I am overseas at the moment and I have bought a SIM which has plenty of data, but the plan doesn't include SMS. I have tried activating iMessage again as my phone number is different, but it is stuck on waiting for activation. When I turn on iMessage it comes up with "Your carrier may charge for SMS messages used to activate iMessage."

Does this mean that iMessage uses SMS to activate? I have a little bit of credit for calls which I'm assuming if you send a text it uses a bit of it since the plan doesn't include SMS.

Is there any other way I can activate iMessage?


To activate iMessage for a phone number, the device sends a silent SMS with a verification code. Carriers approved by Apple do not charge for this SMS. Activating without sending an SMS only activates iMessage for your Apple ID email address, not your phone number.

  • So is it a matter of talking to the carrier or is it a problem with Apple? I have activated iMessage before on this carrier. How do I find out if the carrier is "approved" by Apple? – ThoughToo Sep 23 '16 at 10:30
  • @Mekul It's a matter with the carrier. If the carrier appears in this list, you should be ok. – grg Sep 23 '16 at 14:02
  • it does appear in the list. I'm assuming it doesn't work because the plan doesn't include SMS. Thanks for your help anyway. – ThoughToo Sep 23 '16 at 14:40
  • Turns out that you needed a bit more credit to send an SMS as the carrier do charge you! Thanks for your help. – ThoughToo Sep 25 '16 at 13:59

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