Frequently asked questions
How to get started with SIMcontrol
SIMcontrol uses your prefunded account with us to automatically recharge your SIMs – to get started follow these three steps
To get a SIMcontrol account set up you first need to complete the simple online application form. Once validated by our team you will receive your account credentials and you’ll be ready to go. Also order any SIMs that you may require for quick delivery.
Fund your account
You pre-fund your account with us by depositing money into any one of our bank accounts, using your account number as the reference. You will receive this account number on your Welcome email. Once you have deposited money into your account, it will reflect as a positive balance in your SIMcontrol account and you are ready to go.
Log on to SIMcontrol, create your custom recharge rules and add your existing prepaid SIMs to the account to start monitoring them and automatically recharging them. Your prefunded account balance will be used to fund recharges and our management fees. We also supply, RICA and provision SIMs in bulk.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve compiled a list of answers to common questions.
- Where do I go to log onto SIMcontrol?
Go to www.simcontrol.co.za and enter your username and password to log in.
- How do I fund my SIMcontrol account?
You fund your account with us by depositing money into any one of our bank accounts, using your customer number as the reference. You will receive this account number on your “Welcome to SIMcontrol” email. Our banking details can be found here.
- Is there a minimum amount of funds that need to be kept in the purse?
No. The amount of funds that you keep in your purse is up to you. However we recommend a months’ worth of funds in your purse as your SIMs will stop recharging if the purse is empty.
- What are Flickswitch's banking details?
Our banking details can be found here.
- What are the SIMcontrol fees?
SIM supply: R7 per SIM (includes RICA and network activation)
Courier Fees: R80-R95 (SA)
Platform Activation: R10 per SIM (once-off) when adding to the SIMcontrol service
Monthly Service Fees: See here
Data Bundles: See here
All fees are deducted from your pre-funded purse.
- On which networks can you monitor the balances of SIMs?
In South Africa we can only monitor daily balances for Vodacom prepaid SIMs. On MTN, Cell C & Telkom we can do scheduled recharges (i.e. once per month), however we cannot check daily balances.
- How frequently do the balances of my Vodacom SIMs get updated?
Airtime, Data bundles and SMS bundle balances are refreshed every 6-12 hours. Please note that if a SIM balance is below the recharge threshold and a recharge is triggered and successful, the new balance will only reflect in the next balance lookup a few hours later. If you need to know the exact balance of a SIM urgently, get in touch with us.
- How do I see the daily usage of my SIMs?
The online Usage Report records daily usage for all your monitored SIMs per day. If airtime and data and SMS are monitored they will all display. The figure shown is the estimated data/artime/SMS usage on a particular day, using our daily balance checks. We currently have the ability to monitor usage on Vodacom in South Africa, Airtel in Kenya and MTC in Namibia.
- What are the Vodacom, Cell C, MTN and Telkom tariffs for prepaid airtime, and data packages?
Please find current prices for all mobile networks here.
Data bundles rates may be changed by mobile networks at any time. We offer airtime and data bundles at face value (no mark-ups).
- Am I billed for failed recharges?
No, you are only billed once a recharge is successful.
- Which support services are included in my SIMcontrol service?
By using SIMcontrol you also benefit from our specialist support services. This means no more dealing with mobile operator call centres. Our support services include:
– Checking SIM network status (Vodacom)
– Detailed data session information to assist with trouble-shooting
– Bulk uploading of SIMs onto SIMcontrol
– Bulk moving of SIMs between recharge rules
– Ordering new SIMs
– Bulk RICA registration and SIM activation on the network
– Bulk recharges of new SIMs with test airtime or data
– International roaming activation (Vodacom)
– Recharge rule optimisation
– Any advice or general SIM management support
Support can be requested during business hours by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via telephone. For after-hour service you may contact the relevant mobile network operator directly.
- My SIMs did not recharge - what is wrong?
Most often this is caused by your account having insufficient funds. To see if this is the cause, log on to SIMcontrol and click on Purse. If your purse is empty, this will be reflected. Deposit money into any one of our accounts to remedy this.
- One of my devices is not responding - what's wrong?
Your airtime and/or data balance on the device may have run out. Log onto SIMcontrol and search for the SIM to review the current balance. If it is zero, your device with that SIM in will not work. Networks that we do not monitor – Telkom, MTN and Cell C will always show zero balance.
A suggested test is to load a small amount of data or airtime to the device (R2 minimum) through the SIMcontrol website, and then see if the device comes online.
Other issues may be device related (power, firmware), or a network outage in that area.
- What is expiry? What types of recharges are there and when do they expire?
In South Africa there are 3 types of recharges: Airtime, SMS and Data Bundles.
Depending on the network, Airtime may not expire but Data and SMS bundles do expire across all networks. Expiry rules vary per operator and these rules are sometimes changed. Most data bundles generally expire after 30 days, but specific bundles may have specific expiry rules.
You can adjust your recharge rules to optimally manage bundle expiry. Please contact our support team for some advice on how to do this.
- What happens if my device uses data but I did not buy a data bundle, only Airtime?
If there is no data bundle available on a SIM, the data will be billed against normal airtime. Airtime gets billed based on the so-called “out-of-bundle” rate, which differs per network operator. For Vodacom this rate is R2/MB. To avoid out-of-bundle charge either only load data bundles, or ensure that your rules always recharge data bundles timeously.
- Inactive SIM deletion - How does it work?
Mobile networks may delete a SIM from their network if there is no activity for a certain time. This differs from network to network. Contact us for the latest network SIM deletion rules.
As a guide, the following usually applies: (Guide only – please check with us)
– Vodacom: 5 months of no usage or no recharges
– MTN: 3 months of no SIM usage
– CellC: 3 months of no SIM usage
To keep a SIM alive, it must be used within this period, else the network may delete it. This means that the SIM will need to be replaced. On some networks (like Vodacom) our SIMcontrol service may be used to keep SIMs alive by automated “Keepalive” recharges. Contact us for more information.
- Can I keep a SIM "alive" for receiving messages without recharging it every month?
On some networks this is possible. A SIM can be kept “alive” by processing a small airtime recharge. On other networks, a recharge does not count towards activity and only usage from the device itself is seen as activity. Get in touch with us to help you set up the correct rule logic or to understand expiry better.
- Can I save/export a list of my SIMs?
Yes, you can save a list of your SIMs with their status and current airtime / data balances at any time. Same for recharge/usage reports.
- I have some devices that visit neighbouring countries and some that should just use their SIMs in South Africa. How do I handle this?
SIMs need to be provisioned for international roaming. Please request this from our support team. Data roaming is billed against normal airtime (not a local data bundle). Make sure roaming SIMs are loaded with airtime.
You can create a rule for roaming behaviour i.e. A rule named “In-country” configured to load with a data bundle and a rule named “Roaming” configured to load with a data bundle and airtime. (Data will be used in country and airtime whilst roaming).
- What is the purpose of the reference field in SIMcontrol?
It is a field used to identify your SIM so that it makes sense for you. I.e. the device ID, car registration number for tracking, etc.
- Can I integrate my own software services with SIMcontrol and Hotsocket using API's?
Yes, contact us regarding API documentation.
- Can I change the amount being loaded to a SIM at any time?
Yes, you create recharge rules to add the SIM to. You can change the rule, or create a new rule and move the SIM to the new rule. Please note that should you change a recharge rule, all SIMs on that rule will be affected.
We’re here to help
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