iPad - Verizon, Sprint, Tmobile

Nash Bridges

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 2, 2010
223
0
San Francisco
Is there anyway for the iPad to work on another carriers network without having to change the SIM card or are we locked into AT&T or nothing?
 

andyblila

macrumors 65816
Jul 8, 2008
1,263
15
On My iPhone, or my iPad?
Is there anyway for the iPad to work on another carriers network without having to change the SIM card or are we locked into AT&T or nothing?
Verizon and Sprint are CDMA so they will not work with the iPad which is GSM. TMobile is on a different frequency and does not support mini SIM cards, so you are stuck with AT&T for now. Good news is the iPad is not locked so if another GSM carrier supports mini SIM cards....then you'll be able to put your device on it's network.
 

bbtrinet

macrumors member
Jun 27, 2008
98
0
Is there anyway for the iPad to work on another carriers network without having to change the SIM card or are we locked into AT&T or nothing?
Cell phone networks work through radios. AT&T uses a different radio for 3G than Verizon does. To simplify things, think AM vs FM radio.

The iPad 3G only has a built-in radio that works with AT&T type radios (lets call this AM radio). Verizon uses a different radio (lets call this FM).

In theory, the iPad 3G can listen/talk to other 'AM' radios. The only other 'AM' radio in the United States is T-Mobile.

It's too costly (and might take too much space inside the iPad) to include both types of radios, so only one is included.

A 'sim card' is simply a little chip that lets you communicate with the network. It tells AT&T or Verizon what phone number you have, and whether you're allowed or not to talk to them. For example, since both AT&T and T-Mobile communicate with the same radio, in theory a T-Mobile cell phone could talk to an AT&T Cell Tower. And they do, and this is called 'roaming'.
 

Hmac

macrumors 68020
May 30, 2007
2,128
2
Midwest USA
The iPad's 3G modem supports UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz) and GSM/EDGE (850, 900,1800, 1900 MHz). T-Mobile's 3G runs on 1700 Mhz, so even if you could get a micro-SIM for T-Mobile, or cut down a regular SIM, the best an iPad would do on T-Mobile is their EDGE service, which would be painfully slow.

Gizmodo mentioned this:

Gizmodo said:
UPDATE: we have had some questions on the compatibility of the iPad with T-Mobile. To clarify: the announced specs of the iPad do not include support for the 1.7Ghz/2.1Ghz AWS standard that T-Mobile uses for their 3G network in the USA. However, it should be compatiable with the (non-3D) GPRS/EDGE network that T-Mobile also offers. So, it appears that you can connect an iPad to the T-Mobile network, but it will not get a 3G connection, and will run much slower than the AT&T or other GSM networks. This is, of course, assuming that the specs of the iPad do not change between now and product availability.
 

r0k

macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
3,612
73
Detroit
But wait, there's more! The iPad sim card is smaller than a standard sim card so you can't jam a tmo sim card in your Att 3G iPad.
 

Hmac

macrumors 68020
May 30, 2007
2,128
2
Midwest USA
But wait, there's more! The iPad sim card is smaller than a standard sim card so you can't jam a tmo sim card in your Att 3G iPad.
There is some talk of cutting down a regular SIM card, although the lack of 3G iPads has sort of impaired any broad-based testing of the concept...Even so, the ETSI (European Testing Standards Institute) has stated that the Micro-SIM is electronically identical to the standard SIM.
 

Attachments

frank.deale

macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2010
109
4
If you get a Verizon Palm Pre phone with the (now) free mobile hot spot you can use iPad wi-fi and the Verizon network.
 

brendu

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2009
2,407
2,249
USA
If you get a Verizon Palm Pre phone with the (now) free mobile hot spot you can use iPad wi-fi and the Verizon network.
and the palm pre is sweet.... (coming from an apple enthusiast)

Im still on the fence on whether I should buy the wifiPad or the 3GiPad, or wait for v2...
 

hamlinspahn

macrumors regular
Apr 9, 2010
239
0
Oklahoma City
Locked?

Locked is harsh word, it isn't locked, just near impossible to find a provider that uses the same technology as AT&T, and the preloaded service activation software might get in the way, but really it isn't locked.
 

robanga

macrumors 68000
Aug 25, 2007
1,656
1
Oregon
Mifi like products are perfect for the Wifi iPad. Carrier problem solved. You could probably find a case that would allow you to put both into as well.
 

Dr Kevorkian94

macrumors 68020
Jun 9, 2009
2,133
31
SI, NY
This guy got answeres up the wasoo like everone said u can use it with any carrier that has a micro sim as for AT&T apple just workek out a price for the iPad service u don't have to go with them tho. But for say verizon they don't use sim cards they network is cmda but if u want u could get there portable wifi hotspot and use it u would have to bring that with u along with ur iPad but do what u want
 

bunger

macrumors 6502
Mar 1, 2007
458
4
Buy the MiFi 2200 from Verizon and then you are good go. Of course, this is more expensive than buying the 3G iPad in the long run... but it is an option...
 

zub3qin

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2007
1,311
0
There is some talk of cutting down a regular SIM card, although the lack of 3G iPads has sort of impaired any broad-based testing of the concept...Even so, the ETSI (European Testing Standards Institute) has stated that the Micro-SIM is electronically identical to the standard SIM.
How does one get their hands on an extra SIM card from AT&T if cutting the card works?

