voice and text
Airtel Prepaid User guide
Thank you for choosing Airtel Prepaid service.
Clear across Middle East and Africa, Airtel's world-class network offers reliable communications solutions with customer care to match your needs.
This booklet is designed to help you get the most out of your Airtel Prepaid service. Please read through it carefully before connecting your Airtel Prepaid line.
You will also need to refer to your cell phone manual, as each model is different. Should you need more information, do not hesitate to call the Airtel Customer Care Centre by dialling 111 from your Airtel line or by dialling, +234 802 111 from any other network, to speak to a Customer Care consultant at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Before you do anything else, ensure that your cell phone battery is charged. Refer to your cell phone manual on instructions.
Insert your Airtel SIM card into your phone. When inserting your SIM card, please refer to your cell phone instruction manual or ask your Airtel dealer to assist you.
Switch on your phone, and you are now ready to get in touch with friends, family and business contacts, provided you are within an Airtel coverage area.
Inserting your SIM card
When inserting your SIM card, switch off your phone and refer to your cell phone instruction manual or ask your Airtel dealer to assist you. The SIM is the small microchip attached to the bigger card. It is the 'brain' in your cell phone and connects you to the Airtel network while holding all vital information like your phone number and your airtime account. The SIM card can store up to 200 names and numbers and 25 messages which can all be recalled when needed. You can use your Airtel SIM in any phone. This means that if you change phones or if your phone is damaged, just re-use this SIM card in your new phone. There is no need to purchase a new SIM.
After inserting the SIM card, locate the power ON button on your handset. If the phone is switched on, but the words "Insert SIM" appear, it means that the SIM card is not fitted correctly. Try reinserting the SIM card or check your cell phone user manual for more details.
Activate your Airtel Prepaid account
Your Airtel Prepaid SIM card may come with some free airtime. Please follow the instructions on the pack to activate the free airtime.
Subsequent airtime top-up can be made using an Airtel top-up card or virtual recharge of any denomination.
Other features available to Airtel subscribers are :
- Total cost control.
- Instant connectivity.
- Access to Customer Care 24 hours a day.
- A wide range of tariff options and packages to choose from.
- International Direct Dialling (IDD) facility.
- Call Conferencing (this service is dependent on your cell phone model.)
- Account balance and validity enquiries.
- To send text messages (SMS) anywhere in the world.
To use your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and Personal Unblocking Number (PUK)
Your SIM card comes with the PIN feature deactivated and is thus ready for use.
If you desire to activate the PIN feature please follow the instructions below. (It is advisable for you to enable the PIN feature in order to prevent unauthorized access to your SIM card).
To activate and personalize your PIN
- Your SIM PIN is a 4-digit secret number that protects your phone from unauthorized use. All Airtel SIM Cards are programmed with a default SIM PIN number.
- It is advisable that you change the default PIN number to a 4-digit number of your choice. To change the PIN number, enter your default PIN which is 1111 and the desired new PIN in the sequence **04*defaultpin*newpin*newpin#
- Your new PIN can be any 4-digit number. (Just ensure they are digits you can easily remember).
Once the PIN feature is activated it will be required whenever you switch your phone on. If an incorrect PIN is entered into your phone three consecutive times, your phone will become PIN blocked, and you will require your PUK code to unblock it. The PUK code is printed on the plastic body surrounding your SIM card or on the SIM certificate.
To unblock Your SIM card
If you mistakenly enter the wrong PIN code three times in succession, your SIM card will get blocked. This is a security measure that protects your phone from unauthorized use. To unblock your SIM card, follow the procedure below:
- Find the PUK printed on your SIM plastic body or certificate and: Simply type **05*PUK*new pin*new pin# and press "Yes/Send/OK/Enter".
- Your 'new pin' can be a new PIN number or the old PIN number you were using.
- If your SIM plastic body or certificate is lost, you will need to apply for a new SIM certificate at any Airtel Centre. You will also be required to complete a call history form and provide evidence of purchase.
To top up your airtime credit
Simply purchase airtime in whichever denomination you want via the available mediums. For top-up cards and E-Pins you'll need to dial *126*the pin number#.
Mobile top-up automatically credits your account without you having do anything but pay to the vendor.
Airtime denominations are available via top-up Cards, mobile top-up and E-Pins.
The table below shows the available denominations.
|Airtime Denomination||Top-up cards||Mobile Top-Up||E-PINS|
Validity Period - Airtel for life
As a Airtel customer, if you make a call, send an SMS or recharge your airtime credit at least once every 90 days, your prepaid subscription will remain active for life and your airtime credits will never expire. No more worries about complicated validity periods or being disconnected! All recharge denominations have the same validity period.
To make calls and send text messages (known as Short Messages or SMS) you will need to add airtime to your account by purchasing airtime cards from any authorized Airtel dealer. Loading airtime onto your account is called topping up. Airtel Top-up cards are available everywhere in a wide range of values and they are easy to use.
Using Top-up cards
- Gently scratch the coloured panel off the back of your Airtel top-up card to reveal the secret 16-digit number (avoid using sharp objects).
- Enter *126* followed by the 16-digit number on the recharge card and the # key, then press the "Yes/Send/OK/Enter" key.
- Your account will automatically be topped up with the amount on the top-up card and a confirmation sent to you.
Using mobile Top-up
You can top up your account using mobile top-up at any Airtel Centre or authorized mobile top-up outlet.
Your Airtel phone will display your new credit balance after your top-up card or mobile top-up has been successfully credited to your account.
To check your account balance
- Key in *123# and press the "Yes/Send/OK/Enter" key.
- Your balance will be displayed on your cell phone screen.
Call Me Back
With your Airtel Prepaid line you can prompt other Airtel subscribers to call you when you've run out of airtime or during an emergency.
Simply dial *140*(Airtel number for the person you wish to call you)# and press Send/Ok/Yes/Enter
"Call Me Back" is a free service. Every subscriber on the Airtel network can send up to a maximum of 10 Call Me Back requests per day.
- Customer Care - 111
- Recharge your handset - *126*16 digit PIN on the recharge card #
- Balance inquiry - *123#