Librem AweSIM extended service outage

Last night I received the following update via email from Purism:

"Dear valued AweSIM subscriber,

Due to incompatible contract negotiations in opposition to the strict privacy and security mission of Purism, we have unfortunately incurred a temporary carrier outage for the AweSIM services.

We are actively researching the best options to restore service. Your account will be credited for the duration of the service outage. As a note of our appreciation for your business, we will also offer you a month of free service after service is restored.

We sincerely apologize for the disruption of service and will provide timely updates to inform you of its resolution.

Thank you for your continued patience and support.

Purism, SPC."

I am hoping we can start a discussion about the future of AweSIM as it has been great for the nearly 6 months I have been using it as my daily. Aside from some issues in rural areas and smaller cities that T-Mobile contracts a third party to manage the tower causing issues with access, the service has been stellar. Does anyone have any more info on the issue(my emails asking for info have not been replied to yet)? Hopefully this issue gets resolved quickly.


No, thank you for sharing this on behalf of Purism.


I had a meeting this morning between leadership and a potential replacement carrier. This is all happening in real-time, so support is awaiting feedback from us to inform customers. I’m constructing the messaging for the next email broadcast right now, so you’ll receive additional guidance via email shortly (today, PST, but no exact ETA right now).

Update: Awaiting messaging approval from leadership.

Update 2 (Saturday 6pm PST): The mass email messaging is still pending approval. I’ll work with operations to publish it ASAP once this happens. I apologize for the delay.

Update 3 (Sunday 11310am PST): Now awaiting operations with access to the active subscriber list to send out the mass email. ETA 4-5pm today, but could be earlier.


@JCS please keep the updates flowing! Like @turtledove, AweSIM and a L5 are my daily driver. I understand the complexities of contracting & passing messaging through leadership, but I am effectively phoneless until this gets resolved - which is a big deal personally and professionally. Please keep us updated regularly!


FWIW the communication this time is much better than last time this happened.


The latest email from AweSIM basically says:

  • They found a potential new carrier
  • They’re going to test on Tuesday, 2/27
  • They’re going to expeditiously send new SIM cards to everyone
  • The new SIMs will have a new phone number that matches your old area code
  • They can’t transfer your old number… yet?

The last one drives me crazy. If all I cared about was having a cell phone then I could run out & buy a prepaid burner phone immediately. My cell number is my cell service because it’s the only number associated with countless personal accounts & contacts. As far as I’m concerned, this outage doesn’t end until Purism figures out the porting details.


Below is the email that was sent out:

Dear valued customer,

Purism has identified and initiated a conditional business partnership with a promising replacement carrier for the AweSIM service. The partnership is reliant on quick-response product compatibility testing for Librem 5 devices and BM818-A1 (North America) modems. The carrier has been sympathetic and responsive to the critical outage we are currently experiencing and is fully compliant with the rigorous privacy and security requirements and expectations of the AweSIM service.

Hardware compatibility testing of new SIMs will be conducted on Tuesday. If the tests are satisfactory, the new SIMs will be expeditiously provisioned, activated, and shipped to customers.

Bidirectional phone number porting is not available at this time, but we understand the importance of this feature and are working diligently to make this option available. To regain service continuity, replacement SIMs will be shipped to AweSIM subscribers with pre-loaded phone numbers containing the same area code as their current phone number. Porting existing numbers is not yet possible and we will update once we have porting details.

*** To accelerate receipt of your new SIM, please confirm your shipping address via email to ***

We appreciate your continued support and patience as we resolve this outage.

Purism, SPC.

I understand the need for testing and the ongoing negotiations, but I agree 100% with @motorcyclemouse that the outage cannot be considered resolved until numbers are ported. This causes tremendous stress on me personally and professionally as my number is tied to so many things over the decades. A new number is simply not an option.


How odd, I didn’t get an email. Service is definitely out for me though.

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I’d suggest the usual - check your spam folder, etc. You also might want to check your contact info at

Also, I’d email, let them know you are affected, and give the address they should send the new SIM to.


I understand what you are getting at but maybe some kind of forwarding would be adequate until they can get porting sorted out.


Given that this is the second time that a US carrier (MNO? MVNO?) has let the Purism AweSIM service down, it seems to me that eSIM should be in the frame for the design of Librem 5 v2. That way at least the reprovisioning could be basically automatic.

(Is anyone using AweSIM on a phone other than the Librem 5? If so, maybe eSIM is already an option.)


I am sorry to hear that. Thank you for posting. I hope this gets worked out as I was just considering switching to AweSIM.


This is strange, as the email distribution list was derived from the list of active subscriber accounts. Send me a private message with the email you have associated with your account, and I can ask operations to verify that you’re in distribution list. If you are, there may be a technical issue or the email being filtered.


This could work. Whatever it takes so that I don’t have to tell people to change my number in their contacts. Not having service has been tranquil, so I don’t mind the temporary outage. However, the strain of changing numbers on my social network is not acceptable. If it can’t be fixed on your end, at least let me port my number out to something like… braces self… Google Voice… so I can respond to texts/calls, even if I can only do so via WiFi.


It looks like phone number port-out is possible but labor-intensive (e.g. one at a time for every AweSIM subscriber - I’m not aware of the reason why it cannot be batched) and reliant on processing delays outside of Purism’s control.

Operations department conducting a number port-out test:

I should be able to get port-out PINs but very slowly. I requested one this morning and they still haven’t given it to me.

Please standby for further updates.


I completely agree with you. The phone number associated with my AweSIM account is the ONLY phone number I’ve had for probably 15 years. The extra kick in the nuts is that people have told me that when texting me, they’re been notified that they’ve been blocked which makes me look like an absolute dirtbag. I did notice when sending texts, I would get the following (and I’m assuming they’re getting something similar), “Free Msg: Unable to send message - Message Blocking is active.”


I had no idea that people were being notified that they were blocked when they tried to text message me. I found out today through a third party that several very important people with whom I was negotiating an important deal said that they were “very mad” at me. This explains it.

Sorry, Purism. I wanted to help you and your cause, but I’m out (edit: I’m out of AweSIM; the Librem 5 is great by itself). I absolutely cannot risk this happening again. I love the idea of privacy and Linux, but a phone that I can rely on is more important.

There has to be more to this story than “Golly gee whiz, our contract with T-Mobile fell apart because they wouldn’t agree to our privacy terms”. Really? You just found out about this now? I doubt it. Purism had an opportunity to notify AweSIM users that a shutdown might be looming so that we could prepare but no - Purism decided that it’s easier to beg for forgiveness.

This “expeditious” replacement SIM card better arrive by overnight FedEx, but we all know that it won’t.

@ArthurFleck , another kick in the balls is that I have dozens of 2FA tied to my old number.


6 posts were split to a new topic: AweSIM outage chat and speculation

@JCS Is there any word on the testing from today?

And has anything come of this?


After reading this, I contacted people who often text me just to make sure they didn’t think I’d blocked them. Thanks for the heads up!