Many Twitter users shared this information, including Mark Gurman, an Apple leaker, and a Bloomberg reporter, who described their experiences dealing with the bug. The problem is limited to just two networks.
There is a very nasty iPhone and @TMobile bug where iMessage and FaceTime for a device’s phone number will randomly deactivate and there is no way to reactivate it. The only solution that worked for me is getting a new physical SIM card. An extremely disappointing issue.— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) May 19, 2022
Problem with the eSIM
According to 9-5 Mac, this problem only affects the eSIM cards. If you forget your SIM card, a SIM card allows you to use your phone to send and receive text messages.
The purpose of the eSIM chip is to make setting up an iPhone easier. This bug only affects iPhones with iOS 15.4, 15.5, 15.6 beta 1, or 15.5.
T-Mobile and Verizon seem to have known about the bug. Gurman was among those who reached out to their carriers for help. Apple has yet to release a patch or acknowledge the bug.
Gurman suggests inserting a physical SIM card into your iPhone to prevent the bug.
You may also have your eSIM removed and a new one issued. Gurman cautions against this because it is too difficult for most people.
Another solution flagged to me by some is removing your eSIM account from the iPhone and setting that up again. But that’s complex for most people and shouldn’t need to ever to be done. Not being able to send and receive texts is obviously not ideal. Not “it just works.”— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) May 19, 2022
One user described his experience with T-Mobile issuing eSIMs. T-Mobile was unable to activate the last one after 30 minutes. T-Mobile then had to restart the line.
Apple has not yet addressed this problem. TechRadar reached out to Verizon and Apple to get clarifications and will update this story with their replies.