Wireless Service

How to Activate H2O SIM Card

By
Kyle Reyes
October 26, 2022

When you switch to H2O, you get to choose a plan and get a SIM card along with it. H2O is an MVNO that’s attached to AT&T’s network. A relatively new company on the scene, H2O provides excellent nationwide service. This guide will cover the steps to activate your new H2O SIM card, the plans that H2O offers, and whether or not an eSIM card is right for you. 

A Guide to Activating Your H2O SIM Card Today

This section will cover all the steps to take towards activating your H2O SIM card, and with it, getting your new phone up and running! The company usually activates the SIM cards when you get your new plan, but if you’ve run into any trouble this section will show you how to activate your H2O sim card!

Activate Your H2O SIM Card

If you have to activate your SIM card, you should first go to the H2O Wireless website on their “Activate” tab. From here, you can choose whether you want to get a new number or bring your own. At this point, you should know pretty well which of the two you will use, and the process is pretty similar for each one! 

If you want to get a new number, the website will prompt you with your SIM card number, and your desired area code, and from there they will assign you a number and activate your card! 

If you are porting in your current number you will be asked to enter the number you want to transfer to H2O Wireless, and you can follow the on-screen instructions, and then you’ll be good to activate your H2O SIM card! 

If this is all sounding pretty complicated, you can dial the H2O customer care number (grab a friend’s phone if yours isn’t activated yet!) which is: 1-800-643-4926. 

Transferring Your Current Number to H2O Wireless

Transferring your number to H2O Wireless when you activate your H2O SIM card is a pretty easy process! On H2O Wireless’ website, they have a page where you can type in your current number and some relevant data about your current carrier. From there, they will handle the switch in 1-2 business hours and then you’re good to go! As a note, this process can take up to 24 hours as the two companies settle the switch, so don’t panic if it’s taking a while. The whole process should be easy, but we recommend keeping a friend or family member nearby so you can call H2O Wireless if you run into any problems. During this time your phone will be out of commission, and it’s always a good fallback to have another phone nearby. 

Have your current account information on hand when you purchase your new plan. If you are keeping your current phone, they may ask for the phone’s ESN/IMEI number, which is found in the settings under device info. After you iron out the details with your new provider, they should handle the rest. They will contact your current company and begin the process of changing your plan and keeping your phone number. 

If your phone has a SIM card, you will need to swap it out for a new one, courtesy of the new company. There will most likely be a few hours (up to a day) of time when your phone is offline. This is the time it takes for your two carriers to dot their i’s and cross their t’s. After that, you’re all done! Congratulations! You’ve got a new service provider and your phone is up and running. The question remains, however, of whether or not you want to bring your current device or buy a new one. 

Do You Want to Keep Your Old Phone?

Switching carriers is the perfect time to also get a new device! If you are satisfied with the phone you have, then you are good to move on to the next section. If, however, you are planning an upgrade in the near future, then you can pair it with switching to H2O. If you get a new device when you switch they will send their SIM with the phone and it will straight away when you put it into your new phone and power it up. 

Make sure to communicate your plan with your new provider. If you want to keep your current number and get a new phone, let them know. Otherwise, they might assign the account a new number and then the transfer process gets much more complicated. Fortunately, switching carriers, keeping numbers, and activating new phones is a common occurrences in the world of all the networks, so they can walk you through their specific process when you get there. 

Note: Do Not Cancel Your Old Plan Before Starting Your New Plan

In just a moment, we will cover the main question of how to change your carrier and keep your number. Before we get there, it is important to note that you should not cancel your old plan before starting your new plan. If you cancel, the company can deactivate your phone number, and if that happens — you’re sunk. Under most circumstances, your new provider handles just about all of the communication with your old provider to cancel your service. It is recommended, however, to give them a call to confirm after you’re up and running on your new provider. 

H2O Phone Plans

H2O has a tremendous amount of plans after you activate your H2O SIM card. You can pick and choose the one that best fits your style! 

H2O Wireless has six major plans. All of them have unlimited talk and text and three of them have unlimited data as well! Their plans come with a wide variety of prices, making it easy to switch between plans if you decide you need more or less data! 

Before we get into the plans that H2O offers, they have a multi-line plan! Their multi-line plan offers 6 GB of high-speed data for each line at $25 a line! Available for two lines or four lines, their multi-line plan is very competitively priced. Their multi-line plan is just that. You can grab a friend and hop onto the plan together to take advantage of the excellent pricing on this plan. 

Without further ado, let’s get into the six single line plans that they offer! We’ll start with their most inexpensive plan, the H2O Wireless basic plan.

Basic Plan

  • $18 per month
  • 2 GB high-speed data

While $18 for 2 GB of high-speed data and unlimited talk and text isn’t the best deal on the market, it is comparable! If you have an account with H2O and are looking to downsize then this plan is perfect! Changing plans within H2O is a piece of cake, and this is a great first rung on the ladder. 

H2O’s plans all technically offer “unlimited” data but they only offer a limited amount of high-speed data. After your allocation is used up, they will throttle you down to 128 kbps, which is not enough data to do much of anything. You can open your email and call an uber, but that’s about it! 

Value Plan

  • $27 per month
  • 6 GB high-speed data

The next step up for H2O Wireless plans is their value plan. After you activate your H2O SIM card you can choose this plan if you are looking for a fair amount of data, but you know you don’t use too much. 6 GB per month allows you to surf the web, use maps, and do a lot of non-video streaming with no worry about going over your data allotment. Unfortunately, everything is becoming data-heavy these days. 

