfully set up WiFi calling & text.
This includes, one-time passwords (OTPs) and shortcodes for verification and 2-factor authentication.
If Wi-Fi calling & text is working for you while abroad and you’re receiving SMS's as usual, there should be no problem for you to get texts from your bank for verification.
However, of course, MMS will not work.
Please check our International Calling page for included countries and the rates for excluded countries.
Also, please visit our Blog for more details about Wi-Fi Calling & Text.
How can I bring my current phone number over to Tello?
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 purchased, received, and successfully activated your new Tello SIM or either purchased and activated your Tello eSIM 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 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.
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.
- 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.
Do you offer roaming?
We do not currently provide Roaming - either domestically or internationally.
However, we do have 2 great alternatives for calling and texting when you are traveling abroad or simply in an area of poor coverage at home.
Wi-Fi Calling & Text
This is a feature available on the vast majority of Tello GSM-compatible phones and you can check your phone settings to confirm.
It allows for calling & texting via the closest available Wi-Fi network which could be at a hotel, your office, at home, or even a Wi-Fi hotspot.
If you have set up Wi-Fi Calling & Text correctly, it does not use up data from your Tello data plan, it just uses minutes from your calling & text plan as normal. You can read more details about Wi-Fi Calling in our blog article.
"My Tello" App
You also have the option of using our free "My Tello" app to make calls through Wi-Fi.
You can not receive calls via the App and texting is also not available via the App - it is only to make calls.
The "My Tello" app is free to download for iOS and Android users.
When calling from the Tello app in the USA using your own Data plan, the costs are higher than if you were using the regular Tello calling service because the App uses your Data allowance.
On average, the app uses 1 MB/min. Therefore, please use the App over a Wi-Fi connection if possible.
To make a call, simply dial the destination number from the keypad (always include country code) or choose from your phone "Contacts" tab (ensure the number is in international format).
Canada & Mexico
Tello does not have a network in Canada or Mexico and so we do not offer full service in either of those 2 countries and there is no roaming available.
However, you can still use Tello to make & receive calls & texts from both Canada & Mexico (and any other country) by enabling the "Wi-Fi Calling & Text" feature on your device as described above.
How do I set up & access my Voicemail?
To set up your Voicemail for the first time, or to set it up again (Voicemail invalid message), follow these steps:
- Press and hold the 1 key or dial 123 on your device.
- You will be automatically connected to your voice mailbox and be prompted to enter your password.
- By default, your Voicemail password (PIN) is the last 4 digits of your phone number followed by the # key.
- When prompted, enter a new 4-9 digit password, then press the # key.
- You cannot use repetitive or sequential numbers.
- Press # to keep the password or press * to change it.
- Follow the prompts to choose your security level & record your name & greeting (4 minutes max for all devices).
- Your voicemail should now be ready to use.
If you forget your Voicemail password, dial #793# and send/call on your phone and your voicemail password will be reset to the last 4 digits of your phone number.
None of your messages will be deleted.
We recommend that you change your password again after this.
For iPhones, you can also reset the password by heading to Settings > Phone and tapping Change Voicemail Password.
To access your Voicemail from another line, dial your number from the external line.
When your voicemail greeting begins, dial * and when prompted enter your password.
On your Android device, 60 messages can be stored on Voicemail.
On your non-Android device, 45 messages can be stored on Voicemail.
On your Android device, saved & played messages will be deleted after 5 days of being saved/played.
On your non-Android device, saved & played messages will be deleted after 60 days of being saved/played.
For all devices, unplayed messages will be deleted after 60 days.
Turning your voicemail OFF and ON will delete saved messages & saved greetings.
I just placed my 1st order. What is my Tello phone number?
Your new Tello phone number will be auto-allocated based on the zip code entered & area code availability.
There is no way to control the exact prefix assigned, but the prefix will be from the area code you register.
You are free to either use the new Tello number allocated or port in your own number.
Bring Your Own SIM
If you brought your own Tello SIM & Phone and your order is Successful, then you can see your new Tello phone number right now on your Dashboard.
Purchased Tello SIM
If you purchased a Tello SIM from this website, then as soon as you receive and activate that SIM in your online account, the new Tello phone number will be visible on your Dashboard.
Keep Your Own Phone Number
Every SIM activation for a new line generates a new Tello phone number, whether you wish to replace that new number with your own number or not.
You can bring your own phone number (to replace that Tello phone number) as soon as you have activated the SIM.
After you have successfully activated the SIM in your online account, you can port in your own number to Tello by submitting a port-in.
The port-in option will only become available & visible after a successful SIM activation and it can only be done from your online account.
Change The Caller Name
If you use the Tello phone number allocated but find that another caller name is still displaying from it, simply email our support team with the following information to get this rectified:
- Tello Phone Number affected
- Current Display Name
- Any Phone number where this incorrect name has appeared.
How do I order and activate my Tello eSIM?
Before ordering an eSIM please check if your device is eSIM compatible. If the answer is YES, then go ahead and place the order. Login to My Account - My SIM section and scan the QR code with your phone's camera. Make sure you are connected to a Wi-Fi network as you will need a steady Wi-Fi connection to complete the eSIM activation. Please note that once you start the activation process your Tello service will be temporarily inactive. Don't worry, your service will resume once the eSIM is active on your device.