I recently received a new SIM card from the telecommunications service provider I switched to (I kept my mobile number). This is what I have done so far:

  1. Went through the "activate SIM online" process
  2. Powered off my mobile
  3. Replaced SIM cards
  4. Started my mobile again

The mobile appears to have detected the new SIM alright (I can see the new provider's name) but it says "emergency calls only". I checked with the new provider's support and they said it may take up to an hour to get activated.

Now I am wondering, do I need to reboot my phone again before the new SIM can connect to the network, or are there other means of forcing the SIM to try to reconnect, such as

  • switching mobile data off and on again,
  • turning on flight-mode temporarily
  • ...anything else?
  • What happened in the end?
    – aBochur
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 5:54
  • Nothing much you can do here. It's "hanging" at the provider's end. With the activation process you "confirmed" the card, and now its data need to be fed into the networks "authorization system" to be accepted. My guess is it's that distribution process that keeps you stuck. But unless they send those data by "carrier pidgeon" (well, it's a carrier after all ;) this process should be finished by now, and your device should have started to work automatically. Can you confirm?
    – Izzy
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 7:57
  • @Abochur: At this point, I'm still waiting. I contacted support again and they told me that it can take up to 48 hours because of the number transfer and I should keep using my old SIM until it stops working, which kind of supersedes my question altogether, as it was about keeping the new SIM in the mobile until it
    – FriendFX
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 23:32
  • @Izzy: see my previous comment. I'm a bit lost as to what I should do with A bochur's answer, as I can't prove or disprove it this way... remember, my question was about needing a reboot to activate the "activated" SIM.
    – FriendFX
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 23:32
  • 1
    @Izzy: yeah. To be honest I think it's my old provider not "wanting to let me go"... ;-) they were pretty dodgy in general. But you're right, the new one's support contradicted themselves... which may be due to the fact that the first time I contacted them they may have forgotten that it's a number transfer rather than a new number. And reading their FAQ also confirmed the 48 hours.
    – FriendFX
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 23:39

1 Answer 1


Usually a new sim card, before activation, will not be recognized by the phone at all (it will either say 'no service', or 'no Sim')

So, being that your phone recognized the carrier, it must be that the Sim is fully functional, and the reason that it says emergency calls only, is because the number wasn't fully ported, as you have stated.

Your phone should be able to detect automatically, the ability to make calls. If it doesn't, then going into airplane mode for a moment should do the trick.

You can also keep trying to start a call, this will make the phone look for connection

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