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Using data from O2 sim card on iPad 2


iPF Noob
Aug 20, 2011
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Hi, please forgive me if this is an annoying question asked a million times but I'm not sure what the answer is despite extensive google/other searches.

I have a iPhone 3GS with a data-inclusive plan from O2. (uk).

I am considering buying the 3G iPad 2 in the hope that I'll be able to modify my SIM (or get the easysim thing) to pop in the iPad 2 to make use of the data on the iPad 2.

I am reading conflicting advice and so am not sure. From what I understand it's a potential problem with AT&T in the US, but I can't find any success of anyone trying it with an O2 SIM. Do 02 block this, even if I put in the correct APN? Should I not risk it and just get the wifi iPad version and JB-tether?

Thank in advance for anyone able to shed light on this for me :)
For sure, O2 don't allow tethering without a separate additional payment, but whether they would block the SIM being moved to an iPad is more difficult to determine. If you purchase a commercial SIM cutter then most come with an adaptor so you can place the cut-down SIM in it to make it 'regular size' again, so you'll have lost nothing other than the cost of the SIM cutter.

I have a tethering bolt-on with 02. However, bear in mind that the 3GS doesn't have the wifi feature like the 4 does, so you can only tether using Bluetooth or USB. Bluetooth is a pain to pair as well. You'd think being Apple, they'd both pair easily wouldn't you?
My solution was to jailbreak my phone and install PDAnet. Far better. I'm also using a 3 Sim card with all you can eat data.
I think the OP simply wants to move their existing SIM card from the iPhone3GS to their iPad. I know that cellular operators can detect this but whether O2 block it is another matter.

Yes - I'm on '3' too on my iPad - those 'all you can eat' data plans make our American cousins green with envy!! When I see the price they pay for the 250 MB AT&T plan I weep for them. It's great we have so much competition here in the mobile sector - there are some really great deals out there..

Thanks for the advice about tethering. Will have to use a JB product.

But yes as you say Tim, before I shell out £100 extra for a 3G version I need to know whether or not O2 block this... ?
They won't block it, but they may charge extra. I had a look on their website and, for sure, they do charge extra for tethering but it's not clear if they block moving SIM cards between devices. I would suggest find another mobile phone - anybody's - and try your O2 SIM card in it and see if it's blocked.

Thanks Tim. Somewhere in my masses of (fruitless) reading before making starting this thread I did early on come across someone I think who said the SIM wasn't blocked (as in it said 3G and data was fine) but practically it could not download any data (ie. couldn't open webpages etc).

It's a fab idea trying it someone else's phoen but I wonder if the iPad uses some other sort of technology or system to access the downstream data...
I don't quite what you mean by the last part of your post. The iPad is a regular GSM-compatible data device, identical to any other data device - so if you try your SIM card in another smart phone and surf the web (i.e. use data rather than make calls) that should sort it out.

Thanks Tim I'll check it out. That last part I wrote was as a result of a vague memory of stuff I randomly read on random forum posts from a google search. But if it's just like every other phone it's fine. Unless they somehow know it's an iPad and put a specific block on that specific device. Are you sure if it works on any other phone it will work on the iPad? My impression is that they can single out the iPad somehow...

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