Carrier Getting Verizon to activate an AT&T iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by da-vid, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. da-vid macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2010
    Has anyone had success in getting Verizon to activate an AT&T iPad? I'm struggling to do so. I have an AT&T Retina iPad Mini, but I switched to a Verizon More Everything plan and would like to put it on that to avoid paying for two separate plans.

    It's not a technical limitation (the hardware between an AT&T and Verizon iPad is completely identical), but Verizon does not let you activate devices whose IMEI/MEID numbers are not whitelisted by them. Inserting my Verizon iPhone's SIM card into my iPad works, because the SIM is already activated.

    I came across this thread which details the process, but I haven't been able to use that method successfully. That poster says he was able to get Verizon to use just the ICCID (the SIM card number) to activate the SIM, but every Verizon rep I've spoken to, both on the phone and in a store, say the system requires an identifier from the device itself in addition to the ICCID, so either Verizon has changed their system since that thread was made, or something else is going on.

    Another possibility would be to activate this SIM card on some other Verizon tablet and then just put the SIM into my iPad. I'm almost positive this would work. I just don't have access to another Verizon tablet.

    Any suggestions on how to get this SIM activated?
  2. rigormortis, Sep 13, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    Another possibility would be to activate this SIM card on some other Verizon tablet and then just put the SIM into my iPad. I'm almost positive this would work. I just don't have access to another Verizon tablet.

    Any suggestions on how to get this SIM activated?[/QUOTE]

    have you tried going to the store and asking them to maybe activate a sim on one of their store models?

    what about putting the sim in and activating one month of service at the cheapest data plan available and then adding it to your share everything plan?

    i've seen AT&T have two different sim cards. a phone sim like a go phone sim that is deactivated unless you put it in an iPhone and an actual data only sim.

    maybe verizon requires pure data sims ?

    i tested voice vs data sims on tmo and found out that my voice and data being two different sims theory was flawed as far as tmo is considered. as far as AT&T goes if you put a go phone sim in an iPad it simply won't work and won't connect to the network at all. this was before they came out with that iPad go phone plan that only works on the iPad 3.

    i put my verizon sim from my iPhone 5 in my tmobile iPad air and it works fine.
    putting my tmobile iPad air sim in my iPhone required the phone to the turned off and turned on and then the sim inserted to work to 4g (no lte), but i couldn't make voice calls of course

    does verizon allow you to add your iPad to a share plan using settings cellular data? or is settings cellular data on verizon only for adding pads to prepaid plans? under ideal circumstances the only way one should activate an iPad is using settings / cellular data with wifi off. anytime i heard of someone using customer service to activate an iPad its horror stories like tmo telling customers at the store they had to make payments. ideally the only way you should activate a sim is by clicking on Settings and go to Cellular DATA
  3. da-vid, Sep 13, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014

    da-vid thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2010
    My Verizon iPhone SIM works fine in my iPad, too. If I go into Settings -> Cellular Data and press "view account," it gives me a Verizon page saying "cannot activate your iPad," presumably because the IMEI/MEID isn't whitelisted by Verizon.

    Sigh, I'm beginning to think the only way to do this is to activate the SIM on a whitelisted Verizon tablet first. Maybe an understanding Verizon employee would let me use one of the store's devices.

    EDIT: Okay, this is strange. The SIM might be /partially/ activated, somehow, because my phone number shows up under Settings -> About on the iPad. I also receive push notifications, which is really strange. I can't use data in any other way, but push notifications still come in.
  4. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    This is the easiest route to take. I don't think you'll be able to activate using one of Verizon's display models, though. I don't think they're the normal consumer versions so the MEID might not activate either.
  5. da-vid thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2010
    That's a good point. Perhaps I could buy a Verizon tablet, use it to activate the SIM, and then return it?

