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Thread: 3GS vs. "old" SIM card

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iPhone Modding

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Problem (short version): iTunes says AT&T SIM card in 4.2.1 3GS is "not compatible with phone", but it USED TO BE in 4.0.X. More Detail: -I gave my 3GS (old
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    Default 3GS vs. "old" SIM card
    Problem (short version):
    iTunes says AT&T SIM card in 4.2.1 3GS is "not compatible with phone", but it USED TO BE in 4.0.X.


    More Detail:
    -I gave my 3GS (old bootrom) to my girlfriend. We both have AT&T. She has no previous iphone or data plan, but doesn't want a data plan yet. It was jailbroken, running 4.0.X (I can't remember exactly), and I believe the baseband was preserved at the 'latest' unlockable, using PwnageTool (Mac). IT WORKED FINE (again, just using as a phone, no data plan).

    -We decided to upgrade the 3GS from 4.0.X to 4.1 when it became jailbreakable & unlockable using PwnageTool. We did something wrong, and the phone wouldn't hacktivate or even activate with the custom firmware that PwnageTool had made. We were in a squeeze and she NEEDED a phone, so we just updated the 3GS to stock 4.1, and it still wouldn't work. Weeks later we tried again, now with stock 4.2.1, and now iTunes says that the installed SIM card is NOT compatible with the phone.

    -We have now tried, with no success (roughly this order):
    1)4.1 stock
    2)4.2.1 stock
    3)4.2.1 jailbreak
    4)4.2.1 jailbreak unlock (YES, I know I can't unlock the stock 4.2.1 baseband, but we thought it might get something loose.)
    5)4.2.1 jailbreak hacktivate
    6)4.2.1 jailbreak hacktivate unlock
    7)4.0 jailbreak
    8)4.0 jailbreak unlock
    9)4.0 jailbreak hacktivate
    10)4.0 jailbreak hacktivate unlock
    We always get "sim card not compatible" error from iTunes, or just no connection to the network.

    -We went to the AT&T store, and they swear (almost believably) that her SIM card is actually incompatible. It IS an old SIM card from 2 carriers back that were folded into Cingular, then AT&T. However, they are being d1cks, and won't let her upgrade just the card without changing the calling plan.


    My Thoughts Toward a Solution / Help Me Please!:
    -If it worked on 4.0.X, I SHOULD somehow be able to get it working on 4.0.X again, right? I have ALL blobs saved.
    -Did AT&T change something at the same time by coincidence, and this is hopeless?
    -Did Apple change something?
    -Do I just need to get it to an unlockable ultrasn0wable baseband and try again?
    -Other?

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    Use redsn0w to update phone to the iPad baseband (6.15.00) and unlock with ultrasn0w. That's your best bet if you want to keep using her 'old' SIM. If her ICCID/SIM number doesn't start with '8901410' then it won't work on the US iPhone without unlocking tools.

    The reason why it probably won't work now is because the phone was updated to stock 4.1/4.2.1 at one point in your 'tests.' Neither of those firmwares have unlockable basebands. You have to install the iPad baseband to unlock once the phone was updated to a stock firmware above 4.0.2.

    at&t doesn't want 'legacy accounts' (I.E. from carriers long since bought up by Cingular/at&t) to be used on newer devices because they consider such accounts 'loss leaders' for the freebies/cheapie items (free incoming texts, cheap unlimited web/texting, cheap unlimited local calling plans, etc). That's partially why they won't really help. Go figure.

    It sounds like at&t is attempting to stop a bunch of legacy accounts from staying active (see some of the other 'blue' or mmode topics of late). So, the solution I posted may only be temporary for her. She might be forced to migrate to a newer plan soon-ish. YMMV

    Hope this helps.
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    I wouldn't update to ipad baseband if you can avoid it. It will cause the gps not to function.

    AT&T wont give a new sim card, without changing the calling plan? What is it they want you to change in your plan?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GenesisDH View Post
    If her ICCID/SIM number doesn't start with '8901410' then it won't work on the US iPhone without unlocking tools.

