Carrier Problem activating with new Sprint SIM

Discussion in 'iPad' started by blackjackmark, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. blackjackmark macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #1
    Just got a cellular iPad Air complete with preinstalled Sprint SIM. When I try to activate it stated something like "cannot activate this automatically with the SIM installed. Install a SIM from a company for which we can activate". (I'm vague on the wording as I popped the SIM out and then popped my free T-Mobile one in, and it's currently in the process of restoring).

    Anyway, what's up with the Sprint activations? If I had bought T-Mobile and was trying to put a Sprint SIM in, then I could see more of a potential for a conflict. But heck this shipped with the Sprint SIM, and it cannot be activated with it?

    Wonder if it's just a bad SIM?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Lucille Carter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    #2
    Did you buy from Sprint or directly from Apple.

    Call them and ask them what is going on. Start with Sprint and have the SIM card number handy.
     
  3. blackjackmark thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 19, 2010
    #3
    Neither, from Target! :cool:

    In all hostly I have very little intention of using the Sprint SIM, since I'm either using the free T-Mobile or the AT&T 1gb/3mth plan, but I thought it was weird it would have problems right out of the box.
     
  4. blackjackmark thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #4
    Here's the error screen

    It almost makes it sound like Apple can't activate a Sprint iPad which I'm sure is wrong?!? The T-Mobile SIM worked fine....just can't get the original SIM which was shipped with it to work! LOL
     

    Attached Files:

  5. HouseOfCards macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    #5
    This is expected behavior for any iPad Air sold for a carrier other than Sprint. The iPads are fully unlocked aside from Sprint SIMs being disallowed on all non-Sprint models. It seems Sprint has requested that Apple lock out other carriers’ iPads, likely due to an important difference in how Sprint authenticates devices for its network versus Verizon and other CDMA/LTE carriers.

    But since your iPad was purchased for use on Sprint, this is odd.

    When you first turned on your iPad and went through the setup screens and activation, did you have the Sprint or T-Mobile SIM installed? I ask because in certain situations the activation policy is changed or defined by the first SIM inserted. However, I’ve never known this to be the case for an iPad.

    I would also check the Model Number in Settings > General > About. If it isn’t one of these, you’ve been sold the wrong carrier model: MF020LL/A, MF021LL/A, MF024LL/A, MF025LL/A, MF026LL/A, MF027LL/A, MF028LL/A, MF029LL/A
     
  6. blackjackmark thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 19, 2010
    #6
    It's an MF024LL/A. The first time I attempted to activate I left the preinstalled Sprint sim in it. Agreed, very odd!had I popped the T-Mobile in first then maybe I caused my own problem, but I did everything as if I only had a Sprint sim and it has still failed. The Apple senior rep was quite puzzled about it too. She will be calling Sprint again today so it'll be interesting to hear what she is told.
     
  7. HouseOfCards macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    #7
    Again, odd. Even if you had initially activated it with a T-Mobile SIM, you purchased it as a Sprint device, so you should never be locked out of their network.

    Just to be clear, initially you were able to successfully activate the iPad with the Sprint SIM installed? But then after you had used the T-Mobile SIM, the Sprint SIM was no longer accepted?
     
  8. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #8
    From what I understand, he tried in the following order:

    Sprint - failed
    T-Mobile - activated
    Sprint - failed
     
  9. YodasMaster macrumors member

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    Nov 10, 2012
  10. blackjackmark thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 19, 2010
    #10
    What rui said! :eek:

    Sprint won't allow it to be activated. Now I popped an ATT sim in it and no problems activating with it either.

    I posted my experience on the Sprint Facebook page, and one of the reps answered and said that they did not have anything but postpaid plans. So I posted the link to the Sprint website that shows that they offered prepaid plans on a monthly basis for iPads. LOL

    Not that I really had any inclination to be a Sprint customer for cellular, but this makes certain I'll never be using them!:rolleyes:
     
  11. HouseOfCards macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    #11
    As you know, Sprint is giving you totally inaccurate information. This has nothing to do with the type of wireless account you want or have with them. Even if they were to activate your SIM and MEID/IMEI on a postpaid data plan, you would be unable to use it because Apple’s activation server isn’t allowing the Sprint SIM.

    Based on what you’ve said, it sounds like your iPad is assigned the wrong activation policy (the ATT/TMobile/Verizon activation policy vs. the Sprint activation policy). This is an error that would have occurred on Apple’s end at manufacturing/shipment. In order to solve the problem, you probably need to speak with a higher level person at Apple who has privileges to modify activation policies. Even with the activation policy fixed, if the MEID isn’t in Sprint’s database, you still won’t be able to activate it with them. If you care about having the option to use Sprint in the future, an exchange might be an easier solution.