Looking at this plan it is evident that their multi-line discount is not anything to write home about. Their multi-line plan would save you $2 a month on your phone bill for having a second line, and the savings don’t change for four lines versus two. If you’re in a situation where you have H2O wireless, are in a couple, and are comfortable with this plan it makes sense to go for the discount because it isn’t costing you anything, but there might be a better deal with one of the other MVNOs. 

Premium Plan

  • $36 per month
  • 15 GB high-speed data

H2O’s premium plan has a lot to offer. Fifteen gigabytes of data is a significant amount, letting you use a lot more data on social media, listening to music, and anything else before you run the risk of going through your allotted data. One of the nice things about H2O Wireless, and a lot of other MVNOs, is that they have a bunch of limited data plans at different price points. Each tier of H2O plan raises the cost by nine dollars a month, leaving the option open to err on the side of caution when you first activate your H2O SIM card and get a little more data than you think you would use. 

Most phones track your cellular data usage, so you can see the last few months and how much data you’ve used, but going an extra step is a good way to buffer your account just in case you use more data than you expect. If, after a few months, you are consistently using less data than one of the lower plans you can step down the ladder and start saving some extra money each month! 

Unlimited Plan

  • $45 per month
  • Unlimited high-speed data

Like all wireless companies, their “unlimited” tiers are not truly unlimited. For this plan, you receive 40 GB of high-speed data and if you go over you get relegated to the slow 128 kbps until the end of the cycle. While it is not “unlimited,” 40 GB is a lot! You can safely stream an hour of HD video on your data every day (which takes about 1 GB) and still have 10 GB leftover to use as you desire. 

Unlimited XL + 15 GB Hotspot

  • $54 per month
  • Unlimited high-speed data

The next tier starts to add some really nice extras on top of a whopping 60 GB of high-speed data on this unlimited plan. It is unlikely that you will use up all 60 GB of data each month, and if you do it might be worth checking out a major carrier and finding a plan that gives you true unlimited data. Still, it bears mentioning that it is very difficult to eat up 60 GB of data in one month’s time. 

On top of the data, this plan comes with a mobile hotspot. If you can get value out of a mobile hotspot then this plan is absolutely worth it as it adds the 15 GB of data for only $9. If, however, you don’t really see yourself using the hotspot data, then you likely do not need to ascend to this tier. 

Maxed Out Unlimited + 30 GB Hotspot

  • $63 per month
  • Unlimited high-speed data

Their most expensive plan, H2Os maxed out unlimited plan comes with 60 GB of high-speed data and 30 GB of hotspot data. If you use a lot of hotspot data on a regular basis, this is great value for a big plan and a lot of hotspot data as well. This plan is, however, a bit of an overkill if you don’t take advantage of all it has to offer. It is up to your discretion, but you can always try it out for a month or two and see if you need the hotspot and use a ton of mobile data on your phone as well. If you notice that you’re on Wi-Fi a lot and don’t need the extra stuff, then you can swing down to a lower-cost plan! 

H2O eSIM Compatability

When you activate your H2O SIM card you have the option to opt-in for an eSIM instead of the conventional physical SIM card. eSIMs are built into your device, allowing you to activate an H2O Wireless plan without having to ship out a SIM card. This takes the activation time of your H2O account down from a few hours to a few minutes. New phone models are outfitted with these SIM cards, allowing users to switch carriers almost effortlessly! At this moment, H2O only supports eSIMs on the following Apple devices: 

  • iPhone 13 series 
  • iPhone 12 series 
  • iPhone 11 series
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS, XS Max
  • iPhone SE 3rd Gen 

Benefits of Activating an H2O eSIM Card

If your phone can use an eSIM card, we recommend it! E-SIMs make it much easier to swap to a new carrier because you are able to download the new data onto your phone rather than waiting to receive the physical SIM and switch it yourself. WIth eSIMs, you can switch to H2O and activate your H2O SIM card with ease! 

An interesting benefit of eSIMs is that it allows your phone to have two SIM cards (one regular SIM and one eSIM). Because of this, your phone can have two phone numbers as well! While granted, most people don’t want to have two numbers and therefore two accounts, it can be beneficial for someone who wants a dedicated line for work, or if they are given a phone through their work and want a separate personal line. In the past, the go-to option was to carry around two phones, but an eSIM allows you to ditch the second phone and have both lines on one! 

The ability to have a second SIM card makes it easier to travel internationally. If you primarily use your eSIM your physical SIM slot can be vacant under normal circumstances. If you are going abroad, you can purchase a physical SIM card at your destination and set up a number in the new country! From there, you can use your normal number on Wi-Fi and switch to your other account when you are out and about! 

Phones are trending towards a switch to eSIM cards. From there, there is no need for a SIM tray and phones can get even lighter and sleeker. 

This is our article all about activating an H2O SIM card! We hope that you’ve got all your questions answered about activating your account and getting your phone up and running! There are so many phone companies, phones, and phone plans out there that it is easy to be overwhelmed by all the choices! Now that you are set on H2O wireless you can expect excellent coverage at an affordable price, no matter what plan you decide to get! 

You can always switch from plan to plan as you decide whether or not you need less or more data than you are currently receiving. With the increasing popularity of eSIMs on newer devices, you may even be able to switch between carriers with little fuss in the future!

Kyle Reyes
Kyles Reyes is a journalist from Pittsburgh, PA that specializes in the wireless industry, phone plan comparisons & advice.