4 Ways To Deal With Airtel SIM Not Working In USA

airtel sim not working in usa
airtel sim not working in usa

Though not one of the big 3 in telecommunications in the US, Airtel still manage to secure a decent amount of new custom every year. Overall, they have proven to be a pretty reliable company in every country they operate in, with issues rarely if ever cropping up.

Basically, they normally deliver everything that you would expect from a decent telecommunications company, and for a reasonable price.

However, we do realise that there wouldn’t be much of a chance that you would be here reading this if everything was working as it should be. Unfortunately, with telecommunications, there is always a slight chance that something can go awry at any time. So, don’t take this issue as a reflection of Airtel in general.

These things just happen every now and then. In recent times, we have noticed that quite a few of you have taken to the boards and forums to ask why your Airtel SIM card doesn’t seem to work in the USA.

In most cases, this will be an easy enough issue to fix and one that can be done by anyone, regardless of their level of tech skill. So, to help you do just that, we have put together the following troubleshooting guide.

What To Do If Your Airtel SIM Won’t Work In The US

  1. Check the Installation of the SIM

Check the Installation of the SIM

As we always do with these guides, we will kick things off with the simplest and most likely tip to fix the issue. That way, we won’t accidentally waste your time with the more finnicky stuff. So, the first thing to check is the SIM card itself.

Every now and then, your phone can take a knock that just displaces the SIM ever so slightly, but enough to stop it working as it should. It is also possible that you mat have put the SIM card in wrong if you had it out for any reason recently. In either case, this is the first thing that we should have a look at.

So, to rule this probable cause out, you will need to grab a pin and take the SIM card out of your phone. As you are doing so, you should notice that the Airtel SIM is designed in such a way that it shows you the exact direction that it should be installed in.

Make sure that you follow this direction and then try the phone again straight afterwards. Once the phone has booted up again, you should notice that everything is back up and running as it should be. If not, it is time to try something else.

  1. Reinsert the SIM Tray

Reinsert the SIM Tray

Now that we have checked to make sure the direction of the SIM is correct, the next thing we can assume is wrong is the positioning of the tray itself. So, rather than trying to make minor adjustments, we would recommend taking out the entire tray and then putting it back in its correct place again.

When you are taking out the tray, the technique you will need to employ is sticking a pin into the phone’s pinhole. Once the pin is in, it should only take a small bit of pressure for it to trigger the SIM tray to pop out. All you need to do from here is to pull it out ever so gently at the correct angle.

This shouldn’t take any pressure to do. If you do end up putting too much pressure on it, all sorts of negative effects can follow, so do be careful. Once you are done, just simply slide it back in again, making sure that it goes back at the right angle. Once done, try the phone again to see is your Airtel SIM working again.

  1. Make sure the SIM is Active

Make sure the SIM is Active

If the above two steps didn’t do anything to rectify the issue, the next most likely thing is that the SIM card may not have been activated yet. As such, you will need to check its status before we continue.

The quickest way to test whether this is the case is to try using the SIM in a different phone to see does it work. If the SIM doesn’t work in the second phone, then you will definitely need to get the SIM card checked.

The way to go about getting this looked at is relatively straightforward, but unfortunately it can’t be done without some assistance. So, to get it looked at, you will need to contact your service provider and ask them to verify whether the SIM card is active or not.

While there, they will also make sure that the registration of the SIM has also been completed. This way, there will most likely not be any similar problems in the future.

While we are on this note, we should also take the time to have a look at one more related and quite important component, again on the SIM card. On the SIM, you will notice that there are some golden points that are exposed.

These are designed to send signals to your phone, so we will need to make sure that they are in decent working order. Effectively, all you need to do here is make sure that there are no build-ups of dust or carbon that could be interfering with the signal.

When cleaning it, make sure to use nothing harder than a soft cloth. If you happen to scratch up the golden points, the SIM card will cease to work and need to be replaced.

  1. SIM Connector

SIM Connector

Now that we have had a look at the SIM in most of its forms, there is really only one thing that remains to check – the connector. As well as the SIM slot, these can accumulate quite a lot of dust and dirt over time, causing the phone to have issues reading the SIM card.

This is why we are now going to suggest that you clean the connector, again making sure that you get rid of any dirt. You could also have a quick check to make sure the pin isn’t damaged too. A damaged pin can also lead to a situation where the phone you are using will not be able to read your SIM card.

The Last Word

The Last Word

If you made it through all of the above fixes and still didn’t get the result you are looking for, you can consider yourself a little unlucky. At this point, the issue will most definitely be out of your control and influence.

Really, the only thing to do is get in touch with customer service and explain the issue to them. With a bit of luck, they will have a new fix for this issue that they haven’t made public just yet.

16 thoughts on “4 Ways To Deal With Airtel SIM Not Working In USA”

  1. I came here thinking there would a solution to the issue that my Airtel service stopped working in the USA on a phone where it was working fine in India. This was not the kind of answer I expected.

  2. Even I have the same issue. The OTP stopped coming to my mobile from 2 days back. I tried to insert my sim and another mobile, but of now use. I am using a post paid Airtell service.

    • Same with me I used to get OTP and I am not getting that anymore. The call center is of no help than asking to restart phone after 4 hours and I did that multiple times !

  3. Same case with me. The solution provided in this document is not useful. Pls share if anyone is able to overcome this issue. Thanks.

  4. This is painful.. My SIM has been working fine and all of a sudden since one month I do not have services on my phone. We have dependency on India number (Airtel subscriber) to majorly for getting the OTP. Now I am stuck. Tried all troubleshooting.

    Is there a way for help on this?

    • I had the same issue at Antigua. I selected 2g network and it worked. Try and let me know. After selecting 2g swith on and swith off airplane mode

  5. One option Airtel technical team suggested (rather than waiting for some miracle )
    1. Ask relative/friend from India to visit Airtel store
    2. Airtel associate will perform video call with you and friend/relative for verification
    3. Get a new SIM and ask relative/friend to enable sim using their handset
    4. Then ship new sim to USA
    Additionally I think once you have physical sim , get eSIM installed in your smartphone (Which makes sure connectivity is not impacted with physical damage with sim)

    Considering OTP is critical for banking and other transactions, that is one route one should try .

    • Worst service @airtelindia. My sim stopped working 2 week back. My all bills are paid and that account is active but sim not working..pathetic service #airtelindia in us

  6. When I visited Airtel in India recently they informed me that I am required to have a minimum balance on my PrePaid service plan with Airtel for the service to work outside India. For some reason they assumed I knew what the minimum balance is. I have heard Rs 100 – Rs 300 – Rs 600. They also recommended a data balance, even if you do not get to use it.
    What worked for me – make sure the phone being used in the USA can connect to ATT ( a USA phone ) – My India phone just says it is available for Emergency calls only. My Phone is a T Mobile unlocked phone, so I put the Airtel SIM in the TMobile phone and selected the ATT option under network operators. I did not use the auto select option. It works exactly like it should now. I have had this problem for 2 years and Airtel was no help. It is Very Important to have a balance on your account more than Rs 1000. I purchased the 365 day 24 GB plan for Rs 1799. and now it works perfectly. Hopefully it will work for 365 days. I really hope this helps someone as I know how frustrating it is when the OTP does not work. I did pay Airtel via the net banking mobile recharge option as the Airtel site requires an OTP to login and you cannot login without OTP working on your India Airtel phone.

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