Activate your Tello SIM or Tello Device: How can I get started with Tello?

Activate your Tello SIM or Tello Device: 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 GSM 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.

Tello only uses GSM for our new customers.

Therefore you need an unlocked GSM-compatible phone & a Tello GSM SIM to join Tello.

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.

Older Tello customers who are still on the CDMA network are being migrated to the new faster GSM network this year (2021).

Once you successfully, activate your Tello SIM or Tello Device 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.

How can I activate the service when I receive my new Tello Phone?

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 “My 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 SIM 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 once activated. You will see a new Tello phone number in your online account when the activation process is completed.

You will not be able to port in a new number (replace that Tello number) until you have successfully activated that SIM in your online account.

Only after you have successfully activated the SIM in your online account, you can 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?”

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