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Using a Verizon iPad on AT&T

August 22, 2012


On occasion I work in an area that has poor Verizon coverage. In most cases the Verizon iPad was the better bet for where I am, but sometimes it would be nice to have AT&T service for a few days. Fortunately the new 2012 Verizon iPads are network unlocked and compatible with AT&T’s data service, and AT&T has prepaid 250MB/3GB/5GB data plans called the Prepaid DataConnect Pass. Here’s how you sign up:

  • You’ll need Internet access to set up your Internet access. Your iPad on wifi, another computer, a phone… anything with a decent web browser will work.
  • Get a micro SIM from your local AT&T store. Sadly this is the most difficult step. AT&T’s website very clearly states that for new DataConnect service “If an AT&T SIM card is needed, you can purchase one at any AT&T retail location”. But trying to explain to a sales person that you need a SIM but don’t already have an AT&T account can be difficult. After being very persistant I was able to get one for free, but several store employees tried to convince me they weren’t allowed to give SIMs to non-customers and/or what I was attempting would never work. I might’ve had better luck if I had just said I bought my iPad in Europe.
  • Use the SIM removal tool or a small paperclip to pop the SIM tray out of your iPad. It’s on the upper left side.
  • Replace the Verizon micro SIM with your shiny new AT&T micro SIM
  • Go to Settings -> About and write down your IMEI and ICCID
  • Go to buyasession.att.com and click “Prepaid DataConnect Pass” using your other device (computer, phone, whatever… your new SIM doesn’t work yet).
  • Enter your IMEI and ICCID from above, along with a device nickname. Click continue.
  • I actually forget the specifics of the next screens, but my recollection is that it’s just creating an account, adding your billing info, and selecting a plan. It’s actually been a few weeks since I went through the process. Doh!
  • Once you’re done signing up, power off your iPad and power it back on. You should now be on AT&T’s network. No APN or other setting changes are required, it should Just Work(tm).