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vrypan — Panayotis Vryonis
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A "dual" SIM setup with older iPhones (not X+).

You can use two iPhones (one can be a quite old one) and carry only one with you.

The Problem

I have one personal SIM (SIM A) and one provided by my employer (SIM B). My business SIM has a generous post-paid package that includes voice, data, roaming when I travel, etc, so this is the one I use on my iPhone 6s. However, my personal SIM number is the one my friends and family knew for years, and it is also the one used by a couple services like transaction notifications by my bank.

I wanted a way to carry ONLY my iPhone 6s loaded with my business SIM and still receive calls and text messages sent to my personal SIM.

Yes, I know that iPhone Xs/Xr will be dual SIM, but I don't have one (yet...), so I wanted to find a solution based on was was available to me. Also note that the solution described bellow could work with more than two SIMs :-)

The Solution

First of all, I loaded SIM A (my personal SIM) on an old iPhone 4s (which I will call phone A).

Receiving calls.

This was easy. I just redirected number A to number B. (Since call forwarding is usually charged as a call from one number to the other, I converted my personal SIM to a pre-paid one on the same operator as my business SIM, so I only have to pay a small amount to keep it alive and cover the on-net calls cost.)

Keep in mind that call forwarding from number A to B is performed by the operator, so once you set it up it will work even if you don't have SIM A in a phone -but in our case, we will leave it on phone A.

Receiving text messages

Since forwarding text messages from one number to an other is not a service provided by my operator (is there any operator that offers this?), it took me some time to figure this out.

It turns out that the solution is quite simple. First, I signed in to my iCloud account on both phones and I enabled Messages->iMessage.

Screenshots of iMessage settings

Then I enabled Messages -> Text Message Forwarding on phone A it (iPhone 4s) to forward text messages to phone B (iPhone 6s).

Also, I made sure that Messages -> Send and Receive had both number A and number B checked under "You can receive iMessages to and reply from" on phone B. This makes sure that any iMessages sent to my personal phone number are also delivered to my business phone number.

After I configured the above, I just left phone A at home, plugged into power (the battery is at the end of its life anyway, and connected to my home wifi.

Now, all calls, text messages and iMessages sent to phone A (at home) are also delivered to phone B which I carry on me.


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