Do I just ask for one? Is it free? If your iPhone is running one card, are you supposed to pop it out, cut it, and pop it in the iPad? Then do you just put a new SIM in iPhone? How does AT&T think you are only using one device?
 

Hmac

macrumors 68020
May 30, 2007
2,128
2
Midwest USA
How does one get their hands on an extra SIM card from AT&T if cutting the card works?

Do I just ask for one? Is it free? If your iPhone is running one card, are you supposed to pop it out, cut it, and pop it in the iPad? Then do you just put a new SIM in iPhone? How does AT&T think you are only using one device?
No clue. AFAIK, there aren't any micro-SIMS deployed in the US yet. The iPad will be the first. I don't think anyone's tested it. The theory has been that you could take a SIM from T-Mobile, cut it down and it should work in the iPad insofar as it will allow the iPad to work with your data plan from T-Mobile (on EDGE only, I guess since the iPad doesn't have T-Mobile's 3G frequency). I'm not sure how that's a good deal since T-Mobile's unlimited data plan is $50 while AT&T's is $30 and allows 3G.

Maybe you could buy a second AT&T SIM as part of their Family Plan, or maybe you have one on a phone you're not using (you'd still have to modify the SIM card). Problem with that is that Family Plan data packages are still $30 PLUS a two year contract.

No matter how you slice it, looks like they have you snookered. The AT&T iPad data plan is going to be your best deal. If you don't have AT&T coverage, looks like your next best bet is a pair of scissors and EDGE from T-Mobile. Everyone was pleased that the iPad was supposedly "unlocked", but from a practical standpoint, given its radio frequencies and the micro-SIM, the iPad 3G is functionally locked to AT&T.
 

zub3qin

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2007
1,311
0
No clue. AFAIK, there aren't any micro-SIMS deployed in the US yet. The iPad will be the first. I don't think anyone's tested it. The theory has been that you could take a SIM from T-Mobile, cut it down and it should work in the iPad insofar as it will allow the iPad to work with your data plan from T-Mobile (on EDGE only, I guess since the iPad doesn't have T-Mobile's 3G frequency). I'm not sure how that's a good deal since T-Mobile's unlimited data plan is $50 while AT&T's is $30 and allows 3G.

Maybe you could buy a second AT&T SIM as part of their Family Plan, or maybe you have one on a phone you're not using (you'd still have to modify the SIM card). Problem with that is that Family Plan data packages are still $30 PLUS a two year contract.

No matter how you slice it, looks like they have you snookered. The AT&T iPad data plan is going to be your best deal. If you don't have AT&T coverage, looks like your next best bet is a pair of scissors and EDGE from T-Mobile. Everyone was pleased that the iPad was supposedly "unlocked", but from a practical standpoint, given its radio frequencies and the micro-SIM, the iPad 3G is functionally locked to AT&T.
The real solution will be an adaptor- someone will make a SIM card sized adaptor that you can put your "cut" mini-SIM into.

Then you take your iPhone AT&T SIM, cut it, and then pop it into iPad as needed. When done, put it in the SIM card sized adaptor, and back into the iPhone.....
 

Hmac

macrumors 68020
May 30, 2007
2,128
2
Midwest USA
The real solution will be an adaptor- someone will make a SIM card sized adaptor that you can put your "cut" mini-SIM into.

Then you take your iPhone AT&T SIM, cut it, and then pop it into iPad as needed. When done, put it in the SIM card sized adaptor, and back into the iPhone.....
Seems simple enough. the iPad will still cost you $130 more, but you could save $30/month. If you already have an iPhone, would this work better than just tethering a wifi iPad to the iPhone?

How is the iPad going to look at an iPhone SIM? I assume they're programmed differently since one is data only and the other is voice+data, so, will it work?
 

goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
5,546
1,898
long island NY
Cell phone networks work through radios. AT&T uses a different radio for 3G than Verizon does. To simplify things, think AM vs FM radio.

The iPad 3G only has a built-in radio that works with AT&T type radios (lets call this AM radio). Verizon uses a different radio (lets call this FM).

In theory, the iPad 3G can listen/talk to other 'AM' radios. The only other 'AM' radio in the United States is T-Mobile.

It's too costly (and might take too much space inside the iPad) to include both types of radios, so only one is included.

A 'sim card' is simply a little chip that lets you communicate with the network. It tells AT&T or Verizon what phone number you have, and whether you're allowed or not to talk to them. For example, since both AT&T and T-Mobile communicate with the same radio, in theory a T-Mobile cell phone could talk to an AT&T Cell Tower. And they do, and this is called 'roaming'.
this post has nothing but mistakes in it. first off the reason Verizon and sprint cant use the ipad is cause they dont have sim cards. and you said in your post they do which is incorrect.

second the fm am thing would apply to t-moble and att which is why you only get edge when using t-moble in a iphone or ipad.

tho currently t-moble dont even have sim cards that fit in the ipad.
 

techn0lady

macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2010
105
0
this post has nothing but mistakes in it.
Unlike your grammar (sigh)....
No you are wrong and the original poster is spot on with his AM/FM radio analogy. T-mobile uses a different frequency for it's 3G so even if you cut down one of their SIM cards you will not be able to get their 3G service.

Verizon and Sprint use a totally different form of 3G so you can never use one of their services with a a GSM data service like the iPhone.

You, young man, are completely wrong.