Has it ever happened to you that you missed a call and wondered whether the call was important or just unwanted advertisement? Of course, you can use services like Truecaller to know who the call was from. But that will send a lot of your phone data to the database of such services. It is more preferable to use the good old voicemail. Besides, if you use voicemail, your callers can record their messages when you are not available to pick up their call.
Voicemail is a popular service because it gives so much convenience to phone users. Whether one has a premium smartphone or a budget phone, anyone can use voicemail. In some countries, almost everyone uses it. However, it is still uncommon in India. Most telecom operators provide it for free in India. Yet, it is not popular because setting it up is a hassle. I learnt that when I tried to set it up on my phone.
I tried setting up voice mail on Airtel prepaid number twice in 2018. But I was not able to complete the process. Sometimes, I failed to setup my audio message. Or got some other error. Feeling frustrated with the repeated errors, I gave up.
Yesterday, I decided to give it one more try. And I’m happy to report that finally, I’ve setup voicemail on my prepaid Airtel phone. I had to do a lot of Googling for it and use information and tips from multiple sites. Here’s how I set voicemail on prepaid Airtel number:
How to activate voicemail on Airtel Prepaid number
- Dial *321*671# to activate voicemail on your Airtel number. Or send SMS start VMS to 52555. Your voicemail will be activated. It is a free service.
- Once activated, dial 52555 to setup the voicemail service options. It will prompt you to setup a 4-digit password. Add your password. Be sure to note it down somewhere safe. You don’t want to forget this code.
- Follow the instruction to record your welcome message. You can review your message before saving. You can also delete and add a new message any time you want.
Activate voicemail for busy, unanswered, unreachable status:
With the above steps, you’ve activated and setup your voicemail. This ought to be enough for you to start using it. But it isn’t actually. You still need to set up call forwarding to your voicemail inbox.
To do this, I checked the settings on my phone. I followed the path: Phone app > Settings > More settings > Call forwarding > Voice call. I saw that a voicemail inbox number (9810098200 for Delhi/NCR) was already set for Forward when busy, Forward when unanswered and Forward when unreachable. Yet, when I tried, the voicemail didn’t work for any of these situations.
So, I googled some more and finally found an article that gave me more numbers to dial. I dialed those numbers and was able to get my Airtel voicemail working. But it’s quite a hassle going through so many steps. Once the voicemail is activated and password and welcome message is set, the call forwarding should be automatic. But it wasn’t so for me.
Setup call forwarding to voicemail inbox number
Setup voicemail for ‘Forward when busy’:
- Activate: *67*9810098200*11# (Note that the number 9810098200 is the same that I saw automatically added to call forwarding fields. So, if you find a different call forwarding number for your region, use that instead of (9810098200) in these codes.
- Deactivate: #67*11#
Setup voicemail for ‘Forward when unanswered’
- Activate: *61*9810098200*11*[seconds]# (You can add 5 to 30 seconds in the space I’ve highlighted in blue.) This is as per the instructions I found. But changing the seconds did not seem to make any difference
- Deactivate: #61*11#
Setup voicemail for ‘Forward when unreachable‘
- Activate: *62*9810098200*11#
- Deactivate: #62*11#
The codes mentioned above are for Delhi/NCR. If these don’t work for you, try the number +9152555. Or contact Airtel customer service.
Test your voicemail
To make sure your voicemail is working, test it by calling your number from another number. If it is working, you should hear your recorded message when the call goes unanswered, is busy, or unreachable. To test the ‘phone unreachable’ scenario, just put your phone on Airplane mode.
If all is set properly, you should get notified on your number about a missed call and the voicmail waiting for you.
Listen to your voicemail
To listen to your voicemail, just dial 52555 (or press the No. 1 hotkey on your keypad). You’ll be asked to dial your password or PIN number. key in the 4-digit password you set. You will be informed how many unheard voicemails you have. The messages will start playing.
Here are the control keys to manage your voice mails:
- 3: Delete
- 4: Reply
- 5: Save
- 6: Previous Voicemail
- 7: Replay Again
- 8: Next Voicemail
- 9: Settings
So this is how I setup voicmail on my Airtel number. Today, I received my first voicemail too. The message said, ‘Hello, oh,’ and then the call was cut. By that I’m guessing that it was some spam call. And I’m glad I missed it.
If you try setting up voicemail using the above mentioned process, do let me know how it goes. I hope this post will make the experience easier for you.