    I’m not aware of this type of mix-up happening before, and I wonder if it’s an isolated issue or more widespread. Interestingly, there are also a few posts about Verizon-labeled iPad Airs not being in Verizon’s device database (causing Verizon to deny their activation), suggesting Apple may have had some mix-ups there too.
     
  12. blackjackmark thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 19, 2010
    #12
    All good thoughts. I also wondered if the sim was intended for an iPhone. That would make a little more sense. My first call to remedy it was to Apple and I did indeed get elevated to a senior person. She called Sprint and was told they could do nothing for her and that I would have to call to have the device reprovisioned. She offered to call them and conference me in but at the time I didn't have time. So I emailed her all the pertinent numbers and am awaiting hearing back from her.
     
  13. HouseOfCards macrumors newbie

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    Mar 14, 2013
    #13
    That is a possibility. And it’s the only other possibility I can think of.

    Sprint has transitioned to CSIM for the iPhone 5c/5s, but has otherwise used USIM for all other LTE devices. However, I’m not sure if Sprint has also transitioned the iPad Air to CSIM. I’m also not sure whether Apple’s activation server would even differentiate between the two.

    But trying another Sprint SIM couldn't hurt.
     
  14. Dan-- macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    #14
    I'm interested if there will ever be a way to get on the Sprint network from another carrier device.

    Around here, they don't have much service right now - no LTE, marginal 3G, and a fair amount of Off Network Roaming. Verizon wins that service battle nearly hands down. But Sprint's plans are much cheaper, and at work, at least voice calls have the best reception on Sprint's Network, because I assume they got their towers closer. With no personal wired or wifi access at work, I'd like to be able to use Sprint, especially if they upgrade to LTE in my area. But right now, I pretty much have to go with Verizon.
     
  15. blackjackmark thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 19, 2010
    #15
    Good luck with that, considering they won't even let me on with one of their legitimately purchased SIM cards! LOL
     
  16. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
  17. Dan-- macrumors regular

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    Jul 30, 2008
    #17
    Yeah, no kidding. Better luck to you. I'd say your chances are greater.
     
  18. Aggie88 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 6, 2013
    #18
    I also bought a "Sprint" iPad Air from Apple and am having problems activating the cellular part. When I click on "view Account" it says there is an error and I need to call Sprint. The upper left hand portion of the display says either "no service" or "searching". I called Sprint and talked with 5 or so different people to no avail. They told me to take it into a Sprint store so they could work with it. I did verify a sprint SIM was installed or at least that is what the SIM says on it.

    Anyone else besides the OP having this problem and has anyone resolved it?
     
  19. Aggie88 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    #19
    I went to the Sprint store today. They tried everything I tried yesterday. They then called Sprint and were told that my MEID wasn't in their system (they told me that yesterday). They said that it was a communication problem between Apple and them. They've opened a work ticket to add my MEID and tie it to my ICCID (SIM serial number). It is supposed to take up to 48 hours to complete. Hopefully everything will be resolved by mid-week.
     
  20. blackjackmark thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 19, 2010
    #20
    Interesting that at least yours allowed you to activate it. Mine won't even allow activation unless I pull the sim out and pop a T-Mobile or AT&T in it.
     
  21. Aggie88 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 6, 2013
    #21
    It isn't "fixed" yet but it sounds promising. I'll post more when I hear back from Sprint.
     
  22. Aggie88 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    #22
    I have not heard back from Sprint yet. I don't know how long it takes for them to add a MEID to their database. I was told 24-48 hours. It has now been 72. Tomorrow I'll call the Sprint store rep I dealt with on Sunday. If nothing happens by Saturday, I'll take the iPad to the Apple store to return/exchange it.
     
  23. Aggie88 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 6, 2013
    #23
    Sprint was not able to add the MEID to their system. They are saying the MEID isn't registered. My only choice is to return this one and get a replacement.
     
  24. blackjackmark thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 19, 2010
    #24
    Apple rep has never called me back. I haven't pursued it since I now know I have no desire to use Sprint!
     
  25. bidwalj macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    #25
    Unless you guys have decent lte around your area, it's a waste to go with sprint data anyway. Best bet is att or tmobile. You can get a verizon sim working on it too but the sim has to be active first. Tmo you can activate on the ipad, I'm assuming att the same way.
     

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