    The reason why it probably won't work now is because the phone was updated to stock 4.1/4.2.1 at one point in your 'tests.' Neither of those firmwares have unlockable basebands.
    89310380
    I am fairly certain we didn't have to unlock it when it was running 4.0.x. I won't rule it out, but I am almost positive.

    Quote Originally Posted by GenesisDH View Post
    So, the solution I posted may only be temporary for her. She might be forced to migrate to a newer plan soon-ish. YMMV.
    Correct, she is being forced to upgrade her SIM by May31, which allegedly REQUIRES a service plan upgrade. They SWEAR the new SIM numbers and old plan numbers don't jive in the computer. Well, no sh1t, AT&T set it up that way on purpose if it's true.

    Quote Originally Posted by iPittsburgh View Post
    I wouldn't update to ipad baseband if you can avoid it. It will cause the gps not to function.

    AT&T wont give a new sim card, without changing the calling plan? What is it they want you to change in your plan?
    I generally won't update any or my jailbroken phones unless I can preserve the baseband at an unlockable version, or upgrade to an unlockable version. I have been eyeing the iPad 'crossgrade', but I won't touch it until it is reversible, or has a crossgrade-back option. I don't need the unlock, she didn't need the unlock (until now?), but it's good for resale value, and just in case anyway.

    Update:
    She called #ATTfail and finally convinced them to send her an upgraded SIM card [for free] that allegedly WON'T require a new plan. However, 1) They are still going to force her to upgrade her plan by May31, a now BASELESS 'requirement', 2) The 'new' sim allegedly WON'T work on her current phone, a Nokia 6300, but SHOULD (ha. ha.) work on the 3GS without unlocking, giving it basic phone use until(?) May31. I feel like we are being set up.

    She is actually waiting for iP5 to make a carrier/plan decision, since #ATTfail has done away with unlimited plans for those that have never had them before. We were told by #ATTfail employees at the store that you CAN get unlimited plans, but you have to do it over the phone, it takes multiple tries over multiple days, often multiple operators, and you have to say certain words 'exactly' that they aren't allowed to tell us. I'm assuming it's some variation of "look @sshole, I have had an account with you for _ years, I'm hardware upgrade eligible, service plan upgrade eligible, you are forcing me to give up my old service plan, you are forcing me to give up my old phone, you won't let me wait for an iphone 5, and if you don't match Verizon's unlimited data plan, I'm leaving you". No luck yet, but it's worth fighting for. So far they have all been script-readers with that BS about, "well, our survey shows that %90 of iphone users don't need unlimited data", and I want to say, "no sh!t, you just proved our argument, because we're in the 10% that you said DOES need unlimited." Also they like to say "Well, Verizon'e unlimited plan isn't really limited, they cap you your full speed usage, and throttle you afterwards" to which we replied "perfect, we'd like that from you then", which they also didn't think was too funny.

    #ATTfail @$$holes...
    Last edited by sbimos; 03-06-2011 at 10:24 AM.

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    Verizon announced they are doing away with umlimited iPhone data plans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iPittsburgh View Post
    Verizon announced they are doing away with umlimited iPhone data plans.
    They announced they are GOING TO do away with it. But if you get it before the deadline, you have it until they start pulling BS like #ATTfail and forcing you to 'upgrade' service plans.

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    Every phone company tries to screw over customers. I had to talk to AT&T for about 20 minutes back in July after they "canceled unlimited data" to get have unlimited data on one of my lines.

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    Default This is long and kinda depressing, but it's the truth...
    Quote Originally Posted by sbimos View Post
    Update:
    She called #ATTfail and finally convinced them to send her an upgraded SIM card [for free] that allegedly WON'T require a new plan. However, 1) They are still going to force her to upgrade her plan by May31, a now BASELESS 'requirement', 2) The 'new' sim allegedly WON'T work on her current phone, a Nokia 6300, but SHOULD (ha. ha.) work on the 3GS without unlocking, giving it basic phone use until(?) May31. I feel like we are being set up.

