If you have just recently inserted your SIM card into a new iPhone, you must have noticed a dialogue box stating that the device will go ahead and activate iMessage and FaceTime for you and some carrier charges may be applied. In India, this is about Rs 5 each for activating both the services. In most cases activation of FaceTime and iMessage is instantaneous and you are good to go within five minutes, however, there is an odd occasion where things go tits up and you are stuck with a message stating that the attempt to activate your iMessage or FaceTime was unable to be activated, the following is what you should try out.
Retry to activate the services manually
In order to retry to activate iMessage or FaceTime, you simply need to head over to the Settings application and find FaceTime or Messages option, that is located in the fifth pane. As soon as you enter the option, you will need to disable and enable again, the two services. As soon as you do that, you will be prompted with the same message that your carrier will charge for activating them. Click on okay and give it at least a couple of hours.
Check the date and time
If despite a couple of tries of re-verifying FaceTime and iMessage is not working you might want to quickly check the date and time. You should also check the timezone that your phone is a part of. You could go into Settings-> General-> Date & Time and set the date manually if you feel there is some sort of confusion.
Swap the SIM out and in
If your date and time is also correct, then it makes sense to just swap your SIM card out of the phone and try again. You should also restart the phone after removing the SIM card and then insert it only after the phone has restarted. The iPhone will treat as though you have inserted the SIM for the first time and automatically give you a prompt that it is activating the two services. Ensure that you do this in an area where you get good reception on your iPhone as activation requires a quick ping to your network provider.
Reset Network Settings
If none of the above work, you may want to reset the network settings on your phone. In order to do this, you need to go to the Settings app and inside General. In General, right at the bottom, you will see the option of Reset. Here, pick the third option of ‘Reset Network Settings’. Once you do that, the phone will prompt for your password. Insert that and wait for the phone to clear the network settings. You will lose your Wi-Fi saved passwords from the device with the reset and will have to put everything all over again. However, most likely your FaceTime and iMessage will start working now.
Reset your phone and visit Apple Store
If none of the above work, simply go ahead and hard reset the phone by going into General from Settings app and erasing all the content on the device. If a clean restart also does not do the job, you will have to take your device to the good people at Apple and ask for their assistance.
Generally, you will not have such a difficult time activating FaceTime or iMessage on an iPhone, but if you do, we are sure the above steps will help you out.