How does dual-SIM work?

Dual SIM allows you to use two SIM/eSIM cards at the same time. Here are the ways you can use dual-SIM:

  • Two physical SIM cards
  • A physical SIM card and an eSIM
  • Two eSIMs (only on iPhone 13, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max)

How to use dual-SIM

With dual-SIM, you can use two SIMs at the same time - but what does that really mean?

We usually use our SIM cards for calls, messages and data. Let's take a look at what dual-SIM means for each one:

Calls and messages

With dual-SIM, you can make and receive calls and messages with two different phone numbers. This is ideal if you have a phone number for work as well as your personal life, or if you want to have a number for 

So let's imagine you have a US phone number, but you move to live in Mexico. You don't want to lose your US number, but you need a Mexican number to get by in your new country.

With dual-SIM, you can use both on just one mobile.


Dual-SIM gives you access to two different networks to access mobile data. This is perfect for travelers. 

Imagine you're traveling to Japan. If you use data from your current provider, it will be very expensive (seriously, $100s). So you buy an eSIM or SIM card with cheap data for Japan. And voilà: with dual-SIM, you still have your original SIM card if you need it but you have cheap data from the second SIM.

Advantages of dual-SIM

  • Use a new SIM or eSIM while you're traveling without losing your original SIM card and number
  • Have phone numbers from different countries 
  • Separate your business and personal life with different numbers