    She is actually waiting for iP5 to make a carrier/plan decision, since #ATTfail has done away with unlimited plans for those that have never had them before.
    Well, you kinda are being 'set up,' but at the same time all companies do this when they are getting rid of services like hers. They are primarily just getting their ARPU up and satisfying their shareholders (which could force a takeover or other financial actions if they aren't satisfied). That's just BAU.

    It's too bad she can't keep her plan, but they did say that at&t Wireless Services (determined from the 310380 you given in your earlier post) plans were not going to be supported forever. It's even been montioned in this HowardForum topic. It's been nearly 7 years since ATTWS was bought up by Cingular/'at&t' and the pricing of the plans hasn't changed, where as every other provider in the business has changed plans, features, and pricing numerous times. It's unheard of in the communication industries to keep a specific pricing setup for that long without succumbing to inflation or other cost factors. That's how a business works: if something costs too much money to keep after a while, then get rid of it or change it to where it becomes less costly.

    at&t pretty much knows they will lose customers to this forced migration, but then again they might actually get a good number of users to stay by offering them new phones or such. That's just how it works...

    FWIW, Verizon isn't that much better than at&t w.r.t. pricing on their plans. They match each other almost to the letter. So if her plan is to get a cellular phone plan similar to the one she has now and get an iPhone-compatible service, that's not gonna happen. The only thing they have is the 'current' unlimited plan (which might go away by summer from current reports), and that is the only difference between them and migrating to newer at&t plans.

    There are alternatives that would work with the phone not being unlocked, but they either offer little to no data (H2O Unlimited) or they are temporary loopholes that will be fixed in due time (ST). Or you can look for an unlocking solution (or flash a CDMA iPhone when that's possible) and go elsewhere for cheaper solutions on that end (Simple Mobile, for example). Either way, you will not be keeping the same options she's had up til now... that's all there is to it.

    So at least she has a solution for now w.r.t her SIM issue, that's good. However, it's a good idea to look at her options now rather than wait for the next iPhone to come out... because you may not get a choice by that time.
    Last edited by GenesisDH; 03-07-2011 at 01:04 PM. Reason: couple typos and pronoun changes
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    Quote Originally Posted by GenesisDH View Post
    So at least she has a solution for now w.r.t her SIM issue, that's good. However, it's a good idea to look at her options now rather than wait for the next iPhone to come out... because you may not get a choice by that time.
    I'll update on SIM solution tomorrow. I understand their need to bring all plans and services current, but when it requires a new card and a new phone, i don't think they should charge the customer OR take their upgrade eligibilities. i think that argument is what got her the free upgraded SIM. Although i am still irritated at the multiple previous #ATTfail reps who SWORE she couldn't get a new SIM without upgrading the plan, which turns out to be a lie.

    We're still trying to score Unlimited data from #ATTfail, or else she will go Verizon.

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    Maybe I didn't read carefully enough. You said they are going to giver her an updated sim that will work in the current iphone without an unlock but keep her old ( I presume "blue") account. This is what everyone wants to happen. If they perform this it means they would have to move you over to the current system also removing the need to update the plan in May. Did I skim this correctly?
    Last edited by dunkin1; 03-08-2011 at 07:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dunkin1 View Post
    Maybe I didn't read carefully enough. You said they are going to giver her an updated sim that will work in the current iphone without an unlock but keep her old ( I presume "blue") account. This is what everyone wants to happen. If they perform this it means they would have to move you over to the current system also removing the need to update the plan in May. Did I skim this correctly?
    The iPhone is an old bootrom 3GS _I_ had with #ATTfail. She has never had a legit iPhone or data plan. Somehow we had the 3GS set up and running (no data) back on iOS 4.0.x.

    Update=
    #ATTfail sent her a "new" SIM that they SAID would work in any compatible phone. I will post digits later. HOWEVER, they said she would STILL have to modify her service plan by the end of May, even with this new SIM. We tried the new SIM on jailbroken4.2.1 (Pwnagetool Mac, no hacktivate), and no go. It kept saying "waiting for activation". We will try more setups tonight.

