After buying a prepaid AT&T sim card to be used with my iPhone (mainly for data) while i’m in the US, I realized that AT&T blocks the data connectivity unless you have an iPhone plan on your AT&T account. But I found that when placing the same SIM on Android phone, the network data/internet connectivity works.
After reading about it quite a lot, I realized that many users are facing the same issue.. well.. I think I’ve found a full working solution for it!
What apparently is happening is that by default the iPhone pulls from AT&T an iPhone specific APN that blocks you if you don’t have a real iPhone plan on your account. To override this settings you can use Apple Configuration Utility to change the APN manually. You do NOT need to jailbreak your iPhone.
This is what you need to do to make the data/internet connectivity work on your iPhone with AT&T prepaid sim card. Please note that if you follow these steps I can’t take responsibility for any negative influence it might have while using it.
1. Place your AT&T SIM in your iphone
2. Make sure it finds the network and that you have a data package! The unlimited plan does not apply…
3. Download and install iPhone Configuration Utility from Apple (free) for your PC/MAC
4. Plug your iPhone to your PC/Mac
5. Create a new configuration profile on the iPhone Configuration Utility
6. Go to “advance” and create a new APN by giving it any name you want and any identifier you wish. Type the following in the relevant fields:
User Name: email@example.com
Proxy wireless.cingular.com port: 80
7. Save the profile and then select your iphone name under “devices”
8. Click on “install” button near the configuration profile name you just created (check your iPhone screen, you might be asked to tap on ‘Install’ there as well)
9. Turn on and off the Airplane mode (or restart your iPhone)
That’s it! now it should be able to access the web using the network data connectivity, same as the Android or any other device can do with the same SIM card..
When you’ll want to go back to your old SIM, just place it in and go to your settings on your iPhone and uninstall the profilfe. Or you can use the configuration utility to remove, what ever works better for you.
UPDATE (OCT. 5th 2011): You can now get a micro sim in the ATT store instead of the regular sized card, so you dont have to cut it if you’r using an iPhone4. They did not ask me to pay more for it. In addition, you should note that the GoPhone Unlimited plan with the unlimited data does not apply to smartphones including the iPhone (in regards to 3G Data). So you have to purchase a separate data plan (e.g. 500MB for 25$) to make the internet work for you.
UPDATE (DEC. 28th 2011): Several of you have asked about the iPhone 4S, some have already commented that this approach still works with the new iPhone and iOS 5.0.1, and now I confirmed it myself to be working OK.