Confirmed working - Verizon iPad sim (data only plan) in iPhone5

tasset

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 22, 2007
568
192
Before explaining, I realize this scenario may not be a good fit for everyone. To each their own.

I had a Verizon LTE iPad for a few months, sold it, but deactivated the data plan for a couple of months. Verizon or AT&T let you freeze an account and restart as needed, since it is a prepaid data access plan. I have found the $20 1gb plan to be sufficient in my case since both home and work I have wifi access.

To try this, I called Verizon and reactivated the $20 plan. I cut down the microsim to a nanosim with an exacto knife which was very easy. Then I put my iPhone5 in airplane mode, swapped sims, turned airplane mode off, and voila data-only prepaid access!

If you make alot of calls this may not be for you. If you use alot of cellular data, it may not be for you. Or if you are not in an LTE area it may be substandard. I happen to have all my calls and texts routed through Google Voice, Skype, and iMessage so data only works great for me. And VOIP calls work just great (hey simultaneous voice and data!).

Just wanted to pass along to those looking for a barebones prepaid plan.
 

sundog925

macrumors 6502a
Dec 19, 2011
925
896
I laugh when I read things like this.

its called iPhone, if your not going to use the PHONE part, just get an ipod touch or laptop. makes zero sense to eliminate a huge variant of the product cuz your cheap.
 

tasset

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 22, 2007
568
192
I laugh when I read things like this.

its called iPhone, if your not going to use the PHONE part, just get an ipod touch or laptop. makes zero sense to eliminate a huge variant of the product cuz your cheap.
Perhaps I would, if the iPod Touch had GPS, a better camera, or off-wifi access. :rolleyes:

And it works as a phone just fine. I don't feel the need to make the telco the gatekeeper of that feature though. They just need to be dumbpipes.
 

Leonard1818

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2011
2,459
401
I laugh when I read things like this.

its called iPhone, if your not going to use the PHONE part, just get an ipod touch or laptop. makes zero sense to eliminate a huge variant of the product cuz your cheap.
I laugh when I read replies of people who didn't read the original post.
 

tasset

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 22, 2007
568
192
I assume that this worked in a Verizon iPhone 5?
Yes, correct. Sorry for not pointing that out. My intention is to have the fastest, most reliable cellular data when off wifi. I make very few phone calls per month. Not enough to justify the line + regulatory fees that are tacked on with it. All my SMS goes thru iMessage and the Google Voice number I have which I ported out from AT&T some time ago.
 

c.s.

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2007
248
192
Just to confirm, you're getting LTE speeds? Have you tried the hotspot feature on the iPhone? I'm nervous about cutting down the iPad sim, but this would work great for me.
 

kmichalec

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2010
823
222
Yes, correct. Sorry for not pointing that out. My intention is to have the fastest, most reliable cellular data when off wifi. I make very few phone calls per month. Not enough to justify the line + regulatory fees that are tacked on with it. All my SMS goes thru iMessage and the Google Voice number I have which I ported out from AT&T some time ago.
Very intrigued by this. A nice solution, but I wonder if Verizon can detect this, and will decide to shut you down at all. I hope they don't, but just curious if they would (could)?
 

aneftp

macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
4,282
481
Per FCC rules. LTE sim switching between Verizon certified devices is perfectly legally.

U can put a data only LTE SIM card in any Verizon LTE device.

Usually it's the other way around. People like me put their phone LTE sim in a LTE iPad to get unlimited LTE data.

But u can use ur data only LTE sim in an LTE phone. Not just iPhone. But thunderbolt/rezound/S3 etc. u are of course limited to a certain data point that way.

Unlike the other way around.
 

tasset

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 22, 2007
568
192
Just to confirm, you're getting LTE speeds? Have you tried the hotspot feature on the iPhone? I'm nervous about cutting down the iPad sim, but this would work great for me.
Yes LTE speeds just fine. I was unsure about it myself, because several months ago I saw testers trying to use a data-only sim in a Galaxy Nexus but for some reason it would only connect on 3G, not LTE. I don't know if that was ever resolved (as I was waiting for an LTE iPhone).
The question about tethering though, I can't figure out. I go into settings and was assuming hotspot would be activated because it is automatically on an iPad. But it tells me to call customer service just like it had on an iPhone plan. I would have thought it was tied to the plan and not the device.:confused:
 

iAi

macrumors 6502
Sep 26, 2012
291
0
So basically any Verizon nano SIM card will work on an iP5 VRZ with prepaid VRZ plan? Or I guess to be me more blunt / dumb about it, can I get a monthly prepaid data plan with LTE on my iPhone 5 Verizon? I still have the sim but am using AT&T nano SIM card on it.

You told them (VRZ) you still have the iPad?
 
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tasset

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 22, 2007
568
192
So basically any Verizon nano SIM card will work on an iP5 VRZ with prepaid VRZ plan? Or I guess to be me more blunt / dumb about it, can I get a monthly prepaid data plan with LTE on my iPhone 5 Verizon? I still have the sim but am using AT&T nano SIM card on it.

You told them (VRZ) you still have the iPad?
I can't say for certain ANY prepaid data sim will work (i.e. from another tablet or mifi). I assume they all use the same data apn, but honestly not sure.

