How to Activate MTN Sim Card: Mobile Network Information: MTN South Africa

How to Activate MTN Sim Card:

As part of government’s crime prevention efforts, SIM cards must be registered in compliance with the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (RICA).


Have your MTN SIM card registered at your nearest MTN store or participating retail outlet as soon as you’ve bought it. All you need is your ID (or ID card, temporary ID or passport) and proof of residence (e.g., levy statement or electricity bill).

Dial *135*4# to confirm your SIM’s RICA status or use the verification tool below.

How much does it cost to register my MTN SIM card?

Registration is free.

Follow these instructions if you have lost or damaged your SIM or if your SIM has been deactivated or blocked. In this situation you cannot use your old SIM card.

1. Insert new SIM Card into your device

2. Dial 141# to activate your new SIM

3. Dial 173*3# to start the SIM Swap process

4. You will be prompted to enter the cellphone number for which you are doing the SIM swap and the reason for the doing the SIM swap.The cellphone number you’re doing the SIM swap for is your OLD number (NOT the new number from step 1 above).

5. You will be sent an SMS containing the steps you need to take in order to complete the SIM Swap. Note that at this stage you will have to answer a set of security questions in order to continue with the SIM Swap.You will have 3 minutes to answer all the questions. Note that whilst answering the questions, you may skip some of the questions if you don’t know (or have the answer) to the specific question.

The questions will focus around the following topics, Most dialed numbers & Last recharge amount & What price plan your old number was on & Most frequently SMSed number & Last airtime balance & Average airtime used per month.

6. Once your answers are validated, you will receive an SMS to let you know if the SIM Swap was successful.


SIM Control Functionality: 

Business Prepaid, Top-Up, Contract & Managed APN SIM management

Automated SIM balance monitoring (3 x per day)

Live real-time balance checking

Usage based recharge rules

Scheduled recharge rules

Instant manual recharges

Location Lookup (on request)


Network Coverage Map

APN Settings (Prepaid) 

APN: internet
Username: [blank]
Password: [blank]
PDP Type: IP
Auth Type: PAP
MCC: 655
MNC: 10
Dial number: *99#

APN Settings (Managed APN)

Contact us for technical documentation.

SIM Network Activation:

MTN SIMs need to be activated individually and by inserting the SIM in a handheld device. (SIMs ordered by us are shipped activated by default.)

Activate a MTN SIM by dialing *141# until you receive a SMS confirmation message.

Important: After the MSISDN has been activated, the subscriber has 30 days to start using the SIM for the first time:

– Create a billable event from the SIM – Data usage or a billable call.

SIM Expiry (number recycling):

After the MSISDN has been activated, the subscriber has 30 days to start using the SIM:

– Create a billable event from the SIM – Data usage or a billable call.

If the MSISDN has been activated and never does any of the above, it is considered an “inactive kit” and is disconnected off the network after 30 days.

If the MSISDN becomes revenue generating and part of the active prepaid base, then the MSISDN must make a revenue generating event at least every 90 days. After 90 days dormancy, the MSISDN may be deleted by the network.

Once a SIM is deleted and or expired and the number recycled the SIM needs to be discarded as it can no longer be used.

SIMs can not be kept alive using recharges on the MTN network.

SIM supply:

Flickswitch can supply, RICA and activate MTN SIMs. Lead times are typically 3 – 5 business days + shipping as SIMs need to be activated manually.

RICA registration (KYC)

SIMs cannot be activated if RICA registration is not completed successfully.

Flickswitch can bulk register SIMs for RICA. An additional charge may apply for SIMs RICA’d and activated that have not been supplied by Flickswitch.

Network RICA limits may be reached after a certain number of SIMs. We will you assist to get these lifted. (5-10 working days, network dependent).

Documents needed for RICA

– Company letterhead with physical address and VAT registration number included

– Copy of a Directors ID

Airtime Expiry

If a customer purchases airtime of less than R15, the airtime will expire in 20 days’ time. Example: If a customer purchases R10 airtime, the airtime will be valid for 20 days from the date it was loaded.

If a customer purchases airtime of between R15.01 and R25, the airtime will expire in 30 days’ time. Example: A customer loads R20 airtime, the airtime will be valid for 30 days from the date it was loaded.

If a customer purchases airtime of above R25.01, the airtime will have no expiry. Example: A customer loads R30 airtime, (save for SIM dormancy) the airtime doesn’t expire

Prepaid Data Bundle Expiry

Standard bundles: 30 days (or as per specific bundle type). View data bundle options here.

Prepaid Data Bundle Roll-Over Rules

See data bundle roll-over rules here.

Prepaid Out-Of-Bundle data rates (OOB)

Prepaid: 49c per MB. (1c minimum billing increments)

Data Roaming

Possible on prepaid SIMs. SIMs are automatically provisioned for roaming.

Data roaming is billed against normal airtime as per MTN roaming rates. More info on roaming here.

USSD Codes: 
Balance enquiry: *136#

Customer Care / Support

Dial 135 / 083135
Twitter: @MTNzaService


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