Wondering why is the Telstra Pre-Paid activation not working? Well, this guide will help!
The Telstra Pre-Paid physical SIM card must be activated to be recognised by the Telstra network and start providing reception to your device.
A failed activation process typically indicates a fault with your device’s settings or the SIM.
If the Telstra Pre-Paid activation failed multiple times in a row, toggle the Airplane mode ON and OFF, reinsert the SIM and clear the APN settings.
Let’s learn in detail.
Why is My Telstra Prepaid Activation Not Working?
Here’s what could cause the failed Telstra Pre-Paid SIM activation:
Those are the general factors. There is much more involved, so jump into the solution steps!
Telstra Pre-Paid Activation Not Working – 10 Easy Steps
Tip: Follow the steps in chronological order.
1. Correct the SIM Serial Number
Upon signing up for Telstra Pre-Paid, you will be delivered a subscription package containing information such as the SIM number, a payment receipt and subscription details.
So, during the activation, you will be prompted to verify the SIM with the SIM Serial Number.
Here’s how to undergo the Telstra Pre-Paid activation using the correct SIM number:
- Go to Telstra’s Activation Page on a laptop or computer.
- Next, select “Pre-Paid” and press on the “Activate” button.
- Next, fill out the required personal identification prompt.
- Select whether you want to transfer or set a new number.
- Insert the SIM serial number located on your delivery box.
- Select “Verify” and follow the instructions to set up the SIM.
Note: The SIM Serial Number has 13 digits!
2. Toggle Airplane Mode ON/OFF
Activating and then deactivating the Airplane mode shortly after is an excellent method for addressing reception issues with the mobile device.
As established earlier, one of the primary reasons for the SIM activation’s failure is an unstable connection to the cellular Telstra network.
How to Enable Airplane Mode On Android?
- Open the “Settings” app on your Android device.
- Scroll down and locate the “Airplane Mode” tab.
- Enter the section and press the activation slider.
- Wait for 15 seconds and deactivate the Airplane.
- Next, check the SIM status of your Android device.
How to Enable Airplane Mode On Apple’s iOS?
- Navigate to the home screen of the iOS device.
- Swipe downwards from the top of the screen.
- Tap the Airplane icon and wait for 5 seconds.
- Tap the Airplane icon to deactivate the feature.
- Check the SIM status of your Apple iOS device.
Alert: Your mobile device will lose all cellular capabilities while the Airplane mode is active!
3. Power Cycle the Mobile Device
If the issue with the Telstra Pre-Paid SIM card activation persists, it is firmly recommended to perform a power cycle on the mobile device.
The power circulation is an excellent resolution if your device appears as “Offline” during the activation and the procedure fails unexpectedly.
Here’s how to perform a power cycle on your mobile device:
- Hold the Power button on the side panel of your device.
- Set the “Power Off” or “Shut Down” option in the menu.
- Wait until the mobile powers off and plug it into the A/C.
- Wait for 60 seconds and hold the “Power” button again.
- Once your Telstra mobile reboots, inspect the coverage.
Note: Avoid attempting to undergo the activation procedure while the device is low on battery!
4. Transfer your Existing Number
If you’re transferring from an alternative carrier, you will be prompted to either transfer your existing number or create a new Telstra mobile number.
With Telstra Pre-Paid, you will be offered to receive a brand new number, but transferring your existing one is always preferable.
Follow these instructions to transfer your existing Telstra number:
- Open the Telstra SIM Activation Page through a browser.
- Select “Pre-Paid” on the drop-down menu and tap “Activate.”
- Fill out the personal identification prompts that will appear.
- Select “Transfer Existing Numbers” from the options below.
- Fill out the 10 digits of your existing carrier mobile number.
- Follow the instructions to finalise the SIM activation procedure.
Note: Verify that your mobile number is no longer associated with your previous mobile carrier!
5. Erase the Current APN Details
If your mobile’s APN is set to a different carrier’s preferences, activating the Telstra Pre-Paid SIM will likely be unsuccessful.
By erasing the current APN preferences of your devices, it will temporarily lose reception until the inserted Telstra SIM is activated successfully.
How to Erase APN On Android?
