Ipad connect in Panama

Discussion in 'iPad Carriers' started by MartijnS, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. MartijnS
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    MartijnS iPF Noob

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    Yes, it is possible to connect your iPad (or iPhone) for a bargain price to the Cable&Wireless (Movil) 3G cellular network in Panama, but it takes some careful steps. I'll explain how to do it.
    Go to the Cable&Wireless central store on Via Espana in Panama City (or maybe any other CW store?). Take your iPad, a cellular phone (you need to send text messages to activate the account) a pair of scissors (you need to trim down the SIM card to a miniSIM) and a paperclip. At the store you buy a SIM card for $1 and a $14,95 data plan for one month (1Gb max).
    Data plans for one day cost $1 but don't mix monthly and daily data plans with the same SIM! I tried a one day plan first to see if I could get it to work. It did, but then I had major trouble to change the one-day account into a one month account. What happens then is that after one day your $14,95 credit is eaten fast by hefty data fees and stops... This happened to me twice and only a lot of talking to the friendly girls at CW got my account re-activated, so then buy another 1$ SIM with no one-day-history.
    So you got the SIM and the $14,95 monthly plan. Insert the SIM in your cellphone, unlock the SIM and activate the monthly plan with the code *456# talk/send.
    Now compare the SIM with the (AT&T) MiniSIM already present in your iPad and trim it to the same size. Insert the MiniSIM in the iPad and unlock it. There is one final important step. In Settings> Cellular Data> APN Settings you fill in at the APN line: apn01.cwpanama.com.pa
    No username or password is required. Presto! Your cellular data is activated and you have a month of Internet all over Panama! Enjoy! The same thing goes for your iPhone, but then I would bring another cellphone for texting and incoming calls on your usual cell number. good luck! Martijn Schroevers
  2. Warmnsunny
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    Warmnsunny iPF Noob

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    Great news that I can use my iPad in Panama..... ooops, unfortunately i bought one that is only wifi so I am out of luck until I upgrade ;-(
    I really like your solution though, thanks for writing it up. You mention that the same thing works for an iPhone, that means an unlocked iPhone I assume. I haven't unlocked my 3GS, just plain scared, but I am desperate for Internet access where I stay in Panama and the Blackberry I bought a few years ago just doesn't cut it once you're an Apple person!
    It's been hard to find pre-paid Internet options that work and make sense cor the 2-3 months I am able to be in Panama.
  3. jail4
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    jail4 iPF Noob

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    What you have shared is obsoletely needed one...
    If at all the iphone is locked to any network then the problem is cleared(older network unlocked) by using unlock codes from the website unlocking4u.com The site provides instructions neatly to unlock the iphone.
  4. grlord
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    grlord iPF Noob

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    I plan to be using ipad in Panama. Thanks for info. Does it matter if one has AT&T or Verizon? GL
  5. MartijnS
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    MartijnS iPF Noob

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    AT&T will work because their iPad has a 3G GSM slot for the mini SIM. I don't know if Verizon iPads have a GSM miniSIM slot. If they do it will work. Just replace the miniSIM with the Panamese SIM.
  6. Warmnsunny
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    Warmnsunny iPF Noob

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    This is a BIG thank you to MartijnS for his description of how to hook up a 3G iPad very inexpensively in Panama! I've been using mine here for unlimited internet on Cable and Wireless for 6 months now and it works beautifully. So $14.95/month and I get all the access the iPad can offer. The tip on per second billing also saved me a bundle on using my iPhone as one month I set it incorrectly - selecting "2" instead of "1" during setup - and drained my $$ in a day. Once I corrected it as he suggested I was back to a months worth of data on the phone for $14.95.
    The only thing I'll add is that if you are in the interior, as I am, stores like the C&W in Penonome don't know what they are doing in terms of set up and don't speak English BUT there is a cool group of young Chinese ancestry kids across the road in an independent Movil store who can help with anything.
  7. Panamawise
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    Panamawise iPF Noob

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    Great advice Martijn... I have a Retina iPad setup for AT&T. Which provider has the best Internet plan suitable for iPad, in PANAMA?
    Thank you in advance for sharing your experience!
    Chris
  8. elbasheer01
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    elbasheer01 iPF Noob

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    Where is Panama?
  9. Panamawise
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    Panamawise iPF Noob

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    This is an interesting question Elbasheer... Have you considered a Google search?

    But seriously, it's extremely easy to get internet access for an iPad in Panama. You don't need scissors or even a paperclip... Yesterday I visited several providers: Claro (I have 4 iPhones with them) Cable & Wireless and Digicel in Multiplaza Mall. The first two reps were inept. The Digicel rep undestood clearly what I wanted and offered a pre-paid plan for $15.00 a month. They have the mini-sim cards. All in all I paid less than $22.00 to include the initial cost of the mini-sim card. The rep did everything and the whole process took less than five minutes. Please note that my iPad was set up for AT&T (purchased in the US). I'm happy with that experience.
  10. elbasheer01
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    elbasheer01 iPF Noob

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    Ok. Thanks
  11. Panamawise
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    Panamawise iPF Noob

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    I would strongly recommend AT&T

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