Although you can use your iPhone to connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi without a network connection, your handset's not going to be much use to you when you're out and about if you can't get voice and data services. If you've just slipped a new SIM card into your Apple device and can't access your network provider's services, a number of things could have gone awry.
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If you've made a hash of inserting your SIM or your card is damaged, your iPhone won't be able to connect to your service provider's network. Use a safety pin to open your SIM tray and inspect your card for scuffs or cracks. If you find any wear or tear, order a new SIM from your network provider. Your phone company should provide a replacement free of charge if it was damaged when you received it. When reinserting your card, make sure it sits correctly in your phone's SIM tray and that the angled corner is in the right place.
You won't be able to get a signal if your iPhone's locked to one network carrier and you're trying to use another company's SIM card. Get in touch with the network provider you initially bought your device from to find out how to get it unlocked. You may have to pay an unlock fee and will still be responsible for any payments outstanding your contract.
Updating your software and settings could put an end to your service issues. Before doing so, you'll have to find a Wi-Fi connection, as you won't be able to download anything over 3G or 4G networks if you have no data connection. Tap "Settings" from your iPhone's home screen, then hit "General" followed by "Software update." Your iPhone will automatically check for available updates. If it finds any, agree to download and install them. You should also check for carrier updates by selecting "General" and then "About" from your device's "Settings" menu. If an update is available, a prompt will appear.
Other troubleshooting tips
Try turning your iPhone off and then on again. Then, give toggling your handset's "Airplane mode" on and off a bash. As a last resort, connect your device to iTunes using a USB cable, sync your data and restore your iPhone to its factory settings by hitting the "Restore" button under your phone's "Summary" tab. If none of this helps and your iPhone's still under warranty, contact Apple. You could be entitled to have your handset repaired or replaced if it's developed a fault.
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