January 13, 2022

TextNow 101: SIM cards

Written by kevin-c


What is the TextNow SIM card?

The TextNow SIM card is what allows your compatible phone to get on our wireless GSM network, so you can use TextNow without the need for WiFi.

Wait, hold up. What's GSM?

GSM is a type of wireless network used by cell phones (GSM stands for Global System for Mobile Communications, in case you're curious.) In the US, there's two main networks --- CDMA, and GSM. We're on GSM, so your phone needs to be GSM too.

If I'm just using the free app over WiFi, do I need a SIM card?

Nope! Our SIM cards are there if you want to use TextNow for calling and texting when WiFi isn't available (and don't already have a mobile data connection through your own carrier).

How do I get one?

Right here! We'll ask you to pop in your phone's IMEI number to make sure it's compatible first.

Can I activate any cell phone with TextNow? Your phone has to be a smartphone running Android 7 or higher, or an iPhone running iOS 13.0 or higher. It's also important that your phone is unlocked. If you're unsure, check with the phone's current or previous carrier!

Is the SIM hard to install in my phone?

Nah, it's a piece of cake. Your phone will have a little tray in the SIM card slot that the card fits into. Depending on your specific phone, you might have to trim it to fit. Here's the instructions we include with the card.

Once it's all snug in your phone and the app is updated to the most recent version, the app will lead you through the activation process.

Once it's activated, am I ready to go?

Yup! Our SIM card is bundled with our free Nationwide Talk & Text plan, so you can get calling and texting immediately.

Nice! But say I wanted to add data to calling and texting?

We got you covered. You can tack on a 2GB data plan for $19.99/month (US). The plan gives you 2GB of fast data, and then unlimited 2G data after that --- no overages, no hidden fees, no taxes even. Just tap on the My Store section of the app's main menu to sign up for it.

Can I swap my wireless service between phones?

Heck yes you can! If you have another TextNow-compatible phone, you can just swap the SIM card into it, log into your TextNow account and continue using the service!