How to activate Tello from abroad
If you’re planning to move to the States soon or you’re in need of a US phone number while abroad, we’ve got you covered! And it’s also super easy to do it! Now let’s jump in and see how you can activate Tello from abroad and enjoy it from anywhere in the world.
Also, some magic tricks are waiting at the end of this article. 🪄
So, you must’ve heard that Tello has THE best phone plans in the US and it offers great flexibility. Plus, Tello comes with 24/7 human Customer Support, no matter where you are or when you call!
That is why Tello is such a great option even when you’re abroad.
Bonus points: It comes with super customizable options! Tello phone plans start at $5/month and go up to only $29/month. While the 100 minutes phone plan really comes in handy when you’re abroad, the Unlimited Everything is a great choice when you get to the States.
The top 3 things to keep in mind when activating Tello from abroad are:
✅ E911 address
✅ Wi-Fi Calling
📣 First things first, start by making sure that your device is eSIM compatible (check this here). Also, make sure that your device software is up to date and it has the latest version installed.
Then it’s time to choose your favorite phone plan! You can pick from our ready-made deals or customize your plan as you like! After successfully finalizing your order, it’s time for setting things up.
Now follow us through the next steps:
Start by filling in your E911 address:
- Go to the My Settings section of your online Tello account
- Scroll down until you see the Wi-Fi Calling section.
- You will see an option called Edit below Emergency E911 Address. Click on it.
- Fill in your address and click on Save.
Android users, here are your steps: Go to Home screen > Phone icon > Tap on the Menu (the three dots on the top right corner) > Settings > Wi-Fi calling > Toggle ON Wi-Fi Calling.
iOS team, follow these: Go to Settings > Phone [or Cellular] > Wi-Fi Calling > “Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone” and toggle it on. A message then explains what information is sent to your carrier when you enable Wi-Fi Calling. Tap Enable.
You also might be asked to add your E911 address on the device itself, just enter the same information and tap Save.
Now it’s time to start the eSIM activation process!
The next step is to go grab some popcorn and put it in the microwave. And then, it’s time to activate your eSIM! Your eSIM will be activated within minutes or as we like to call it quicker than it takes your popcorn to start popping.
(P.S. Feel free to skip the popcorn step.)
Right now, imagine yourself already in the US, because the process here is just the same as if you were physically there:
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.
Ta-da, time for the magic restart and for you to enjoy Tello!
Porting your US number from abroad
Oh, and we have something more! You can even port your US number to Tello while abroad.
Being physically within the US is not a requirement for the transfer. The only condition is that the number you wish to transfer to Tello must be an active US number.
The steps of porting to Tello from abroad are exactly the same as stated above, but you have to add the porting process at the end.
Once again, you can imagine yourself already in the US, because this process is the same wherever you are. Go to the Porting Section of My Account and start the party!
If you need more information about porting your number to Tello, go check out this blog article, it has it all!
On to the next one: using Tello from abroad
You should know that Tello does not offer international roaming, and that’s why you’ll need the precious Wi-Fi Calling. Make sure to enable it every time you wish to use the Tello service.
By enabling Wi-Fi Calling, you can make and receive calls and texts using the closest available Wi-Fi network. That could be your home, a hotel, your office, or even a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Wi-Fi Calling uses minutes from your calling plan and doesn’t come with extra costs. You can find out more about this and see how it works right here.
Tested and approved by Tello’s CEO. See what he has to say:
“My favorite thing about Tello is this: Free Roaming. I travel quite a lot internationally and I need my Tello line to work when I am abroad. Thanks to Wi-Fi Calling, Tello is active anywhere I have a Wi-Fi internet connection. I can receive and make calls and text messages. In contrast with most mobile carriers, we do not charge roaming fees and we allow you to use the service just as you would do it in the US.
For iPhone users there is a cherry on the cake: if you are abroad and you have another local sim or esim on your phone, Tello’s Wi-Fi Calling will work on the data connection of the other sim. Basically, Tello will work in roaming, anywhere in the world, for free.
This is why Tello should be the first choice for anyone needing a US mobile line abroad. And thanks to our flexibility, you can upgrade your plan when you come back to the US.”
Keep in mind that you cannot receive calls via the App and texting is also not available via the App. The App is your go-to option only if you want to make calls.
In order to do this, just dial the destination number from the keypad (always include country code) or choose from your phone’s “Contacts” tab (ensure the number is in international format).
All Tello calling plans include calls to 60+ countries. To see if the destination you want to call (no matter where from) is included, check our International Calling page.
Tello tricks for when you’re abroad
Time to be all eyes and ears, we’ll show you some awesome tips and tricks straight from our magic hat:
🪄If you’re an iPhone user, you have another cool option to use Tello from abroad. If you’re using a local provider in your country of residence, you don’t even need a Wi-Fi connection. You can simply use the data from that local provider. Cool, right? This way, you’ll be able to use your Tello service with ease, as a free roaming option!
🪄This option can also work for certain Android devices. Your device must have one or both of these features: Backup Calling and Auto Data Switching. You’ll need to turn them on and, alongside Wi-Fi Calling.
🪄Some other thing that you might encounter is seeing a higher battery usage on iOS devices, while abroad. That’s because your iPhone is continuously trying to find a network in any given country and that’s using a lot of battery.
So, what you’ll have to do is to select a local operator. Here are the steps to do this:
Go to Settings > Mobile Data > eSIM selection -> Network selection -> Turn off Automatic -> Manually pick a local network (any).
So, what are you waiting for? Go on and start the activation process and let us know how it went!
Drop us a line below if you need any help or join our cool Tello Tribe community on Reddit anytime you want to ask them something!