All iPads Wireless carrier portabilty questions about Air/Retina Mini

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

  1. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #1
    If you want iPad with wireless carrier you have to choose your carrier.

    Are you stuck with the carrier you choose, or does one have ability to use other carriers with the appropriate SIM card?


    I read that Verizon iPad's have GSM unlocked, so one can use AT&T (and T-Mo??) Still true with new Air?

    If you get the AT&T, can you also use T-mobile? What about Verizon and Sprint?

    What about Sprint? Sprint only?
     
  2. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #2
    any carrier iPad with T-Mobile/AT&T SIM: easy

    any carrier iPad with Verizon SIM: buy SIM card from ebay and trick phone customer service into activating SIM card ICCID

    any carrier iPad with Sprint SIM: unknown at this point
     
  3. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #3
    I see, so the iPad is unlocked and works on all manner of protocol (GSM, CDMA, flavors off), just getting the carrier to activate the SIM for you iPad could be the tricky part.

    and the "Trick" is to make carrier think you have a phone to activate?


    I read about the iPad 3 (March 2012) someone got a Verizon iPad and put in an AT&T Sim and could use it right away (of course), however going the other way was not possible, or was just very difficult, involved many steps.

    I read the new Air and rMini they are unlocked, but earlier ones might not be.
     
  4. gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

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    #4
    It would appear the safest bet for universal activation without issues would be Sprint followed by Verizon. The devices are all unlocked, the issue is activation as you said.
     
  5. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    #5
    The iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display are unlocked and there's only one model for both CDMA and GSM carriers.

    Nope. You tell them it's an iPad but for some reason, you can't get it to activate. Verizon's going to try to activate using IMEI/MEID but that's not going to work so ask them if you can activate the SIM card ICCID instead. Of course, you don't want to tell them that the iPad is from another carrier otherwise, they'll give you the company spiel that they can only activate recognized devices, blah, blah... :rolleyes:

    Alternately, for Verizon, I think you might be able to go to a Verizon or Apple store and jot down the IMEI/MEID of one of the Verizon iPads and just activate your SIM card using Verizon's website:
    http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/nso/enterDeviceId.do

    I believe all iPads sold in the US to date are unlocked. Unfortunately, that meant zilch with older models.

    iPad 2
    AT&T: with SIM card slot but only worked with EDGE on T-Mobile
    Verizon: no SIM card slot

    iPad 3
    AT&T: with SIM card slot but only worked with EDGE on T-Mobile; no CDMA hardware and does not support Verizon LTE bands
    Verizon: with SIM card slot but only worked with HSPA on AT&T and EDGE on T-Mobile

    iPad 4/mini
    AT&T: with SIM card slot but only worked with EDGE on T-Mobile; no CDMA hardware and does not support Verizon or Sprint LTE bands
    Verizon/Sprint: with SIM card slot but only worked with HSPA on AT&T and EDGE on T-Mobile
     
  6. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #6
    Your awesome! Thanks! Now I understand.

    BTW, with T-Mobile, now that they are adding more frequency support, some areas could offer better then EDGE on older iPads, right?


    BTW, your name Japanese?
     
  7. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    #7
    In areas where they refarmed the GSM 1900 band to HSPA, yes.

    The nick means Rui's girl. I'm not Japanese, though - just a big anime and manga fan. :eek:
     
  8. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #8
    Incorrect for T-Mobile, at least in my area which I believe has been refarmed.

    Verizon ipad3 with T-Mobile SIM: I get "3G" on the status bar and SpeedTest suggests it's getting HSPA as I see ~10-12Mbps down.
     
  9. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    #9
    At the time of release, T-Mobile was still using AWS 1700/2100 for 3G and that was the basis of that post. You'll notice in the post right above yours, I do note that in areas where the GSM 1900 band has been refarmed, older iPads can get HSPA speeds. The only exception to this is the Verizon iPad 2 (CDMA) which doesn't have GSM hardware.
     
  10. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #10
    Yep. Just presenting current data / my experience.
     
  11. PracticalMac, Nov 12, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013

    PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #11
    Rui, was it the initial release of iPad 2 did not support Verizon, but when the updated model was released it gained Verizon support?

    I recall Verizon sold iPad's before a CDMA version was made for them, so it included a Cellular WiFi hotspot device until the CDMA model came out.

    ...I think it was the iPad 1 now, and the 2 came out with CDMA option.
    Yeah, that what must have happened.
     
  12. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    #12
    I do believe it's the first iPad that didn't get a Verizon version. Pretty sure the Verizon iPad 2 was available upon release. I seem to recall considering getting one of the 3G models when the iPad 2 was released.
     
  13. doxielover macrumors 6502a

    doxielover

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    #13

    I have iPad 2 AT&T 3G in Tmobile refarmed network. Only getting edge but I get great HSPA speeds on my 4S both are JB. Why aren't I getting the HSPA on iPad? I tried everything except restoring.
     
  14. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #14
    Yes, I am certain now. Verizon sold iPad 1 WiFi only with a Hotspot device the day iPhone 4 Verizon came out, couple of months before iPad 2.

    Try "Rest Network"?
     
  15. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

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    #15
    My mother's iPad 2 (ATT), got second hand, activated free TMo plan last weekend, 3G in rural Georgia.

    *shrug*.
     
  16. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    #16
    Again, I was talking about the state of networks at the time of release for each model. I have a Verizon iPad 3 that's working with T-Mobile 3G right now so I know it can work on TMo 3G now. From memory, refarming only started around June 2012. Before that, T-Mobile was using AWS 1700/2100 for HSPA which iPads before the Air did not support. I think T-Mobile has issued a press release that their refarming efforts are 95% complete so I reckon in majority of T-Mobile's coverage area, you'll be able to get 3G with T-Mobile even on older iPads (bar the iPad 2 Verizon CDMA-only model).
     
  17. Col Ronson macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    All new iPads have the frequency support for the AWS spectrum Tmobile used to use for HSPA+ previously and are now using for LTE.

    The only problem with Tmobile is that they only offer EDGE is rural areas/highways. Everytime i take a roadtrip im stuck on EDGE. Also building penetration for their AWS/1900Mhz frequencies suck majorally and if the signal is already weak, ill drop to EDGE.
     
  18. mig0 macrumors member

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    #18
    So would it make more sense to buy the verizon ipad (mini), and get a tmobile or at&t sim card later because going from an att/tmobile to verizon system is more difficult?
     
  19. joeshmo2010 macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Correct. Get the VZ one
     
  20. doxielover macrumors 6502a

    doxielover

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    #20
    Yes I did many times.
     

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