The steps needed to activate a new cell using an access code vary greatly based on your cellular phone provider. Specific directions are available on the provider's website, usually in the 'Support' or 'FAQ' sections. However, most cellphone providers activate a new phone before transferring it to a customer.
When transitioning from an old cell phone to a new one, back up all information on the old phone, as the information may not transfer. This includes listening to all voicemail messages and checking all text messages. Transfer all pictures and mp3s to a different device (such as a computer) via USB cable.
Some companies allow you to activate your phone by calling a specific number and following voice prompts. This information is available on literature provided with the cellphone. Other providers have an option to activate the device online. Consumer Cellular, Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Straight Talk all have easy-to-follow directions available online for activating your new phone in a short period of time.
Start by navigating to your provider's website using the address on literature accompanying the cellphone. From there, find a Support or Activate link at the top of the page, usually toward the right. From there, you can find your specific phone provider's means of activation. After following all steps, your phone is activated and ready for use.