I was a bit surprised how easy it was to reactivate my old data account! They actually didn't even ask if I still had the iPad. I just said I wanted to reactivate, so I'm sure the CS rep didn't even think there would be another alternative use for it.
I do wish it was easier to access and make data plan changes through Verizon's web portal. It's very easy on AT&T, I'll give them that much credit.
 

iAi

macrumors 6502
Sep 26, 2012
291
0
I can't say for certain ANY prepaid data sim will work (i.e. from another tablet or mifi). I assume they all use the same data apn, but honestly not sure.

I was a bit surprised how easy it was to reactivate my old data account! They actually didn't even ask if I still had the iPad. I just said I wanted to reactivate, so I'm sure the CS rep didn't even think there would be another alternative use for it.
I do wish it was easier to access and make data plan changes through Verizon's web portal. It's very easy on AT&T, I'll give them that much credit.
Ahhh, thanks - reactivation is the key word. Let me try, if I could find a way with my situation haha.
 

tasset

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 22, 2007
568
192
Ahhh, thanks - reactivation is the key word. Let me try, if I could find a way with my situation haha.
The absolute WORST option, which I wasn't willing to go through the effort without seeing others make it work, would be to go into a Verizon store and get a new data sim. Then walk up to an iPad there (or an Apple Store) pop in the sim and activate it directly the standard way. But didn't have to go to that extreme!
 

bursthead

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2010
280
3
Hey OP. Have you tried sending or receiving sms (not imessage) on the iphone. I know it's not possible on the Ipad, but I was wondering if you could try and give it a shot.
 

Sixth Street

macrumors member
Oct 7, 2007
94
8
This is VERY intriguing and fits my needs perfectly. However, I have never had an Verizon wireless account. How can I go about trying to do this?
 

tasset

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 22, 2007
568
192
Hey OP. Have you tried sending or receiving sms (not imessage) on the iphone. I know it's not possible on the Ipad, but I was wondering if you could try and give it a shot.
Tried an SMS and a call just for testing the boundaries.
SMS immediately fails. Calls go to a recording that states to the effect of "we're sorry, this service does not allow for us to complete this call."

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This is VERY intriguing and fits my needs perfectly. However, I have never had an Verizon wireless account. How can I go about trying to do this?
Unfortunately not as easy as picking a sim card off a rack and activating. You either have to:
1) go into a Verizon store and ask for a sim card for service, which they SHOULD give you free since you simply want to pay them for new service. Might have to stretch the truth and tell them you have the device at home.
2) get a new sim off eBay. They're not too expensive.
3) get an actual device (tablet or mifi) and activate service. Then just pop the sim card into your iPhone.
 

Sixth Street

macrumors member
Oct 7, 2007
94
8
But once I get this sim card, how do I activate a data only plan. Do I need to have access to a Verizon iPad (or other Verizon data device like the mifi)?
 

ronkuba

macrumors regular
Feb 26, 2011
110
9
I have been using my iPhone 5 like this for the past week. I use google voice for texting and talkatone for voice. Now just waiting for a jailbreak so I can use talkatone with the stock dialer.
 

MacVault

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2002
1,144
59
Planet Earth
Apn?

So, this sorta thing was done a while back on AT&T but you had to modify the APN, etc. of the phone. Do I understand correctly you don't have to modify any such thing when doing this on Verizon? And is Verizon's system likely or legally able to shut my service off when/if they detect what I'm doing?

And I thought Verizon was CDMA and that it does not use a SIM but that the GSM radio of the Verizon iPhone has a sim slot. What am I missing?

I would so love a data-only plan on my iPhone 5 - so much that I would return my AT&T 5 and go buy a Verizon at full price.
 

darster

Suspended
Aug 25, 2011
1,703
1
Interesting. I have an AT&T ipad with a month to month plan. Wasn't planning on renewing after this month. Still have about 2 weeks left. Have a verizon Iphone 5. Wonder if I cut down the AT&T sim card and put it into iPhone, if it will work over AT&T 3G as just a data phone.
 
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tasset

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 22, 2007
568
192
So, this sorta thing was done a while back on AT&T but you had to modify the APN, etc. of the phone. Do I understand correctly you don't have to modify any such thing when doing this on Verizon? And is Verizon's system likely or legally able to shut my service off when/if they detect what I'm doing?

And I thought Verizon was CDMA and that it does not use a SIM but that the GSM radio of the Verizon iPhone has a sim slot. What am I missing?

I would so love a data-only plan on my iPhone 5 - so much that I would return my AT&T 5 and go buy a Verizon at full price.
Well sir, then you are in luck. There is no apn config (I also did that on AT&T's fauxG).
Verizon's last-gen network up to 3G used CDMA so you are correct that did not use sim cards. But all LTE networks use sim cards, including Verizon.

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Interesting. I wave an AT&T ipad with a month to month plan. Wasn't planning on renewing after this month. Still have about 2 weeks left. Have a verizon Iphone 5. Wonder if I cut down the AT&T sim card and put it into iPhone, if it will work over AT&T 3G as just a data phone.
I have not tried, but since the Verizon iPhone5 is unlocked I imagine it will with an apn profile change (see http://www.unlockit.co.nz).
 

MacVault

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2002
1,144
59
Planet Earth
Well sir, then you are in luck. There is no apn config (I also did that on AT&T's fauxG). Verizon's last-gen network up to 3G used CDMA so you are correct that did not use sim cards. But all LTE networks use sim cards, including Verizon.
So is this to say that this data-only sim trick will give me coverage only where there is LTE but I will have no 3G data coverage? How about non-LTE 4G coverage? And where can I learn how to SAFELY cut down the sim to fit in iPhone 5?
 
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