Friday, October 12, 2012

FaceTime and iMessage don't work on MNP numbers in India

That's quite unfortunate so far that FaceTime and iMessage services are not working on my iPhone 4S, and the conclusion I got from back and forth communications between Airtel CustomerCare and Apple Support teams is that if the mobile number is ported from any other carrier within India (in my case it was from Reliance to Airtel) there are some server level profiles which don't get migrated completely through MNP process which may make problems in activation of FaceTime and iMessage services at Apple Server. I'm not sure if that's the end of story, but this is my case and I'm not able to use these services on my mobile number as yet.

OK, here is the whole story so far;

  • I bought the brand new iPhone from US early this year, and got it factory unlocked in India.
  • I attempted about 25+ times for these services activation, and every time it took about 5+ hours with 'waiting for activation...' message and then end up with 'Activation Unsuccessful.' message (you know there's an international SMS charges involved upon each attempt?) so bad!!!
  • I checked with Apple Support in India first, they suggested to make sure; (1) i have my own name in my contacts, with my number with country code set as 'iPhone' type. (2) i have selected my name under: Settings->Mail, Contacts, Calendar->My Info. (3) i have selected correct time zone of my country at: Settings->General->Date & Time. And, re-try activation. I called them up about 5-6 times, every time different person who comes with different idea. Some ideas like; hard reboot phone, re-insert sim card, bla-bla... but every time rubbish messages it comes back with. (My case #346734158. You can refer to them if you have same problem, they should be able to know your problem much faster, otherwise they'll take few days to understand what you are saying?)
  • LoL.. One guy told me to wait for about 8 days as iOS6 was rolling out. He said there are many fixes around FaceTime in that new version, and it may help. Actually, I didn't help! :(
  • In between I also talked to Airtel Technical Support staff, who also played with me a lot. They kept saying everything is fine at their end, but still I should try replacing with a new SIM card. Nice sales trick. But OK, another try.. and they sold me an expensive plan too under 'Airtel Money' package because they didn't have normal SIM card for replacements. I didn't have another option so went ahead, but....................... I'm still there from where I began.
  • Apple finally told me it's a MNP issue, that my number is not ported-in completely into new provider. In India, this is a common problem with FaceTime and iMessages activation. Neither I or they were convinced that this is the valid case, but that makes a little sense too as when I tried original Airtel SIM card in my same iPhone, and both FaceTime and iMessages services work seamlessly. The only difference I can think of is that one number is MNP'd into Airtel.
As of now, I'm using these services with my Apple ID which is not a bad compromise!

I thought sharing this here may help someone to save time. I wasted a lot of time behind this problem. Please let me know if you get or know any solution of this weird situation? I can't change my number again. :(

Smile!

13 comments:

Jai Prakash said...

Hey Navdeep, thanks a lot for this information. I am the sufferer of the same issue. My number is ported from Tata Docomo to Airtel. When I inserted this sim card, iMessage and Fecetime, both say "Waiting for Activation" and are never activated. When I keep it in same status, it keeps sending the messages and every time it changes Rs. 5/-. Due to this I already spent around Rs. 200, but no success. I called Airtel Care, they told to call apple care, as it is handset specific feature, I called Apple Care and there is a case opened for the same and they told to solve it within 2 to 3 working days. Just waiting for that. I will update If I get any solutions for the same. Currently I am also using the iMessage and Facetime using Apple Id.

Navdeep Singh said...

Hey Jai, I hope the issue should be resolved by now but I'm not very optimist coz these people don't understand the problem well. I'll be more than happy if that works. Please share your experience here whatever you get out of it.

Which state are you using mobile service?

hemant said...

Hi there,
I am trying to activate iMessage on my number which was earlier from Airtel Punjab and is now a Tata Docomo Punjab number. I am unable to activate it on number but yes it's activated and working on email. I read it on one of the Apple blogs that there is some unblocking done by carriers like Reliance for sending out that SMS to a UK number, which they unblocked for that person and he was able to activate. As far as my number is concerned I tried with Tata docomo but they are clueless. And say that number is wrong(UK). I am sure we/they are missing something in this issue. I have seen it activated on Idea, Vodafone, Reliance and Airtel numbers. Kindly help and guide.

john smith said...

With Reliance MNP you can now keep your mobile number & join RCOM. You no longer need to be tied into an operator because of your number.

CA Nimesh Patel said...

Thank you very much for sharing information for ported number... I was also suffering from non activation of imessage and face time ...

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v0vets said...

Hi,
I have the same problem. Here in Russia I moved from Megafon to Tele2 operator. And now my phone can not see my old (transfered) number on new Tele2 sim card. All other services (calls, SMS, mobile internet) work great. iOS 9.1, iPhone6+
I've done it with no positive result. As I mentioned earlier, I've made all possiblle solutions. (Switching iMessage on and off, iCloud logoff/logon, resetting/rebooting ets)
I even inserted my new SIM to absolutely new iPhone with no settings - and activation stucked. At the same time new SIM card (without MNP) from the same operator works flawlessly and registration of the iMessage is instant. But SIM card with MNP doen't work in absolutely new iPhone - it looks like iPhone cannot read MNP number. And manual set up of my MNP number in Settings/Phone doesn't help. :((
I've had a call with Apple support. They asked me to go to my operator and after that connect with apple again. I hope to write you soon about the progress.

Vicky Chugh said...

Was anyone able to resolve this issue .. I am having the same trouble ported from vodafone to Airtel

vishal kumar biyani said...

I have same problem. I have tried many times on my airtel no. I thought airtel is not willing to activate so today i ported in "idea". Hope this will work. ...

tabrez said...

Jamshedpur jharkhand, it works no where in India but it works when i am using abroad sim from Oman

tabrez said...

Mine is not MNP number but still doesn't work

Jack p said...

Im facing the same problem ported from aircel to airtel karnataka...plz help

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