Unable to make or receive calls

This guide contains troubleshooting steps and advice on how to resolve issues with making or receiving calls.

After performing each step, please test to see if the issue is resolved.

Symptoms:

  • No signal
  • Phone states, "Emergency calls only"
  • Incoming calls go directly to voicemail
  • Outgoing call failure
  • Low signal
  • Dropped calls
  • "Mobile network not available" message when the signal shows no bar and network is unavailable
  • Phone is not ringing, or rings once then cuts off
  • Unable to accept calls

Troubleshooting Questions

  • Is the device being used in an area of good signal coverage?

    If possible, check the network coverage. Comparing the signal on the handset with a different phone that is connected to the same network can also indicate if it is a device or network problem.

    If the signal is fluctuating, this may be a result of temporary environmental factors that are causing interference. If this is the case, move away from any walls, metal, or machinery. Ideally, if indoors, move to an outdoor area that is not heavily obscured from the sky by buildings, trees, etc. It is also important to remember that all networks can have outages due to maintenance or unexpected causes.

    Make sure the SIM card is not faulty. The SIM card identifies each handset on the network. A dirty or damaged SIM card may be the cause. Remove the SIM card and inspect for any form of damage or dirty contacts.

     

  • Are the account provisions and settings correct?

    If unable to receive calls, make sure automatic voicemail pickup or unconditional call forwarding is not enabled. Check if the account has not been suspended by mobile network operator. If making an international call, make sure you have a correct provisioning. Also the phone number should be in the correct format with the "+" symbol and the country code in front of the number. In some cases, account limits will prevent calls from reaching the handset. Make sure you have enough credit on your account in order to make a call, though this usually applies for pay as you go accounts. For contract users, make sure your tariff is not capped / limited to certain number of minutes per month. Depending on your plan or contract, exceeding your minutes may mean you can no longer make calls.

  • Is the phone currently roaming away from its home network?

    One possible reason why you may not be able to make or receive calls is that the phone is currently roaming away from the home network. Depending on the network onto which you have roamed, and their roaming agreement (if any) with your home network, it may be the case that you are unable to use their network for any type of call.

    The nature of roaming is such that even if you return to an area of good signal coverage for your home network, the phone may not always successfully re-register. If that is the case, you will need to restart your phone.

  • Has the phone recently been used with a Bluetooth car kit?

    Sometimes, if the phone has recently been connected to a Bluetooth car kit, it can be the case that the connection has not been properly severed. For example, you may be away from your car, but still within Bluetooth range, in which case any call audio will be diverted to the car's internal speakers.

    To ensure that this is not the case, deactivate Bluetooth.

Last updated: 5/4/2019
Simon H posted this. Got a comment? Good or bad, we'd be pleased to hear from you.
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