Knowledge Base

I have no signal, why?

Started ‎05-02-2013 by
Modified ‎07-12-2018 by

Depending on your situation, there are several explanations to why you could have no signal:

Here is a quick video that will guide you through all the steps.

If you would rather read about it check out the section below:

More Information

If you activated your giffgaff SIM recently and never had any signal, the possible reasons are:

  • Your activation is incomplete
  • Your phone is locked to another operator

Incomplete activation

To check if your activation is complete, log in to the giffgaff website and head to My giffgaff. If your SIM activation has been successful, your number will be displayed under your member name. Moreover, the credit or goodybag you bought with your first top-up is displayed.

Note that the activation can take up to 24 hours to complete. If you still have none of the above after this 24 hour period, please contact an agent. Please give as much detail as possible so the agents can control the status of the activation of your SIM.

Your phone is locked to another operator

If you have an error message on your phone (eg.s "Invalid SIM", "Enter Network Unlock Key"), it is likely that your phone is locked to another operator. For more information about unlocking your phone, you can have a peek at our unlockapedia which is a handy guide to websites and advice to unlock specific phones.

If you've never had any issue using your giffgaff SIM until now and your service suddenly stopped, then the possible reasons are:

  • There is a service outage
  • Your phone is faulty or does not recognise the SIM any more
  • The SIM itself is faulty
  • Your SIM has been inactive for too long

Service outage

There are two ways to identify a service outage:

  • An outage is identified in your area by the mast service checker
  • The issue also affects other giffgaff and O2 SIMs in the same area. If you don't have another active SIM to verify, you can go to this board to see if there is another giffgaffer with the same issue in your area.

If there is an outage identified in your area, O2's engineers are already working on it and you will have to wait for them to restore the service.

Because giffgaff runs on the O2 mast network there are ways to report the issue by downloading and using the My Network App ( android / iTunes ). Just insert your postcode, follow the instructions and if there is no fault showing you can report your issue using the "I Disagree" button.

If your service issue is not resolved within a reasonable time you can ask one of our agents to request an update on the progress of your issue from O2 using this link here.

Check if your handset is faulty

Try using your SIM card in another unlocked (or O2 locked) handset, if it works your handset might have a fault, in this case you can try a hard reboot. On most smartphones, this involves pressing and holding down the "Power" and "Volume Up" buttons until the phone reboots. However on some Android phones, such as those that don't have external volume controls, may require that you press a different button, such as the "Home" or "Menu" button (please consult your phone manufacturers website for more information).

On most non-smartphones and some android smart phones where the battery can be removed, this involves removing the battery from the device whilst your handset is switched on.

For iPhones, press and hold the home and lock key for 10 seconds. It is also advisable at this stage to check that the SIM is clean.

Check if the SIM is faulty

If you have an error message on your handset (e.g. "SIM not recognised" or "SIM not valid") or if your SIM does not work when tried in another phone, do a standard SIM clean (which is just really giving the SIM card a wipe to ensure that there's no dirt on the card, being carefully not to scratch the gold chip).

Once you have cleaned your SIM, re-insert it into your phone. If you have activated successfully, your SIM should now be in full working order. If not, it is certainly faulty.

If your SIM is faulty, you will need to order a replacement SIM card. Please note that swapping your SIM card won't solve this particular issue.

Your SIM or account has been inactive for too long

For your SIM and account to remain active, you need to have completed at least one of the following actions within the last 6 months:

  • Make at least one call, SMS or MMS to another number *
  • Make at least one connection to the Internet
  • Make at least one Airtime Credit or goodybag / gigabag purchase

* This does not including calls to Emergency Services or Member Services

If none of the above actions have been done, then your number will have been disconnected and all remaining credit will have been lost.

If none of the above has helped solving your issue, please contact the agents. They will check your account for faults and then advise if a replacement SIM is required.

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