Not Receiving SMS After SIM Change – Here the Reason

SIM Change, getting a duplicate SIM card for your existing mobile number is not a big deal now. But, after exchanging or upgrading the SIM card, you may not receive any SMS on your new SIM card. Many users are used to logging the complaint with customer care regarding this.

But it is not an issue with your operator such as Airtel, Vi (Vodafone Idea), etc. As per TRAI’s rule, any duplicate will not receive any SMS for 24 hours from the time of activation. This will happen for BSNL users in some cases if upgrading the current 2G or 3G SIM card to BSNL 4G SIM.

Incoming SMS get blocked after SIM change

The new rule says that any duplicate SIM issued will not receive any SMS on that particular Number for the next 24 hours from the time of activation. However, the outgoing SMS will work like before. You will also receive calls and can make outgoing calls, data, etc. The only issue is with the incoming SMS. It includes all the categories such as personal SMS, OTPs, and other promotional SMSs.

How to Fix the Issue of Not receiving SMS on your Number

First of all, it has considered a security feature and not an issue. Hence, the resolution is automatic. The problem gets resolved automatically after 24hrs, and you will start receiving SMS after that. For this, no need to contact or log a complaint with customer care. Just wait for one day, and things will get sorted automatically.

Reason For Blocking Incoming SMS after Upgrading the SIM

As per the new rule, the SIM card of any operator, whether of Airtel, Vi (Vodafone Idea), etc., will hold a temporary ban of Incoming SMS for 24 hours. It has been implemented to ensure the safety of the user. Several cases in which SIM fraud has been reported resulted in the loss of money from the Bank account.

Fraud action takes place in which thieves and criminals may take a duplicate SIM of users. The original SIM user will be unaware of this. Once a duplicate SIM card is issued, the original SIM with the real person will get automatically disconnected. Further, all the calls and SMS will be received on the duplicate SIM card with the criminals. They can use this to receive OTP from banks to steal money from the bank account of the SIM owner. Since the Number gets disconnected during this time, the user will not get any information about this.

So, no such kind of cyber fraud activities can take place during these times. To avoid this type of fraud activity, temporary blocking is implemented if you take a duplicate SIM. In the meantime, the original SIM owner can report the issue with its operators. So that the duplicate SIM can be deactivated if the real owner did not take the duplicate SIM.

Drawback of the SMS Blocking with the Duplicate SIM

The feature is to ensure the customer’s safety, and however, for the original user, it may cause some issues. During the 24 hours, the user will not receive any SMS, including regular SMS, OTP, etc. If you are frequently using a bank account for online transactions, then this might cause a problem. You will not receive any OTP from the bank to make any transaction during these times. Also, if you are about to receive any vital SMS, then also you may miss them.

Another important thing is that you cannot register for any applications such as WhatsApp, Viber, Duo, etc., using the OTP message during this time. Alternatively, WhatsApp and some other apps provide OTP over the call that can be used to solve this issue. But for all others that need OTP over SMS, you need to wait for 24 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Few are some common questions we received via email for the past few months. So adding the answers here.

Why Airtel SMS Not Working After SIM Change

All the telecom companies, including Airtel, put a Temporary Ban on incoming SMS as a security measure. Once the new SIM gets activated, the SMS feature will be disabled for 24hrs. After 24hrs, the blocking will be removed automatically. This option was implemented to safeguard the user from fraud. Much online fraud and illegal fund transfers were reported using the SIM Swap and the transaction OTP. After this implementation, fraud cannot take any duplicate SIM of the target user and hence won’t receive the transaction OTP.

Vi SMS Not Sending

If you are a Vi (Vodafone Idea) user and can’t receive SMS, you need to check the active plan on your number. If your current plan offers the SMS feature, you need to contact customer care and inform them about the issue. Also, note that the No SMS from 24hrs during the SIM change is also applicable to Vi.

Why I am Not Receiving OTP on Airtel

As mentioned above, if you change the SIM, you won’t receive SMS and OTP for 24hrs. After that, the blocking will be lifted automatically, and you could receive OTP as before. If you cannot receive OTP even after 24hrs, you need to contact customer care and log a complaint.

How Much is the Airtel duplicate SIM Activation Time

As per the company, the airtel duplicate sim activation time is 4hrs. But we can see that in most cases, the SIM gets activated even before that. It can take around 2-4 hrs in most cases. If your SIM is not activated even after 4hrs, you can contact customer care or the retailer.

I am not able to send SMS from Airtel. Why?

If you cannot send SMS from airtel after the SIM swap, you need to wait for 24hrs, and after that, the SMS feature will be enabled automatically. If you cannot send SMS from your Airtel number even without the SIM change, you need to check whether you have an active Plan available on your number. If you have a plan, try to use the same SIM on another handset, If you are able to send SMS from that handset, the issue might be with your handset. But, if you cannot send SMS from another phone, please contact customer care and inform them about the issue.

How to Activate SMS Service in Airtel

SMS service is already enabled on all the SIMs, and there is no special activation required. However, the telecom companies recently introduced some new recharge plans in which they are not providing the option to send SMS. If you are using a data-only or voice-only plan, the SMS feature gets disabled, and you can’t send any SMS even using the Talktime balance.

Telecom companies offer cheap unlimited plans to its users but disable the SMS feature in that plan. To activate SMS, the user needs to recharge with a higher plan.

Note: As a result of some network outages and other technical issues, some users report that they cannot receive the SMS even after the 24hrs period. If the same happens to you, then we recommend contacting customer care immediately and reporting the issue.

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17 thoughts on “Not Receiving SMS After SIM Change – Here the Reason”

  1. This should change… If it is the same owner. Y can’t u release the services… Has u take id proof of the person.. So that u can activate the sim

    • It is kept for an added security. There are cases happened before in which the duplicate SIM of the owner has been taken by fraud group in order to receive OTP after hacking their credit/debit card details.

      To avoid this case, the no SMS period added for the duplicate SIM. But sure, it will be a headache for the real owner.

    • Absolutely, every time when you change the sim you have to provide your original documents so I don’t understand still how this fraud happens

  2. After activating duplicate Airtel SIM card …..even after 22 hrs I can not able to send SMS…I understand about blocking the incoming messages for security reasons, but there is no point in blocking outgoing messages!

  3. I was replaced my airtel prepaid on 30th may 2020 sim due to unable to send or receive any messages. Even I tried for porting that also not working..

    Its Wonder till my problem was not solved 🤷‍♂️ so here if any expert candidate available can you please suggest what I can do??

    • Then some issue with you connection or phone. Hope you already tried sending message using another handset with your sim inserted. if not, please try that. Also make sure an active unlimited plan or any smart plan with enough balance to send SMS. However the incoming SMS should work even though u don’t have any plan active. You need to contact customer care for this issue if still persist.

  4. its been more than 48 hrs and i am not reciveing any incoming message and the customer care is also not helping what should i do

    • In that case, it might be either an issue with the handset or from the network side. It is sad to hear that the Customer support team also not helping you. They are the ones who should look into it.

      Please call the nodal officer in your circle and inform the issue.


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