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How to Enable You Attempted to Call Me on Airtel

We all know what happens when our phones die or go to an area with no service. Rather than getting a “Hello” from our intended recipients we are instead greeted by a lady’s voice: usually she says something along the lines of “Jambo! The mobile subscriber … cannot be reached” or the more common one “mteja hapatikani.”

So endemic are such occurrences that nowadays we simply use mteja to mean somebody is unreachable.

Fortunately our mobile network operators decided along the way to make life easy on us by introducing missed call alerts (“I tried calling you…”). This way you get to see who was calling you when you were unreachable and your callers get a caller notify alert (“you attempted calling…”) informing them that you’re now reachable.

It’s a win-win situation: your missed call gets a chance to be resolved, and the network doesn’t miss out on an opportunity to make some money from your talk time.

Safaricom has had this service for a while now, however their missed call alert is part of voicemail and is activated separately from their caller notify service.

In Airtel these two services are bundled into one and have to be activated manually as follows.

Activate Airtel’s Missed Call Alert (MCA) Service

  1. Send an SMS message to 555 with the text SUB MCA
    A screenshot of a text message to 555.
  2. Wait a couple of seconds and you should receive a reply from 555 confirming that you’ve been subscribed to MCA (Missed Called Alert).
    A screenshot of a text message confirming successful subscription to the missed call alert service.

Now give it a try. Turn your phone off or get into Airplane mode then have somebody call you. Turn on your phone again, and you should get a missed called alert SMS like this one:

A screenshot of a missed call alert SMS from Airtel Kenya.
Missed Call Alert SMS

The caller will also get the “You attempted to call me…” SMS alerting them that you’re now reachable.

A screenshot of a please call me back SMS from Airtel Kenya.

So that’s it. Don’t forget to show your loved ones and friends that are on Airtel how to do this. This way you’ll eventually be communicating in the event any of you was unreachable.

You can however also opt to have your callers leave your voicemails instead of relying entirely on this service, considering text messages tend to go unnoticed sometimes.

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Kelvin Kathia

Kelvin Kathia is the editor of Kenyan Fix, an informational blog that helps Kenyans with solutions to everyday questions on mobile networks, government services and banking.