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  1. Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  
    johndhynes's Avatar
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    Default Using SIM card without data plan

    Now that I am getting the 4S, I want to give my MIL my old (off-contract, jailbroken 4.3.1) 3GS. We are on the same AT&T family account and she currently has a feature phone she hates and has no need for using cellular data. Can I put her SIM in the 3GS and have it work without a data plan? If I disable data, can AT&T still tell that it's an iPhone? Would I have to jailbreak, unlock or anything else?

    I saw that there is a site called Unlockit; does that really work and is it totally safe? Are there other alternatives?

    I paid $720 for data over the past two years, and don't see the need to keep paying for something that I no longer need.
  2. #2  
    Fausty82's Avatar
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    You can try. As soon as AT&T sees the iPhone on their network without a data plan, they will add one for you. They, along with most (all?) other carriers require data plans for all smart phones.
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  3. Thread AuthorThread Author   #3  
    johndhynes's Avatar
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    I know that they require that, the question is, can you get around the requirement so that AT&T doesn't see the iPhone if it's not using cellular data?
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    mikesa_tx's Avatar
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    I have tried this out before when I had a phone and tried to put a sim card into an iPhone. ATT can detect you are on an iPhone and will add a data feature on there. I mean you can call them and let them know that you don't need data and see what they say.
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  5. #5  
    Fausty82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndhynes View Post
    I know that they require that, the question is, can you get around the requirement so that AT&T doesn't see the iPhone if it's not using cellular data?
    As far as I know, no, it can't be hidden. The IMEI (serial number) will identify the devices as an iPhone as soon as it hits the AT&T network - and then the wheels start turning. I know it's illegal to alter the IMEI in any way, so I doubt that there is any way around this situation.
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  6. #6  
    Franasia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesa_tx View Post
    ATT can detect you are on an iPhone and will add a data feature on there. I mean you can call them and let them know that you don't need data and see what they say.
    I just went through the practical experience: the minute your sim card is inserted into any newer smartphone, the system immediately adds the 2GB ($25 a month) data plan. I called them up and was told it was not possible anymore to be without data plan, disregarding the fact that the phone be unlocked or not. If you do not want the data plan, then remove the sim from the smartphone.

    I had previously disabled the data download from the phone application but still, they told me that it does not make any difference.

    Later on I found that they started with that policy back in Feb 2010. This came from Engadget:

    Dear Valued Customer,

    We hope you are enjoying your Smartphone! We appreciate and value your business and want to be sure you are aware of a change we've made to your account to ensure you have the best possible experience with unlimited data usage in the United States.

    Smartphones are made for data consumption-surfing the web, social networking, email and more. That's why we require a Smartphone data plan in conjunction with our Smartphones. This ensures that customers with data intensive devices are not unpleasantly surprised with high data pay-per-use charges-just one low, predictable, flat rate for unlimited use each month.

    For whatever reason, our records indicate your Smartphone does not have the correct data plan. As a courtesy, we've added the minimum Smartphone data plan for you.

    If you would like to select another data plan or have questions, please call 1-800-331-0500 (or 611 from your wireless phone) or visit att.com/smartphoneplans.

    Thank you for being an AT&T customer. We look forward to continuing to provide you with a great Smartphone experience.

    Sincerely,
    AT&T
    This e-mail was auto generated. Please do not respond.



    I hope that helps.

    Cheers
  7. Thread AuthorThread Author   #7  
    johndhynes's Avatar
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    I put a SIM in the 3GS a week ago with data disabled. The 3GS appears on the AT&T web site, but there is still no data plan. If they do eventually add one, I'll accept it, but I see no need to pay for something we're not using. I have read elsewhere that they only add the data plan if you actually use cellular data, so if you never do then you'll be fine. We'll find out.
  8. #8  
    Rockdog97's Avatar
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    it depends on when you had your original SIM card activated... was it before they instigated the new policy? i think the cut off date was 2010 or something? it may be that your SIM card is 'grandfathered' in under the old plan, in which case they wont add the data plan...
  9. Thread AuthorThread Author   #9  
    johndhynes's Avatar
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    I don't know how old the actual SIM is, the number is been active since before there were SIM cards and was on Cingular before it became AT&T. It still has the old area code that changed in 1997. It is currently six months into a two-year contract tied to a Pantech phone with no data plan.
  10. Thread AuthorThread Author   #10  
    johndhynes's Avatar
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    Yesterday, on the last day of my bill cycle, AT&T added a $25/month data plan on the line. (Not "the minimum".) The line has been on the 3GS for two full monhs, but has not used a single bit of data. I called AT&T and they said that all smart phones required a data plan, regardless, but the changed it to the $15 plan and gave me a $25 credit.

