Thursday, January 10, 2008

Can I Use The SIM card from my iPhone in a SONY Ericsson or Nova Media Global Surfer ICON USB Modem?

A common question that I field about the iPhone is:

So can I just pop my iPhone SIM (with the iPhone unlimited data plan) into __________ and access data?


OR

Can I Use The SIM card from my iPhone in a SONY Ericsson PCMCIA or ExpressCard modem or Nova Media Global Surfer ICON USB Modem?


The answer is no. If you try, at first it may look like the modem will connect, but as soon as you try to access data the modem will disconnect.

Why is this?

Your iPhone has a "network serial number/authentication" called an IMEI number (IMEI = International Mobile Equipment Identity). This number is specifically tied to an iPhone account and was first registered on the AT&T network when you first activated your iPhone.

What if I have a hacked / unlocked iPhone and I'm using it on another network?


It still won't work at least in the USA. Your IMEI number does not change. AT&T is the predominant carrier for GSM in the United States. Most of the time, you will be roaming on the AT&T network EVEN IF you have a different carrier - as T-Mobile and Suncom lease a lot of their network from AT&T.

To get a data plan with other devices (including modems for laptops) one must purchase a separate data plan from AT&T or their cell phone provider.

9 comments:

Fuellemann said...

Hi,

you can, but you need an additional subscription to a "normal" data plan for your SIM card, since the Internet access via a Modem needs a different APN than the one for the iPhone's Internet access.

Jan (nova media)

fixyourthinking said...

Thank you but I'm not sure you added anything to the topic. A data plan from AT&T is $79.99 extra

Anonymous said...

also ... If you buy a data plan the carrier gives you a separate SIM card to go in your modem so you wouldn't need to swap the iPhone card " just to have a SIM"

israel said...

Im just now writing that comment from a hauwei e220 3g modem (unlocked) and iphone simcard. so yes it works... but speed really sucks.

fixyourthinking said...

just to clarify so the last comment is not confusing ... You can NOT use your iPhone SIM card in a modem AND use the iPhone unlimited data plan for free. You must purchase an unlimited data plan FROM at&t separately - and constantly swapping your SIM from iPhone to modem may damage your iPhone.

israel said...

"You can NOT use your iPhone SIM card in a modem AND use the iPhone unlimited data plan for free."

You are wrong, just how i told yesterday, i´m right now doing that.

"constantly swapping your SIM from iPhone to modem may damage your iPhone."


are you serious?

fixyourthinking said...

you can NOT use the iPhone data plan for free. YOU must have the iPhone data plan accessed with an approved at&t imei # and Mobile Safari. An unlimited data plan from at&t is $60.00 extra a month. You can use the same SIM but MUST get an additional plan FIRST. At&t recommends not swapping your sim card often just as camera manufacturers recommend not swapping your memory card too often.

at&t employee said...

Philip asked me to weigh in on this. I work with AT&T. He is right. In the United States it is not possible to access the iPhone unlimited data plan with any other device (than an iPhone). I also verified that it is also not possible with any partner of at&t overseas and abroad. Furthermore, if you have a "jailbroken" iPhone the gsm edge network is completely disabled no matter what network. If you are hacking the SIM card in any way the iPhone will not recognize it upon reinsertion.

Anonymous said...

If the last two comments are true, then how is it that people with a jailbroken iPhone are tethering their connections to other computers? (I constantly do so with my Linux laptop).