- Open the “Settings” app on your Android device.
- Navigate to “Mobile Networks” → “AP Names.”
- Tap “Menu” and select the existing APN setup.
- Select each field and delete the allocated data.
- Save the changes and exit the Android APN tab.
How to Erase APN On iOS?
- Open the “Settings” app on the iPhone device.
- Select “Mobile Data” → “Mobile Data Options.”
- Select each APN field and delete the settings.
- Once erased, save the APN iPhone changes.
- Observe the SIM indicator on your iOS device.
Note: The APN settings will be automatically configured after the Telstra SIM’s activation!
6. Correct the Personal Information
A non-valid or improper address will prevent the activation of your Telstra Pre-Paid SIM card.
You will be prompted during the setup procedure to include a valid Australian ID and existing address related to your name for Telstra to verify and activate your Pre-Paid SIM.
Ensure the following when completing the ID prompt:
- Your Identification document is valid.
- All personal fields are aligned properly.
- Your real address information is correct.
Note: International credit cards and expired identification documents are not accepted.
7. Register a New Telstra Number
If your current or previous number is no longer compatible with your mobile subscription, you can always register for a new number with Telstra Pre-Paid.
While activating the SIM card, you will be prompted to register a new number or use your current one.
Here’s how to receive a new Telstra number during the Pre-Paid SIM activation:
- Go to Telstra’s Activation Page on your mobile device.
- Tap/click the drop-down slider and choose “Pre-Paid.”
- Press the “Activate” button below to start the SIM setup.
- Fill out the personal information prompts and tap “Next.”
- Choose “Register New Number” from the options below.
- Follow the on-screen steps to acquire a Telstra number.
Note: Your current number will deactivate upon registering and activating the new Telstra number.
8. Insert the Telstra Pre-Paid SIM
One of the reasons why the activation of your Telstra Pre-Paid SIM is failing could be because you haven’t inserted the SIM card into a functional mobile device.
Not inserting the SIM card during the activation procedure will disallow the recognition process conducted by Telstra.
So, open the SIM tray on your mobile device, typically located on the side panel and check if the Pre-Paid Telstra SIM card is positioned correctly.
Reminder: Remove any obstructions or dust accumulation from the compartment that could prevent precise and proper contact.
9. Check the Cellular Coverage
Improper cellular coverage of the mobile device currently using the Pre-Paid Telstra SIM could prevent the activation procedure from finalising.
If your smartphone constantly loses network reception, it will not be recognised by Telstra, so it will not be appropriately activated.
Here are methods to improve the cellular reception of your mobile:
- Move away from other wireless devices or transmitters.
- Dislocate cellular obstructions that block the reception.
- Switch the mobile data from “3G” to “4G” and vice versa.
- Move away from thick wooden or concrete compartments.
You can track the status of the device’s cellular connectivity by checking how many of the SIM bars are filled on the top right or left corner of your device’s screen.
Telstra recommends having a reception of at least 2 SIM bars for optimal connection and activation.
Note: A non-working cellular tower or outage in your area can temporarily degrade the signal.
10. Reset Your Network Settings
The Network Settings Reset will erase all remembered Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular settings on your mobile, including the APN.
Improperly configured network settings or incompatible APN addresses will ultimately prevent Telstra from detecting the SIM card during the procedure.
How to Network Reset Android Mobile?
- Open the “Settings” app on your Android mobile.
- After that, navigate to “Reset” → “Network Reset.”
- Input the Android device’s PIN to start the process.
- Wait until the APN and network options are reset.
How to Network Reset Apple iOS Mobile?
- Launch the “Settings” application on your iPhone/iPad.
- Go to “General” and scroll to the bottom of the section.
- Next, access the “Transfer or Reset [Device]” section.
- Choose “Network Settings Reset” and follow the steps.
Alert: Do not press any buttons or interact with the device while the reset continues!
If the Telstra Pre-Paid activation not working, toggle ON/OFF the Airplane Mode on your mobile device and inspect the cellular coverage.
If the problem is still there, transfer the existing mobile number, register a new Telstra number and/or reset the network settings.
Follow us for more Telstra guides and solutions!
Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues. Check out more about him here.