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How To Activate Mtn Sim Card?

Quick Summary

To activate an MTN SIM card, simply insert the new SIM card into your device and dial *141# or visit an MTN store to register it. You will receive a confirmation SMS once your SIM card is active. If you have lost or damaged your SIM card, or if it has been deactivated or blocked, follow the additional steps provided to complete a SIM swap. Remember to use your activated SIM card within 30 days to avoid deactivation.


Welcome to Askly, your go-to source for answers to common questions. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of activating an MTN SIM card in South Africa. Whether you have just purchased a new SIM or need to replace a lost or damaged one, we’ve got you covered.

Activating an MTN SIM card is essential before being able to use it for calls, texts, and data services. We understand that the activation process can sometimes be confusing or overwhelming with different sources providing varying information. That’s why we have compiled accurate and up-to-date steps from reliable external sources so that you can activate your MTN SIM card hassle-free.

So let’s dive into the details on how exactly you can get your MTN SIM up and running!

Note: The following steps are applicable specifically for users in South Africa using an MTN network provider.

How to Activate an MTN SIM Card

Activating your new MTN SIM card is a simple process that can be done in just a few steps. Follow the instructions below to get your SIM up and running:

1. Insert the new SIM card into your device:

Start by locating the slot for inserting your SIM card on your phone or tablet. Carefully insert the MTN SIM card into this slot, ensuring it fits securely.

2. Dial *141# or visit an MTN store to register your SIM card:

Once you have inserted the new sim, dial *141# from within South Africa using any mobile network operator’s number (MTN, Vodacom etc.). This will initiate registration of your newly acquired MTM Simcard.

3. Receive a confirmation SMS when Your SimCard is active

After completing step 2 above successfully, you should receive an sms notification confirming activation of your MTN line. The message may contain additional information such as available data bundles, airtime balance among others.

By following these three easy steps, you’ll have activated and registered your brand-new MTN SIM card. You are now ready to enjoy all the benefits and services offered by MTN South Africa!

Remember that after activation, the SIM must be used within 30 days or it will deactivate. So make sure you start using your SIM for calls, data usage, and other billable events before the thirty-day period expires.

If at any time during this process you encounter any difficulties or mistakes, it’s always a good idea to contact customer support at www.mtn.co.za. They are available to assist with any specific questions or concerns related to your activation success.

Additional Steps for Lost, Damaged, Deactivated, or Blocked SIM Cards

If you have lost or damaged your MTN SIM card, or if it has been deactivated or blocked for any reason, follow these additional steps to activate a new SIM and complete the necessary processes:

  1. Insert the new SIM card into your device:

    • Carefully remove the old SIM card from your device.
    • Gently insert the new MTN SIM card into its designated slot.
  2. Dial *141# to activate the new SIM:

    Once you have inserted the new MTN SIM card in your device, dial *141# on that same device’s keypad.

  3. Dial *173*3# to start the Sim Swap process:

    If you need to perform a sim swap due to loss, damage, deactivation, or being blocked, proceed with this step.

  4. Enter cellphone number and reason for swapping:

    You will be prompted by an automated system to enter both phone numbers (the one being swapped out as well as your current active cell phone number) along with other details like ID Number, etc.

  5. Receive an SMS with instructions:

    After entering all required information correctly, you’ll receive an SMS containing detailed instructions on how to continue with completing the Sim Swapping Process. It is important not to ignore this message.

  6. Answer security questions within 3 minutes:

    The next step involves answering some security questions related to your account, which must be answered accurately within three minutes after receiving them via SMS. This verification process ensures that only authorized individuals can carry out such swaps.

  7. Receive confirmation of successful swap:

    Once successfully completed, the network operator will send another text confirming whether or not the swap was successful. If everything went smoothly, you should now be able to use services associated with your old phone number on your new device.

Important Information about MTN SIM Card Activation

SIMs need to be activated individually and by inserting the SIM in a handheld device. When you purchase an MTN SIM card, it is important to insert it into your device for activation. This process ensures that your new SIM card can connect to the mobile network.

If you order an MTN SIM from a specific provider, it will typically be shipped already activated by default. This means that once you receive the SIM card, all you have to do is insert it into your device and start using it right away.

It’s crucial to note that after activating your MTN SIM card, you must use it within 30 days or else it will become deactivated. To keep your connection active and prevent any interruptions in service, make sure to create a billable event such as data usage or making calls during this period.

RICA Registration

RICA registration (KYC) is required for activating an MTN SIM card. This stands for “Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act.” RICA requires customers who want to activate a new SIM card to complete the necessary registration processes. This is done in order to comply with the law and ensure that the user is legitimate. It also helps to protect against fraudulent activities on the network. RICA requires proof of identity, address, and other personal information during the sign-up process. Once you have completed RICA registration, your MTN SIM will be activated and enjoy full connectivity services.

Flickswitch Activation

Flickswitch is an authorized provider who can supply, RICA, and activate MTN SIM cards. If you prefer a convenient and hassle-free activation process, you can rely on Flickswitch to assist you. They offer a service that includes activating your MTN SIM card, ensuring that it is compliant with RICA requirements, and delivering it to you within 3-5 business days. Plus, Flickswitch also offers support for any questions or issues related to the SIM activation process.

