I have an iPhone 5s bought on AT&T and had it unlocked and been using it in the UK on EE in October 2014 and then tried to use it in Bangladesh on Grameen in November 2014. I had no issues on EE while in the UK to activate iMessage, it worked instantly. With Grameen I was charged for international SMS's but the activation was stuck with an error - it wouldn't even show my number in Bangladesh under Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.
What finally worked: Resetting SMS Service Center Number on iPhone.
Note: Even if after you query the existing SMS Service Center Number you see the correct number (according to your carrier) appear, please follow the instructions to reset/re-enter the number (below), and then try restarting your phone and then activating iMessage and Facetime. They should work at this point pretty quickly.
How to do it:
Go to the Phone Application (where you would make a call) and
This will display:
Setting Interrogation Succeeded Service Center Address +3725099000 (where +3725099000 happens to be the SMS Service Center Number of this example carrier - please find out from your Telco/Carrier what their specific number is).
If it is not correct, there is a code to change it.
To change the SMSC please dial:
This will Display a Message saying Setting Succeeded Service Center Address No Address
I'm sorry that you're still having issues.
Here is a step-by-step video tutorial on How to fix most iMessage activation issues (iOS 8.1.2):
Let me know if this solves your issue. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me.
Here are the steps I used to fix the issue, they are the only steps that worked for me. Hope it helps.
- Turn Wifi on
- Turn on Cellular Data
- Go to General —> Settings —> Privacy —> Turn on Location Services
- Go to Location Services —> Scroll to System Services —> Turn on the following:
- Cell network search
- Setting Time Zone
- Go to Settings —> Mail,Contact, Calendars and make sure “My Info” is set to your name
- Goto Date and Time - Turn on "Set Automatically"
- Go to Setting —> iCloud and click Sign out
- Turn off Phone
- Restart the iPhone
- Turn on iMessage and FaceTime
- Finally —>Go to Setting in your iPhone and Sign in back to iCloud
I too had this problem but yesterday, I checked my apple ID account and iCloud account via my PC and made sure that the time zone was set correctly. Unfortunately, my iCloud was set to Samoa Time Zone so I changed it to match my phone and apple ID (NY time) and after waiting 12 hrs., iMessage and Facetime now work. I personally think it is coincidental, but try it.. It may work.
Like bradfromwinnipeg, I have an iPhone (5) that is no longer activated but I use it on WIFI for my business to run the waiting room music (Pandora) for my counseling practice, and to run bills using the square app. Randomly today it popped up with the "Waiting for activitation. This may take a while" message, and would no longer connect to Pandora or Square, even though I've been using it exactly like this for 18 months or so.
Here's what fixed it for me:
- I went to Settings>General and noticed that I needed an iOS update.
- Ran the update.
- When the update finished installing, I got a message that said the phone was not activated, but all previous functionality was restored.
Seems like any way you can re-install iOS (or install an update) might be a catch-all fix.