Travelers: Did you have to sync with a computer to use foreign sim?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by JamSandwich, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. JamSandwich macrumors regular

    May 19, 2006
    The one question I have before buying a 3G (or non-3G) iPad is whether you commonly need to sync with iTunes when you use a new sim card in your iPad.

    I'm from Canada... if I'm travelling to the U.S. and get a Visa gift card and an AT&T sim I want to be able to just pop in that card and have it work. After I get an iPad I don't want to bring my laptop on vacation any more (same goes for overseas, of course).
  2. th0ma macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2009
    I bought an iPad in the U.S., used AT&T service, cancelled the plan, took it to Germany, switched sim cards, no problem at all. You really don't need to sync after initial setup, except for backup or transfer purposes.
  3. JonboyDC macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2004
    Thanks for that response -- I leave on a trip to France in 9 days, and this just cements my plan to use my iPad with an SFR pre-paid data plan and sim.
  4. Ral67 macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2010
    syncing after you put in a foreign SIM would give you the carrier settings that are sometimes required (APN, password)
    but you can also enter them manually
  5. JamSandwich thread starter macrumors regular

    May 19, 2006
    Ahh, that's good to know. Someone in another thread mentioned having to sync after putting in his local sim (Canada: Rogers), which caused me concern.

    I think the big challenge now is whether carriers will start to cater to international consumers with some form of pay-as-you-go option that doesn't require a local credit card. I'll never pay roaming rates, but I'm willing to give AT&T a month's worth of money for a week of service if they'll let me.

    (In all honesty, I'll do that regardless, with workarounds like Visa gift cards... but I'd also like it to be something my wife can do -- she's headed to Vegas in September and it would be nice if she could easily get internet access that's not expensive hotel wifi)
  6. awm037 macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2008

    I'm currently on an iPad 3G on the O2-UK network. After obtaining the micro-sim and inserting it, there was no option to view/create an account. The APN settings were correct, but the iPad required a Carrier Update. I then had to go to the Apple Store and they said that they could do it there, but it took them forever to find a computer that allowed syncing.
  7. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    I was the one who had to connect (not sync) my iPad to my computer before I could activate my 3G with Rogers.

    You can read these guides yourself, which asked you to connect to computer before signing up:
    (click 'learn more' under activate your iPad plan)

    or here,
  8. Czicks macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2009
    I can confirm that if your iPad has already synced once, you are fine. I purchased my iPad in Chicago and used it for a few weeks in the US with the unlimited ATT plan before flying home to Belgium.

    Once back, I purchased a cellular SIM that has zero talk minutes plus data. The plan is 500mb a month for 10€.

    The only points (and they're very minor) is some carriers do not offer MicroSIMs. I had to trim the plastic around my SIM to make it fit, but this is super easy.

    Also, like the other people said, you will probably need the APN info. Just Google search for APN and the name of your carrier and I'm sure you'll find the data you need.

    Pre-paid data plans certainly seem the best way to go for the world traveler. Enjoy your trip, or bon voyage. :)

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