EE Error 38

EE Error 38: How To Fix It On Your Phone

Are you trying to send or receive messages or call someone on the EE network, but an error 38 pops up on your phone? 

In this article, we’ll explore the meaning of this error and discuss 7 simple and quick hacks to help you get rid of it once and for all. 

What is error 38 on EE?

  • Texting or calling a blocked contact.
  • SIM is deactivated for 6 months of non-chargeable use.
  • Incorrect message center number.
  • Misconfigured network settings.
  • Incorrectly seated SIM.
  • Service outages or the network is not working correctly.

How do I fix EE error 38?

1. Check the EE Service Status

Sometimes, the EE service faces outages due to technical issues or ongoing maintenance that can cause this error. 

To check the EE service status, go to their EE Coverage & Network Status Checker page, enter your postcode, select your mobile phone, and click “Check Status.”  

If there is a known issue in your area, wait for the EE technicians to resolve it and get the service up again.

2. Unblock the Contact

You might be trying to communicate with a contact number you’ve blocked on your mobile phone, resulting in the error 38 showing up on the screen. 

So, try to unblock the contact number on your mobile phone with these steps:

  • Open the “Phone” app.
  • Tap “Contacts.”
  • Find the number you want to unblock and tap it. 
  • Tap “Unblock” or “Unblock this Caller.”

3. Restart Phone

Restarting your phone prompts it to re-establish the connection with the EE cellular network and resolve any underlying issues causing the error.

  • Press & hold “Power” and “Volume.”
  • Drag the “Power off slider” until the screen turns off. 
  • Wait 30-60 minutes for the network to refresh.
  • Press “Power” to turn on your iPhone and verify if this fixes the error.

For Android phones, press “Power,” tap “Restart,” and wait for your phone to reboot. 

Another way to refresh the phone and network connection is to turn on and turn off Airplane mode this way:

Android phone:

  • Swipe down on the screen to access the “Quick Settings” menu. 
  • Tap “Airplane Mode.” 
  • Wait 15-30 seconds, tap “Airplane Mode” to disable it, and let the phone reconnect to the network.


  • Open “Settings.”
  • Toggle off “Airplane Mode.”
  • Wait 15-30 seconds and disable the “Airplane mode” to verify if you can send messages or call others now. 

4. Change the Message Center Number

Message Center Number or MSC lets EE mobile network handle text communications on your mobile phone. 

However, if this number is incorrect on your phone, the network won’t let you send or receive messages and will show the error message 38. To avoid this, change the MSC in the messaging app in the following way: 

  • Open “Messages.”
  • Tap “Settings.”
  • Select “More Settings.”
  • Choose “Text Messages.”
  • Select “Message Center.”
  • Type +447973100973 in the given field and tap “Set” to confirm.

For iPhone, dial **5005*7672*SMSNUMBER# from the “Phone” app to add the EE message center number. 

5. Re-activate EE SIM 

If you haven’t used the EE mobile network for any chargeable activities in the past 179 days, the service provider deactivates your account and removes any credit. As a result, when you try to make a call or send a text message, the error 38 shows up.

To re-activate your EE SIM, call 150 from your phone or 0800 956 6000 from other networks to contact EE customer service. If you want to contact them via Skype, call Freephone at +44 800 079 8586. 

6. Clean SIM and Slot

Sometimes, dust accumulation in the SIM slot interferes with the communication between your phone and EE SIM.

To fix this, turn off the phone, use a SIM card ejector tool to remove the tray, and clean the SIM card and its slot with a soft microfibre cloth or cotton wipe. Put the SIM back in place, turn on your phone, and check if this resolves the 38 error code.

7. Reset Network Settings 

The network settings on your mobile phone might be misconfigured or corrupted, leading to a connectivity issue with the EE service. 

To fix this issue, reset the network settings on your Android phone or iPhone with the steps given below:


  • Open “Settings.”
  • Tap “General Management.”
  • Tap “Reset.”
  • Choose “Reset Network Settings.”
  • Select “Reset Settings.”
  • Enter the password/PIN and tap “Reset.”


  • Open “Settings.”
  • Tap “General.”
  • Select “Transfer or Reset iPhone.”
  • Choose “Reset.”
  • Tap “Reset Network Settings” and verify the error is gone.

NOTE: Resettings the network settings can also resolve the EE mobile data not working issue. 


In this detailed guide, we’ve discussed what EE error 38 is and how you can quickly troubleshoot this issue on your phone.

We hope you can now enjoy uninterrupted and seamless communication through the EE network without having to face further complications.