Activating Airtel SIM step by step: answers to your questions

Airtel is considered to be the pioneer of Indian telecom and is one of the most reliable providers in India. They cover about one-third of the market in India, and which puts them as one of the dominant forces of the market. While procuring a new card the biggest question that pops in our head is “how to activate airtel sim?” It may sound like a very daunting task but in reality, setting it all up is a rather easy and potentially be done successfully finished by anyone. Let's take a look at the detailed procedure to get it up and running and other queries relating to it. Don’t worry we are here to guide through all the painstaking work and keep things easier for you. 

How much do I have to pay for a card?

Stop by the provider’s Store near you and easily secure a card at no cost. Though shortly after, it is expected to replenish the no. with a certain amount. If you are planning to stop by a vendor in your area, you might be shelling out somewhere below 100, depending upon the area and on the shopkeeper. These shops scattered all over city if the store is at a longer distance. 


How do I begin using my 4G or 5G sim card?

The most recent development in the country are the 5G services. Us Indians are preparing for 5G in anticipation with our compatible smartphone and ready to experience the latest 5G technology as soon as we can. Currently it's still in its trial phase and its availability is only limited to a select few cities  but it is expected to start covering the majority of the country soon. 

For the 4G sim, the technology has been available in India for quite some time now and the process of activation is expected to be similar for both 4G and 5G.

To activate your Airtel sim just follow these simple steps:

  • First of all, find the sim number which will be of 20 digits, and SMS this number to 121 from an existing Airtel no.
  • Confirm this request by reply “1”.
  • Wait for a couple of minutes until your phone is disconnected from the network.
  • Once you have successfully completed these tasks, replace the old one with fresh 4G sim.


How do I activate my Airtel Prepaid sim?

  • After your KYC is done, wait for about 60 minutes for new prepaid no.
  • Once you get the signal after an hour, you must verify the number through the device.
  • Call 59059, the tele verification no.
  • You are soon going to be greeted by an automated voice mail. 
  • Just follow the procedure there, and the card will be up and running soon after.

How do I activate my Airtel Postpaid number?

  • For the activation of your new postpaid no., there is a two step procedure for verification.
  • Call 59059, their sim verification no.
  • You are shortly going to be visited by the provider’s representative to double-check your address that you provided.

How do I activate my sim after number porting (MNP)?

  • First of all you have to put the new sim in your handset..
  • You will be asked to provide a PIN, by default it is 1234.
  • Press OK when you are done.
  • Dial *123# to activate your sim.
  • Your device is expected to show that you are now using a new network once you have successfully finished with the instructions given.

How do I activate international roaming?

The domestic roaming is free but international roaming requires you to activate it through the device’s settings. For International roaming, follow these steps:

  • Visit their website, alternatively login from the app through your phone no.
  • After logging in search for the available packs for the country you are traveling to.
  • Select the pack that you prefer and recharge with the chosen one.

How do I block my sim?

Blocking your no. is a fairly easy process. You just have to connect to the customer service. You can also visit the closest Airtel’s facility to get it blocked and pick up a fresh one while at it. 

How do I block my card using an Airtel number?

  • You may dial 121 or 9849098490.
  • They are going to ask for certain details there, like last few numbers called, previous recharge and a copy for your ID.
  • Authenticate the given details.
  • Your card won’t be in use.

How do I block my card using any other number?

  • Just dial 1800-103-4444.
  • You need to confirm previously called contacts, and your past recharge and your ID.
  • Authenticate the given details.
  • Old card won’t be in use no longer.

How do I buy a sim card online?

How do I buy a fresh Airtel Prepaid sim card online?

In this era of technology you can practically buy everything from your home. And why should purchasing a fresh one be any different. Just proceed with the actions below and enjoy the benefits.

  • Go to their webpage.
  • Choose any package that you want.
  • You need to enter required information that is asked like Name, phone no, PIN code, etc.
  • Press Submit.
  • You will get a confirmation SMS with the contact details of the sales representative. 
  • You may fix the time they could come and visit you. 
  • Be prepared with the original documents that are asked for the KYC.

How do I buy a new Postpaid sim card online?

  • Just go to the their webpage from your handset or PC.
  • Select a package that you want.
  • Now you need to enter the information that is asked like Name, phone no, your PIN code, etc.
  • Press Submit.
  • Check the messages for a confirmation SMS with the contact details of the sales representative. 
  • You should fix the time the sales representative could come to you. 
  • Be prepared with the original documents that are required.

How do I get an Airtel eSIM?

First of all, what exactly is an eSIM you might ask. Esim is just a replacement for the physical one. That’s it. And how to convert the sim card toeSIM? The steps again is fairly simple. Let’s walk through these steps needed to activate your eSIM.

  • First of all, check whether your smartphone is compatible with an eSIM or not, as not many phones has this feature.
  • Message “eSIM<> your registered email id” to 121, be sure to recheck email id as it is an important step.
  • Once there is a reply from 121 for the confirmation, reply back with 1.
  • You are going to shortly receive a confirmation call. Again, double check whether the email that you have put in is correct.
  • After confirmation, you will receive a QR code on the registered mail id.
  • You will need to scan the it and for every compatible smartphone the scanning process is a bit different but don’t you worry we got it covered.

For Apple:
Go to "Settings" then "Mobile Data" then "Add Data Plan" then "Scan QR code" received on your mail and make sure that your phone is connected > you can Label “eSim” under Label your new plan.


For Google:

Go to "Settings" then "Network & Internet" then “Wi-Fi” then “Connect to a Wi-Fi Network (Mandatory) then "Mobile Network" then "Advanced" then "Carrier" then "Add Carrier" now scan your QR code received on email and be sure that the device is connected to the net throughout. After the scanning is done press "Download" after it is complete, "Done


For Samsung:

Go to  "Settings" then  "Connections" then  "SIM Card Manager" then  "Add Mobile Plan" then  "Add Using QR Code” now scan your QR code received on your mail and make sure that you are connected to the internet. After the scanning process is done go to “Add new mobile plan” then “Add”. 


  • Make sure that you do not Delete the esim profil as you are going to end up permanently disabling your esim. 
  • In any case you do not get QR within 30 mins, or the scanning gets hampered mid-way. In order to keep your physical sim active you must message them with the information provided below immediately:

For Postpaid users - Message NOSIM to 121

For Prepaid users - For users in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. Message NESIM to 52212

For users in the remaining state, Message NESIM to 51619


  • The Airtel eSIM activation process takes about 100 minutes and your physical sim is active until that time. 

For more details go to Airtel’s esim page

Airtel Customer Care Contact Number

121 for existing Airtel users
198 Toll free
1800 103 1111 For number port (MNP)

Thanks for coming to us, we appreciate it and really hope that our efforts brings a bit more comfort to your life and help you out. Good luck.

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