Cellular switch for beginners

I currently have an iPhone, live in the US. Can I order the Librem 5 and when it arrives, go to the at&t store and have them swap the sim over to the Librem from my iPhone while staying on the same cellular plan?

I’m a rookie and just need a basic tutorial on how to make the switch. I am ready to buy but want to make sure it will work.




You might be able to do the SIM swap without involving your carrier, and your service will transfer without issue (though if you have carrier specific AppleCare/insurance you might lose that as it’s often tied to keeping your SIM active in that specific device).

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Thank you!

So it’s that easy. I just wanted to be sure before purchase. I do not use apps and am comfortable in a linux environment. All I want are the hardware kill switches!

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And go with the A1 modem? For At&t service in the US?

That looks correct to me - you’ve have all LTE bands minus Band 30 (and any 5G offerings of course).

And yes it should be that easy, if you encounter issues then I’d head to the store - swapping the SIM in yourself and seeing if the APNs/service provider show in the settings first should be a quick enough way to check.

There are a few threads here about compatibility but they’re a bit older - check here for some concise details https://source.puri.sm/Librem5/community-wiki/-/wikis/Cellular-Providers

thank you very much

You will probably need to change the APN settings on your Librem 5 yourself manually since your carrier will not be able to run any scripts against your Linux phone. I would just copy the APN settings from your old phone to the Librem 5, after figuring out where they are on your L5. Just take the carrier’s SIM card out of your existing phone and put it in to your Librem 5 first. You may need to purchase a SIM adaptor or a SIM cutting tool if the SIM size on the Librem 5 does not match the carrier’s SIM size of your existing phone. If you damage your existing SIM, just take it in to their customer service center with your old phone.

I wouldn’t take the L5 in to any carrier’s store or customer service center, nor would I show it to them. I wouldn’t even tell them about it. They are likely to check the IMEI number of your phone against their database and tell you that your Librem 5 phone is not authorized on their network. If they see that you’re already using it on their network, they might de-activate your account. If you can find a way to do it, I would spoof the IMEI number of your Librem 5 to match the IMEI of your existing phone.


Those are some good points (manual APN possible being needed) but Im hesitant to agree with the carrier shutting down an account based on a trip to the store - thats vastly overestimating how much a retail worker cares over an IMEI (it could be used as a point to offer a new device/make a sale though)

Per the wiki the Librem 5 also takes a nano SIM, so no tooling or adapters necessary coming for an iPhone luckily :slight_smile:

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Unless it’s a really old iPhone e.g. iPhone 4 or older?

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With my L5, the carrier showed up automatically, just as in my Android. I’ve tested two different AT&T resellers (Red Pocket & Truphone) and they both set automatically.

AT&T, or MVNO/resellers of AT&T, will most likely be your best, if not only, option right now. T-mobile is retiring 3G in 2021, and since the available L5 modem for the U.S. currently does not have VoLTE capability enabled, you will not be able to make and receive phone calls over 3G anymore. (And will be unable to connect by voice over LTE/4G.)

In a little over a year, you’ll encounter the same problem with AT&T, as they retire their 3G network also.

In the meantime, we in the U.S. are all hoping that Purism will get VoLTE enabled on the current U.S. modem, or maybe make an additional, capable modem available.


See I thought I had seen/heard where it would autopopulate but wasnt sure, thanks Amarok!

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And if for some reason it doesn’t with this or any phone, you can always find AT&T’s APN settings online. Or the MVNO’s. Usually no reason to trek down to the storefront.

You can also check the IMEI for compatibility on AT&T’s website. If it says it’s compatible, you should have no problem getting a store employee to activate a SIM card in the phone.

I’m not certain, but I doubt the IMEIs for these modems will show up in the carriers’ databases, so they would reject them (us) outright. I’m only guessing, though.