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How to Activate a SIM Card

Activating a SIM card online can make switching carriers a lot easier, and in most cases, eliminate the need to pay an activation fee.

As a former SIM card distributor, I have activated many SIM cards. In this post, We’ll go over the steps required to activate any SIM card. This post will serve as a general guideline to help us understand the process of activating a SIM and some common troubleshooting tips.

The Common Way to Activate a SIM Cards

The typical way to activating a SIM card is to visit a cellular shop. The benefit of taking this route is that a salesperson helps us choose a plan, gives recommendations, and then activates our SIM and charges an activation fee. However, if we’re frequently switching between carriers and tend to “bring your own phone” (BYOP), then we can benefit from activating our own SIM card. It also doesn’t mean that we can’t contact customer support if we run into a problem.

My preferred method of activating a SIM card is online because it’s faster, convenient, and sometimes cheaper. Before getting into the steps of activating a SIM card, check Amazon for free SIM cards.

Shopping for SIM Cards and How to Get One for Free

As part of my SIM card distribution business, I was more than willing to give my SIM cards away for free because I made money when the SIM gets activated. But, there was a problem, individuals and especially businesses abused this offer by neglectfully requesting SIM cards and never doing anything with them. That led me to set limitations on who gets free SIM cards, especially on my Amazon store.

My SIM cards on Amazon were being sold for just $0.01, but I had a limit of one SIM card per customer. Although I don’t sell on Amazon anymore, there exist other distributors who offer free SIM cards.

Follow These Steps To Activate Any SIM Card

1. Confirming that the SIM card being activated is the right size

Before activating a SIM card, we need to first check that the SIM card fits into the SIM card slot. SIM card sizes are standard, micro, and nano. SIM cards can be cut using a SIM card cutter or a razor as long as the chip stays intact.

2. SIM cards are only good for one-time use

It worth noting that a SIM card can only be activated once. If, for some reason, a SIM card gets deactivated, then a new SIM card must be obtained to reactivate service.

3. Confirming cell phone and SIM card compatibility

Some cell phones are carrier locked and cannot be used with any random SIM card. Before activating our SIM card, we should confirm that the cell phone being used is supported or unlocked. For example, an AT&T locked cell phone will only accept an AT&T SIM card and will reject other SIM cards unless it’s unlocked.

4. Gathering account information to switch to another provider

Before switching carriers, we will need to gather some required account information to verify the transfer request.

Accounts locked in a contract need to provide the account holder’s SSN, address, account number, password, and of course the phone number being transferred.

Prepaid accounts need only provide the account number, account password, and the phone number is transferred.

The requirement to provide the account holder’s SSN is required by the current service provider to release the phone number. They require all this information to verify the account being transferred, so any typos or mistakes can delay the process.

5. Choosing a cell phone plan

Before activating a SIM card, we must choose a plan. We can choose monthly or pay-as-you-go as long as we know which cell phone plan we want.

6. Payment method

Having a payment method is required for activating a SIM card online. Although we might not pay an activation fee, we still must pay for the first month of service, unless we’re activating a preloaded SIM card.

7. Choosing a desired area code

When activating a new SIM card or changing a phone number, area codes are determined by the zip code provided during the request.

8. Activating a SIM Card Online

Once we have verified the above requirements, we are ready to start the activation process.

The first step is to go to the new service provider’s website and search for an “activate” link or use the search form. In most cases, we’ll be required to create a free account before activating the SIM card. The rest is just following the on-screen instructions.

However, we can always get contact customer support if we stumble into a problem. Some providers have 24 hours online customer support while others only have agents available during their business hours.

Carrier Specific SIM Card Activation Tutorials

In this section of the post, I will go over specific SIM card activation instructions for some carriers.

Activate A SIMPLE Mobile SIM Card

To activate your Simple Mobile SIM card, visit http://www.simplemobile.com/activate.

On the first screen, enter the SIM card number on the back of the card and hit “continue.”

Use the first option to activate your SIM card on a new number or use the third option to transfer an existing phone number.

Enter the information that applies to your type of activation and then pay for the first month of service. More on Simple Mobile SIM card activation.

Activating an Ultra Mobile SIM [Purple or Orange SIM cards]

For an Ultra Mobile SIM card activation, there are two types of SIM cards: a purple SIM card, which is just a regular SIM card. An Orange SIM card, which includes the first month of service for free.

To activate a purple SIM card, start by visiting  https://my.ultramobile.com/activation and choose the purple SIM card option. On the next screen, enter the 19 digit SIM card number on the back of the SIM card and click the “Start Activation” button. Next, choose between activating a SIM card with a new number or transferring an existing number.

Ultra Mobile Purple SIM card: Enter the requested information and move on to the next step to pay for your first month of service.

Ultra Mobile Orange SIM card: To activate an Ultra Mobile Orange SIM card, select the Orange SIM card option. Flip your Orange SIM card over and scratch the faded area to reveal the fast-act code and then enter it in the given input field. On the next screen, select the area code you want by providing a zipcode.

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