It’s important to note that MTN SIMs cannot be kept alive using recharges on the network. This means simply adding airtime or data bundles will not extend the validity of your SIM card if it has been deactivated due to inactivity. To keep your connection active, make sure to use your MTN SIM for revenue-generating activities within the specified timeframes.

Prepaid Airtime and Data Bundles

When it comes to prepaid airtime and data bundles, they have different expiry periods based on the amount purchased. The expiration dates can vary depending on how much airtime or data you buy at once. It is essential to always check with MTN about their current offerings and terms regarding prepaid plans.

Prepaid MTN SIM cards can also be used for data roaming when traveling abroad. However, data roaming charges apply as per normal rates set by MTN. Roaming rates may vary depending on the country of visit, so it is advisable to check the tariffs before using data while roaming. Data usage will be deducted from your prepaid data bundle if available. Otherwise, it will be billed against normal airtime balance.

Remember these key points when activating an MTN SIM card:

  1. SIMs need individual activation through insertion into a handheld device.
  2. MTN SIMs ordered from specific providers are shipped activated by default.
  3. Use your newly activated SIM within 30 days; otherwise, it may become deactivated.
  4. Make sure there is at least one revenue-generating event every 90 days to avoid deletion by the network.
  5. RICA registration is mandatory for activating an MTN SIM card.
  6. Flickswitch can assist with supplying, RICA, and activation of your MTN SIM card.
  7. MTN SIMs cannot be kept alive using recharges on the network.
  8. Prepaid airtime has different expiry periods based on the purchase amount, while prepaid data bundles have a standard 30-day expiration period.
  9. Prepaid MTN SIMs can be used for data roaming but are billed against normal airtime rates.

By following these guidelines, you will ensure that your MTN SIM card remains active and ready to use whenever you need it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to activate an MTN SIM card?

The activation process for an MTN SIM card is usually quick and straightforward. After inserting the new SIM card into your device, you can dial *141# or visit an MTN store to register your SIM. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation SMS indicating that your SIM card is active.

Can I activate my MTN SIM card online?

Unfortunately, at this time, there isn’t an option to activate your MTN sim online. The recommended methods are either by dialing *141# on your phone or visiting one of the nearest physical stores operated by MTN South Africa.

What happens if I don’t use my MTN SIM card within 30 days?

If you fail to use your activated MTN SIM within 30 days, it will be deactivated automatically. This means you won’t be able to make calls, send SMSes, or use data services. However, you can reactivate it by contacting the customer support team of MTN South Africa and following their instructions.

Can I activate a new SIM card if my old one is lost or damaged?

Yes. If you have lost or damaged your current MTN SIM card and need to replace it with a new one, the first step is to insert the new SIM into your device. Then, dial *141#, which is the activation code for new SIMs. You may also need to complete some additional steps like RICA registration (Registration of Identity) depending on the requirements of the provider. Once activated, your SIM will be ready to use again.

How do I complete the SIM swap process?

If you determine a need to swap out your current MTN SIM due to loss, damage, or deactivation, follow these steps. Firstly, insert the new SIM into your phone. Dial 173*3#. You’ll be prompted to enter the cellphone number for which you are doing the SIM swap and the reason for that swap. You’ll then receive an SMS with steps to complete the SIM swap process. Follow the instructions, including answering a set of security questions within 3 minutes to continue. Once your answers are validated, you will receive an SMS confirming if the SIM swap was successful.

What is RICA registration and why is it necessary?

RICA (Registration of Identity) registration is an important requirement in South Africa that mandates that all SIM cards be registered under a person’s identity. This measure was implemented by MTN and other network providers as part of government regulations to prevent fraudulent activities. RICA requires you to provide proofs of identification when activating a new SIM or upgrading from prepaid to postpaid services. It ensures accountability and reduces illegal activity on mobile networks.

Can I keep my old number when doing a SIM swap?

Yes, when you do a SIM swap with MTN South Africa, you have the option to keep your old number. During the process of swapping out your current SIM card for a new one, make sure to provide the cellphone number that you want to retain. This way, once the successful SIM swap has been completed by following all necessary steps provided in an SMS confirmation message from MTN South Africa, you will be able to continue using your existing phone number without any interruption or inconvenience.

Can I use my MTN SIM card for data roaming?

Yes, MTN SIMs can be used for data roaming. Data roaming allows you to use your MTN SIM card to browse the internet and send/receive messages while traveling abroad. However, it’s important to note that data roaming service charges apply, and they can vary depending on your destination country. Make sure to check with MTN South Africa about the applicable roaming rates and data bundles available for your travels.

How do I check the expiry date of my prepaid airtime or data bundle?

To check the expiration date of your prepaid airtime or data bundle, you can dial *141# on your phone and follow the prompts. This will provide you with information about your remaining balance as well as any applicable expiry dates for both voice minutes and data bundles. Alternatively, you can also log in to My MTN app or visit their official website at www.mtn.co.za to access detailed account information including expiration dates.


  1. https://www.seminarsonly.com/news/how-to-activate-mtn-sim-card-mobile-network-information-mtn-south-africa/
  2. https://flickswitch.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/23000013773-mobile-network-information-mtn-south-africa
  3. https://growtogather.co.za/how-to-activate-mtn-sim-card/

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