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This typically means that you do not have coverage where you are located.
The "emergency only' means you can make emergency calls but it will use another carrier's network to complete the call.
You can check for coverage here: http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/#?type=gophone&opt=payg
I currently do not have cell service. I bought a "Gophone Pay As You Go" card so I could get service, but my phone won't even let me dial the number I need to activate the card. Is there anything I can do to bypass the "emergency only" alert so I can dial the number needed to activate the card? I am pretty sure the reason I am getting the "emergency only" alert is because I currently don't have service, not because I am in an area with no coverage.
You need to be in an area with coverage, then you can call the number to activate the card.
I have tried calling from several different locations - all locations I have made calls from before - an it still isn't working. Thanks for trying to help. Do you have any other ideas?
Have you used this specific phone before?
Or is the phone new?
Yes, but I've never tried using a "Gophone" card before on this phone.
Oh, it's not a GoPhone? You can't just use any phone with a GoPhone card. You need a GoPhone phone.
OK. I made a mistake. This is my sister's phone and apparently she has used a "Gophone" card on this phone before and never had a problem until now.
Hrm, hold on, does it look like the card in the upper right of this?
Kind of. The front of the card has a yellowish background and blue behind the "Go." The back side of the card is all print and at the bottom there is a gray box you scratch off to reveal the pin number. There is no separate card like the one in the upper right of that picture.
Ah, ok. Now I am understanding - You need to get a new SIM for that phone. The SIM that your sister used, when she canceled it, the SIM is rendered useless. You need to get a card similar to the one in the upper right of that picture.
You can go to any AT&T store and tell them you need a "GoPhone SIM Card"
They can also get you activated there in the store and help you with the card you have
OK. Thanks for your help. We'll go to AT&T tomorrow