    So the verdict is, you can only get away with no data for a while before they make you pay.

    Why I should have to pay when I'm not using the data, and the phone is not under contract, I don't know.
  11. #11  
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    Default Re: Using SIM card without data plan

    Hi, so Ive been thinking about doing the same thing with my daughter--she's been complaining about the misfunctions on her basic phone. I read that you had been charged with a $15 a month data plan, but I know that that was about a year ago. How much data does the fifteen dollar plan offer? Do they still have it at AT&T? Thanks
  12. #12  
    rdiddy_25's Avatar
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    Default Using SIM card without data plan

    Quote Originally Posted by jenk233 View Post
    Hi, so Ive been thinking about doing the same thing with my daughter--she's been complaining about the misfunctions on her basic phone. I read that you had been charged with a $15 a month data plan, but I know that that was about a year ago. How much data does the fifteen dollar plan offer? Do they still have it at AT&T? Thanks
    $15 plan is for 200mb of data. $30 for 3gb now


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    VinWin5's Avatar
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    Default Using SIM card without data plan

    The $15 200 mb plan is only a grandfathered plan if you had it before the new plans came out. The minimum plan now is $20 for 300 mb.
  14. #14  
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    Default Using SIM card without data plan

    Quote Originally Posted by johndhynes View Post
    Now that I am getting the 4S, I want to give my MIL my old (off-contract, jailbroken 4.3.1) 3GS. We are on the same AT&T family account and she currently has a feature phone she hates and has no need for using cellular data. Can I put her SIM in the 3GS and have it work without a data plan? If I disable data, can AT&T still tell that it's an iPhone? Would I have to jailbreak, unlock or anything else?

    I saw that there is a site called Unlockit; does that really work and is it totally safe? Are there other alternatives?

    I paid $720 for data over the past two years, and don't see the need to keep paying for something that I no longer need.
    Have you thought of going to a cheap prepaid service for this line? You would be able to use no data there.....Straight Talk and TMobile have lots of options as cheap as $30.


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  15. #15  
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    Default Re: Using SIM card without data plan

    This should not be allowed. I understand that if you use cellular data, it's cheaper with a dataplan, so one should be the "default" but if you turn off cellular data on the phone, you should not have to pay for a data plan. I just found this out the hard way with my daughter's Christmas gift (a used iPhone) now it's going to cost me over $240 a year even though I only allow her to use wi-fi data while at home and supervised.

    Sign my petition if you think this is unfair!
  16. #16  
    Octavean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using SIM card without data plan

    My understanding is that the H2O Wireless minute plan works on iPhones even locked iPhones. H2O Wireless is an AT&T MVNO. Their pre-pay minute plan options are either for a 30 day, 60 day, 90 day or 1 year plan.The 1yr plan costs $100 USD. Talk (5 cents / min), text (5 cents to send / receive) and data (30 cents / MB) at their various rates are just taken out of the $$$ that you put in to you account. You can recharge your account when needed (add money) and you receive info automatically after each use on your account status (how much the last transaction cost / how much $$$ remains) directly on the phone.
  17. #17  
    4puf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Using SIM card without data plan

    I'd love to sign your petition! How do I do that?

    I am in your same situation. Gave my two children two old 3GS. I want them to have a phone but not access the Internet when they are not at home (no youtube at school!) only WiFi for data but AT&T makes me pay for data even if they are not using it.

    I think AT&T is at fault. Actually I would like to be able to force the account not to have data even if my kids turn it on on their phone.

    I am not a lawyer but think this borderline illegal!

    How can we get together and make our voices been heard?

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