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    So you're unhappy because AT&T has forced you to upgrade to a data plan while using a smartphone, when all smartphones require a data plan. Don't get me wrong but I would consider myself lucky if I were able to skirt by without a data plan on a smartphone for an amount of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iPittsburgh View Post
    So you're unhappy because AT&T has forced you to upgrade to a data plan while using a smartphone, when all smartphones require a data plan. Don't get me wrong but I would consider myself lucky if I were able to skirt by without a data plan on a smartphone for an amount of time.
    No, ignore the 3GS for a minute. I am just unhappy that:
    1) my girlfriend is being forced to upgrade her service plan and hardware on #ATTfail's schedule. A schedule which will hit a deadline just days BEFORE iPhone 5 would most likely be available. So she can't use either upgrade eligibility towards an iP5.
    2) we kept getting told that she had to BUY a new SIM, which we now got for free
    3) we kept getting told that a new SIM REQUIRED a new service plan, which now appears to untrue.
    4) we were told that the new SIM would work in any phone currently being sold by #ATTfail (so far untrue, still troubleshooting)

    Regarding a 3GS, and data plans:
    5) whatever we had done before that allowed the 3GS 4.0.X to work JUST as a phone, stopped working. Whether is was something I messed up, something different in newer iOS, or something changed in #ATTfail's network, I do not know.
    6) yes I think it is BS that #ATTfail can REQUIRE you to get a data plan, whether you bought the phone from them or not. How can they FORCE YOU to buy something you don't want or need? No other retailer/service forces you to buy something you DON'T WANT because it "can" work with something else you DO want. I bought some nice pants, am I now forced to buy the nice shoes because they would match perfectly?
    Last edited by sbimos; 03-10-2011 at 08:37 PM.

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    O.k. that is more along the lines I expect. If I understand correctly, they may have just sent a new "blue" sim to try in your phone. They probably think that you already have a phone that has no issues with the "blue" sim. When actually your are trying to use it in an iPhone that would require you to unlock. I feel it is completely possible to use an iPhone as a phone only on the old "blue" system. All you would need to do is unlock it and be on your merry way.
    The issue with the new plans is that at&t does random scans of imei # (so I have been told) and is fully in their right to add the data plan regardless if you want it or not. This makes no sense to me if they don't provide the access the data you wouldn't be using it. Why can't you choose if you want the data or not? I understand if the phone was subsidized by them but if you bought it out right you should have the choice.

    Just my opinion. Let us know what you come up with.



    Edit: Do you have legit at&t sim that you could activate the phone with? It wouldn't have to be active. I do it all of the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dunkin1 View Post
    If I understand correctly, they may have just sent a new "blue" sim to try in your phone. They probably think that you already have a phone that has no issues with the "blue" sim. When actually your are trying to use it in an iPhone that would require you to unlock. I feel it is completely possible to use an iPhone as a phone only on the old "blue" system. All you would need to do is unlock it and be on your merry way.
    The issue with the new plans is that at&t does random scans of imei # (so I have been told) and is fully in their right to add the data plan regardless if you want it or not. This makes no sense to me if they don't provide the access the data you wouldn't be using it. Why can't you choose if you want the data or not? I understand if the phone was subsidized by them but if you bought it out right you should have the choice.

    Let us know what you come up with.

    Do you have legit at&t sim that you could activate the phone with? It wouldn't have to be active. I do it all of the time.
    The new SIM starts with 8901 4103. It IS a legit #ATTfail sim. So far we have not gotten it to activate the 3GS (see prev posts), but she also noticed the new SIM won't work in the old Nokia either. haven't had time to troubleshoot further yet.

    So are you saying to try my OLDa$$ #ATTfail SIM? The inactive one that was useless as soon as my iP4 microSIM activated? What the heck does that do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbimos View Post
    The new SIM starts with 8901 4103. It IS a legit #ATTfail sim. So far we have not gotten it to activate the 3GS (see prev posts), but she also noticed the new SIM won't work in the old Nokia either. haven't had time to troubleshoot further yet.

