Knowledge Base

Sim activated on unlocked phone but no signal or anything?

Started by: mundo78
On: 13/02/2019 | 17:46
Replies: 16

by: mundo78
on: 13/02/2019 | 17:46

Hi, I've just purchased a new sim cos the last one hasn't been used for over 6 months. I activated sim, got an email saying its activated, dashboard shows my number and says everything's ready. But still nothing... No signal. Any ideas please? Surely the phone is unlocked cos it worked last time I got a sim. 

Thanks in advance 

Message 1 of 17
by: nigelbrooks
on: 13/02/2019 | 17:56




OK, let's firstly eliminate 'possibilities'.
Going through this list step-by-step will isolate the problem to either your phone or to the network.
Feel free to skip any parts that you have already tried, e.g. 'was your SIM working previously?'
Sorry, it is a bit of a 'list', it is a 'catch all possibilities' reply but it will certainly  help you to pinpoint the problem.

Firstly, if you have just activated your SIM it can take up to 24 hours for the full activation process to complete, a periodic restart will help.
Have you restarted your device since the problem became evident? This simple action often clears 'problems'.
If you have an iPhone, please try a resync with iTunes.

Do you have an active goodybag? Please dial *100*7# to check
Do you have credit?  (needed if you don't have a goodybag or for any international calls/texts)  Please dial *100# to check

Are there local service issues? Please enter your FULL postcode here to check

If service issues are shown you can use the same site to register for updates on the resolution of these.
Was your giffgaff SIM working previously?

Is your device actually unlocked (or at least locked to O2)? Even an unactivated giffgaff SIM will display signal bars/dots and will not request a 'network PIN', 'SIM unlock code' or display a 'SIM not supported' message on an unlocked phone.

Do you get any signal bars?   No signal bars is a pretty clear sign that the device is still locked to a network other than O2 / giffgaff.

Have you tried / can you please try the SIM in another (definitely unlocked) device? If it works then your device is still locked and you need to either contact the previous network on which the device was used or a good mobile unlocking service.
If your phone continues to show an 'unavailable' message with a different sim card I would recommend that you visit to check the IMEI status of your phone (alternatively which is a free website). If your device was purchased second hand it is possible that it is blacklisted (and has been reported as lost or stolen).

It could be that your SIM is 'failing in service'. Rare but it does happen

 This is easy to resolve.
Please order a new SIM from:
When it arrives, you will need to perform a simple SIMswap.

Your current number and any goodybag / credit will transfer as part of the process.
Don't forget to back up any contacts on your SIM as these do not transfer as part of the process.

I hope that this helps you to solve the problem.

Get a free giffgaff Sim
I donate 100% of my SIM activation payback to charity, please help me boost the donation
Message 2 of 17
by: mangowalk
on: 13/02/2019 | 17:57
hi there
Check your settings and the signal in your area
See this link to guide which covers all makes of smart phones
*If settings are ok but still no service, Check your network coverage status via link to see whether there are outages or faults with the network signal (EDGE, 2G, 3G, and 4G) in your area.
Simply enter your postcode link for local status

NOTE! The information is updated hourly, so it’s worth checking a few times as your particular issue may not show up first time.
*If the signal is good try doing a manual roam… see link below for full guide which allows you to select the network provider manually


*Also turn your phone on to Airplane mode and ON and OFF every 30mins to update the gg signal
Message 3 of 17
by: mundo78
on: 15/02/2019 | 22:46

It is still not working . If I used a giff gaff sim last year with no problems.... I really don't understand 

Message 4 of 17
by: sloz
on: 15/02/2019 | 22:49
Hi, did you place the new sim in your phone before you started the sim swap?
And did your phone show a signal?

What do you hear exactly when you call your number from another phone?

Do you have another unactivated giffgaff sim card?
Get a free giffgaff Sim
Message 5 of 17
by: mundo78
on: 15/02/2019 | 22:51





It's connected to giff gaff as far as I can see. 

Message 6 of 17
by: mundo78
on: 15/02/2019 | 22:59
What do you mean.. Before I started the sim swap?
Message 7 of 17
by: sloz
on: 15/02/2019 | 23:38
So you don't see your old number next to your username here
Http:// ?

Did you top up or buy a goodybag during the activation process?

What do you hear exactly when you call the number shown on your account page?

From your phone keypad dial *100*7# and press call
Do the same with *100#

What word or words do you see on the phone screen?
Get a free giffgaff Sim
Message 8 of 17
by: mundo78
on: 16/02/2019 | 00:27

On dashboard I see new number

I bought a goody bag prior to activating the sim. 
What do you hear exactly when you call the number shown on your account page? I hear welcome to giffgaff voicemail, this person is not available right now. Please leave a message. 

Tried both them numbers it says on screen.... Mobile network not available. 



Message 9 of 17
by: sloz
on: 16/02/2019 | 00:37
When you say you purchased a goodybag prior to activating the sim
Do you mean you purchased a goodybag at the time you ordered the sim?

. Do you have another unactivated giffgaff sim card?
Get a free giffgaff Sim
Message 10 of 17