    I don't think it will deactivate the SIM once the device is returned, because when the SIM is inserted into my iPad, the associated IMEI/MEID is switched to my iPad, effectively adding a non-whitelisted device to their system. The whitelist issue, from my understanding, is only when activating SIMs. I saw this happen when I put my iPhone SIM (which is already activated) into my iPad: on the My Verizon account page, my iPhone 5 changed to "unknown VZW device."
  6. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Yes. Whitelist is only required for activation. Their agreement with the FCC says they can't block compatible devices using 700MHz C band from accessing their network so once you're done with activation, you should be golden.
  7. da-vid thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2010
    How sure are you about this? I went into the Verizon store today and they (even the guy who legitimately seemed interested in helping me get my AT&T device on my account) were very insistent that SIMs are tied to their original device IMEI, so returning a device would deactivate that line, even after putting the SIM into my iPad.

    Is the information they're giving me incorrect? Can anyone tell me for sure that if, say, I bought a Verizon-approved tablet, used it to activate a new line, inserted the SIM into my iPad, and returned the new tablet, my new line would not also be deactivated?
  8. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    I've swapped SIM cards between my Verizon iPads and they've all worked just fine. The SIM cards were not locked to the device they were activated with. I've also been able to use the same SIM cards on an unlocked Nexus 7 (2013).

    I can't give you any guarantees that it'll work but it's not like you lose anything if you just try it. Buy the iPad from Apple instead of Verizon so you get a 14-day return policy and no restocking fee. If you buy from Apple, it's likely Verizon won't even know that you've returned the device.

    I think you might even be able to use the SIM card that came with the Verizon iPad and activate it on your More Everything plan via the following page so you might not even need to visit a Verizon store to get everything all activated.

    If it doesn't work out, then easy. Just remove the iPad from your More Everything account. There's no ETF or anything since the iPad won't be on contract anyway.
  9. xraydoc macrumors 604


    Oct 9, 2005
    You need to find a friend with a Verizon LTE iPad; buy a blank VZW SIM on eBay and activate it in your friends iPad. Then pop it in your AT&T iPad.

    If you buy the iPad at Verizon then attempt to activate, return it and keep the SIM, the account will still be deactivated upon the devices return (they usually insist on activating it in the store).

    You might be able to buy one at an Apple Store and then return it, but they may change you a restocking fee once it's opened.

    Using a friends is likely the least-risky way.
  10. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Apple doesn't charge a restocking fee. That said, yes a friend's iPad is the best way to go. I thought I had already recommended that route but I guess that was in another thread. :p
  11. da-vid thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 13, 2010
    Thanks for the tips. Literally none of my friends own iPads, unfortunately, otherwise I would've already tried that strategy, so I ordered a $430 Verizon iPad mini (i.e. the cheapest one) from Apple, which I will return almost immediately after using it to activate a SIM. I'll let you know how it works out.
  12. Breaking Good macrumors 6502a

    Sep 28, 2012
    Are you also able to get 3G data speeds on your various iPads?

    I though the CDMA portion still needed to be programmed into the device.

    I am by no means an expert so I could be completely wrong about this.

    Also, if you never leave Verizon's 4G LTE coverage area, it would be a non-issue.
  13. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Yes, 3G works. CDMA can also be authenticated using SIM cards. It doesn't have to be programmed into the device. That said, I almost always get LTE, anyway and the times when I've had to fallback to 3G, connection speed and latency was pretty awful that I ended up just doing something else that didn't require internet connection.
  14. smoke23 macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2014
    Ipad Air 2 AT&T to Verizon

    I just came across this thread. I have an Ipad Air 2 that I bought that was previously activated through AT&T. I would like to activate it through verizon. So I just need to purchase a new Verizon sim card and activate it?

    I popped my Iphone 6 Plus sim in and it worked just fine. When I went to check the Imei number on Verizon, it said "The phone associated with the Device ID you entered is not compatible with the Verizon Wireless network."

    So what I need to do to get this to work? Just buy a new card or buy a verizon ipad, activate the new sim in that, then pop it in the AT&T one?

Share This Page