How do I activate a data (internet) SIM?  It keeps demanding my tmobile phone number and telephone ID number, which I don't have

  • 17 January 2018
  • 13 replies

How do I activate a data only (internet) SIM?  It keeps demanding my tmobile phone number and telephone ID number, which I don't have.  This is a prepaid data (internet) SIM, which I will use in a hotspot device.  Every time I try to find a way to activate this SIM online, it demands a phone number, which I don't have, because this is a data SIM.  I try to "message" support, and again, it demands a T-mobile phone number, which I don't have.  It really shouldn't be this difficult.  Thanks for any links/help.

13 replies

Userlevel 6

Try to contact T-Mobile by a Facebook or Twitter. I'm sure there is some way to validate your account and have them activate the Sim by the number on the card.

Essentially, you have to activate your data SIM like you would a phone SIM.

Do as @snn555 suggested or you can give T-Mobile a ring using a different phone and have your SIM card ready along with the device in question and you can do the activation over the phone.

Even though you can't make phone calls, data plans/accounts for T-Mobile (not sure about wearables) actually are attached to a 'phone number'.

I own a tablet which has its own data line and it also has its own phone number even though I can't call on it.  I can, however, text message on it and so it's like I have a non-telephone data-only mobile number.

When I use my tablet with the data SIM for a HotSpot, it will ping to T-Mobile to verify that my device + data SIM is eligible for HotSpot and it does this by verifying the data SIM's phone number which is linked to the account.

Thanks. I got the card activated and working, but when I went to register it online, so I could add more data when needed, more easily than calling, it said it was sending a confirmation code to the phone number associated with the SIM card, by text. Only problem is, the SIM is in a hotspot device, not a phone or tablet,  so I cannot get texts. I don't have a tmobile phone so I can't put the SIM in the phone to get the text.  And I don't want to go to a tmobile store with the SIM, because they will punch out the nano sim to put in a phone to get the text, and I hate to do that, because the hotspot requires the full sized card, and once you start punching out the nano, you can try to put it back inside of the full sized SIM, but it never REALLY stays put after that, and you risk losing the nano sim when it falls out and is rattling around in the hotspot SIM slot. Sigh. So much trouble just so I can add data online instead of dialing, punching in the phone number, then typing in the pin number from a refill card, each time I need to add data.  I don't know why they have to make this such a difficult thing to set up.  But thanks for taking the time to reply, I appreciate it.

OHHHHH I get it now.

I'm sorry; I realize that I misunderstood part of your situation.  I thought you were using a device AS a HotSpot and not putting the data SIM into the HotSpot itself - ooops!

Another way to get in touch with T-Mobile customer support is using this website's built-in instant messaging feature.

Through the Community-2153 page, you can choose the Message Us option.  Or, if you look at the bottom right corner of your screen on that same page, you'll see Message Us on My T-Mobile and you can click that instead.

Userlevel 6

What happened when you contacted T-Mobile via social media? That's probably the easiest and fastest way to get this handled.

Userlevel 4

I have 2 hotspot data lines.... they indeed get text messages 😜... you have to log onto your device to check your messages.,, its something like http://mobile.hotspot.... you have to check your user manual to see how you connect to your device.

Haha. FB support told me to break the nano out of the full sized SIM that is required to make my hotspot/router work, and put it in a tmobile phone to receive the confirmation text. Except no one I know actually has a t-mobile phone because the t-mobile network isn't very reliable around here.  I'm just setting up the prepaid SIM in a router to use as an emergency backup source of WIFI for the 3 or 4 times per year that my lake home internet goes down. When CenturyLink goes down, it's down for 2-4 days until it's fixed.  I think one episode lasted 5 days with no wifi.  So that's why I'm trying to set up this prepaid plan, to just add data and use it those 3 or 4 weeks per year when regular CenturyLink DSL is down.  My wifi router has six antennae and creates a surprisingly strong signal.  I would simply like to finish online setup so I don't have to dial up and screw around just to add data refill cards.  But it will only send the confirmation code to a T-mobile phone.  I don't have one. I don't know anyone that has one. And when I get done punching out the nano to fit in a modern phone, then I'll have to get a replacement SIM, since the router requires the full sized SIM.  I've tried to put a nano back in the full sized card, but after you've punched it out, it never REALLY fits securely into the full sized SIM card again.  They tend to fall out and get lost when the device is bumped/moved/etc.  So their "work arounds" aren't really that convenient. 

I'm not saying that those little T-Mobile hotspots can't display text messages, I'm sure they can.  That issue isn't in dispute. I totally believe that this is your reality. However, my "KuWifi 1200Mbps WG3526" both looks and performs like a high speed router. It has no display.  When I log in to the admin panel online, there's no capacity to view text messages there, either.  That's my reality.  It repeats a nice strong Wifi signal with six large antennae, but it doesn't have the display like the tiny little personal hotspots that T-Mobile provides.  I appreciate all of the information about your personal hotspots, but it really doesn't apply in this situation.  Different hardware. Different reality.

It's basically a joke. I keep getting different CSAs who keep stubbornly insisting that we keep repeating the same "troubleshooting" steps that don't apply in this situation. I know that this basic troubleshooting doesn't work, because I've been repeating the same steps since last night.  Some helpfully suggest that I have the confirmation code sent to someone else's t-mobile phone, but I don't actually know anyone with T-mobile cell phones, because the reception is so poor in this area.  So now my husband is asking his new students who just started classes yesterday to please give him their T-Mobile cell number so I can have the confirmation code sent to them, they send it to my husband's ATT phone, and he will text or email the code to me, so I can enter it online and finish the online registration process.  Doesn't that sound like really efficient customer support?

Userlevel 4

I apologize... but I didn't read what device you had until just now.

The forum members make comments and suggestions based on the dialogue provided in the post, I can't accurately guess what devices and services other people have if they fail to include it in their own post. The T-Force team probably didn't have a clue about that device either because that's not a product they sell. Furthermore, I am in the same reality as you are. But I have to do some reading on that device....  Have a great day 😀

Userlevel 4

Hi, @cyberhund and welcome to our Support Community!

Gosh, it sounds like all of this comes down to getting those activation texts which in your case isn't as easy as it sounds. A lot of suggestions have been provided from other users and from our Customer Care reps, however, the only other solution that I can think of is to visit a T-Mobile store and ask them to use a demo phone to receive the text. We've had multiple users utilize that method which solved their issue. Have you given that a shot yet or are you able to try that?

After two days of online CSAs totally blowing me off, dumping me from one to the other, one finally tried the online process and discovered what I'd been trying to tell them for two days: that there is NO "option to have code sent to email instead of by text" as they were reading from some online support website. They opened a ticket to report this and after an undetermined period of time, they will "fix" the online registration process so people with routers/hotspots that do not accept texts will be able to have the confirmation code sent by email instead. This was by no means a user friendly process. In the mean time, I've learned that I can get a better deal on "unlimited" prepaid data through a different vendor. One who does not throttle speeds after a few gigs are used. So it's all good

Userlevel 4

Geez, @cyberhund, you've spent a ton of time on this and still don't have a resolution. While I'm happy they filed a request to have the process updated, it doesn't quite solve the whole "I can't receive my activation text". 😥 I'm truly sorry for the entire situation. I wish you didn't have to go with a different vendor but it's completely understandable. Thank you so much for giving us a shot and I hope we'll get this fixed in the future.