    So are you saying to try my OLDa$$ #ATTfail SIM? The inactive one that was useless as soon as my iP4 microSIM activated? What the heck does that do?
    It sounds to me like the last rep didn't understand her & gave in and sent the newer SIM not knowing it would be incompatible with her plan.

    If no phone you/her/friend/family have (unlocked or locked to Cingular/at&t orange) is finding service on that SIM, then... You're pretty much back to square one.

    See if CS shows the SIM being active on her account. If they don't... well... ...

    Keep us updated.
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    I think I agree with GenesisDH above. That would make sense. The only thing I don't understand is how her old sim is inactive before the new sim is activated.

    Also, sorry about the confusion. What I use are cingular (at&t orange) sim cards that are inactive. A lot of times I will get them in the phones I buy. These allow me to activate iPhones. All I do is put them in, plug into itunes, and let the magic happen. The advantage to this is that is also activates push notifications that are sometimes lost when you hactivate a phone. The only thing I haven't tried is using an unactivated sim in an iPhone which seems to be the case you have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GenesisDH View Post
    It sounds to me like the last rep didn't understand her & gave in and sent the newer SIM not knowing it would be incompatible with her plan.

    If no phone you/her/friend/family have (unlocked or locked to Cingular/at&t orange) is finding service on that SIM, then... You're pretty much back to square one.

    See if CS shows the SIM being active on her account. If they don't... well... ...

    Keep us updated.
    Can I check SIM activation online without calling CS?

    We'll try other phones tonight if we can get hands on one.

    Quote Originally Posted by dunkin1 View Post
    I think I agree with GenesisDH above. That would make sense. The only thing I don't understand is how her old sim is inactive before the new sim is activated.

    Also, sorry about the confusion. What I use are cingular (at&t orange) sim cards that are inactive. A lot of times I will get them in the phones I buy. These allow me to activate iPhones. All I do is put them in, plug into itunes, and let the magic happen. The advantage to this is that is also activates push notifications that are sometimes lost when you hactivate a phone. The only thing I haven't tried is using an unactivated sim in an iPhone which seems to be the case you have.
    The old SIM is still active. I think CS told her that as soon as the new one activated, the old one would become invalid, or else it was implied without clarification.

    I never had this problem before, so I'm not up on the technical details. I have the original SIM for the 3GS (MY SIM), that is no longer active, as of my iP4 purchase. Are you saying that MAY activate the 3GS again, then she can switch to the new SIM and the phone may work?

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    No, I think the only thing this will do is activate the iPhone. The main issue here is that the old plans require an unlock for the iPhone and any other standard cingular/at&t orange phone. And if I remember correctly you upgraded to a stock 4.1 firmware which updates the baseband to 5.14.XX which can't be unlocked at this time.

    There are two issues here now.

    I think the situation applies above. The CS rep sent you a sim card that is only compatible with cingular/at&t orange customer accounts. I also thought anytime you have to activate a sim card you need to call the rep. I haven't had to activate one in a long time so I am not familiar with the different methods of activation.

    Second, the iPhone 3GS you have now will only be able to be used with the cingular/at&t orange sims. (until the next unlock is released.)

    If you want to use whats left of the time on the old blue plans your are going to have to find a phone that is unlocked. Else, you are going to have to switch the account over to the darkside. This means forced data and a current phone plan offering. There is a thread, as noted above, all about what people are getting. It varies person to person which is another thread all its own.

    Let me know if any this doesn't make sense. I know what I want to say my hand sometimes just don't know how to say it.
    Last edited by dunkin1; 03-11-2011 at 12:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iPittsburgh View Post
    Every phone company tries to screw over customers. I had to talk to AT&T for about 20 minutes back in July after they "canceled unlimited data" to get have unlimited data on one of my lines.
    Sadly, that's quite common. At AT&T they weren't able at the agent level (where I at one point was) to reinstate unlimited data if it had somehow expired from the account. It had to go through and do a full investigation in the billing system to prove that the service code was once on the account, then get a management override to restore the unlimited data. I'm not sure what happened beyond that, but heard there was a chance that even the possibility of a management override would not be possible before long (that was last I heard before leaving).

    Silly AT&T...

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