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Thread: iPhone with Data/Messaging Only Options

  1. #1
    Default iPhone with Data/Messaging Only Options
    I have posted this question in a couple other threads so I figure why not start one of my own. I am familiar with iPhone hacking and modding but definitely need of help when selecting a plan. Up until yesterday, I was on the T-mobile pre-paid sidekick plan which T-mobile discontinued for iPhone users on 8/8. I am not trying to decide if I want to find another similar T-mobile plan or look to the better service from AT&T.

    Is there any way I would be able to use this PDA Personal Data Only Plan for 34.99:

    AT&T PDA Personal Data Plan

    OR, should I/am I able to use the pre-paid 100MB plan?

    Either way, I would not have to sign a contract and would be able to have data then add a small messaging package. Would AT&T be able to just add the dreaded iphone data+voice plan I've been hearing about if I was not on a contract?

    Are there any other options I should be looking into? I have read multiple posts of things people have done but I never feel like I get the clear cut answers...

    Thanks in advance for any help!!!

  2. #2
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    if you go to ATT and get a iPhone, you must also have the iphone data plan on the account. They will do it when you activate your phone, automatically in my case. Data and messages are different too btw....30 for Iphone, 20 for unlimited text.

    Even if you get a ATT contract, switch the phones to a iPhone you get from a outside source, they can still tell you on a iPhone cause of the IMEI number.

    The OLAM will even automatically switch your phone/device in your profile once the network sees the IMEI number.

    Now what they do next is up to them..however, in the ToS, they can add the plan at anytime without your consent.

  3. #3
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    ^you don't have to have an iPhone specific plan, I don't. Did for 1 month then switched to medianet account

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  5. #4
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    hmm, they will know if you using a iPhone or not though through you IMEI number.

    You can test if you look at your OLAM, if you change phone and make a few calls your details will change to that phone.

    I noticed this when i was trying to enable MMS...i had my blackjack2 and my iPhone...i took the sim from the iPhone and put it in the BJ2...made a few calls, sent a few messages and low and behold, the OLAM showed my BJ2 in details.

    I didnt get MMS working, however i switched back to my iPhone and checked my OLAM after a few hours...changed back to iPhone in my details.

    I guess the worst that can happen is they find out and charge you for it. Since they dont remove your account or anything, i guess there is no harm.

    Correct me if im wrong about the IMEI number and ATT knowing what phone you are using.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by HighLife View Post
    hmm, they will know if you using a iPhone or not though through you IMEI number.

    You can test if you look at your OLAM, if you change phone and make a few calls your details will change to that phone.

    I noticed this when i was trying to enable MMS...i had my blackjack2 and my iPhone...i took the sim from the iPhone and put it in the BJ2...made a few calls, sent a few messages and low and behold, the OLAM showed my BJ2 in details.

    I didnt get MMS working, however i switched back to my iPhone and checked my OLAM after a few hours...changed back to iPhone in my details.

    I guess the worst that can happen is they find out and charge you for it. Since they dont remove your account or anything, i guess there is no harm.

    Correct me if im wrong about the IMEI number and ATT knowing what phone you are using.
    if you're data only, they don't see your IMEI, maybe?

    i walked into an AT&T store today, got a SIM card for a fictitious Nokia N95, provisioned the card via the online account manager...lo and behold, the salesperson has given me an IMEI of 0s and 1s.

    popped the card into my unlocked t-mobile dash, saw that the SIM had been properly provisioned for data, popped the card into my iphone and voila. PDA Connect data only plan. anyway, my OLAM still doesn't recognize my iphone, probably because i haven't made any calls.

    hope this helps someone.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by eserfeliz View Post
    if you're data only, they don't see your IMEI, maybe?
    NO, the IMEI is registered/'shown' to the network once the GSM/WCDMA radio is turned on.

    An IMEI is somewhat like a car's VIN: both are registered to a central system (IMEI to a GSM/WCDMA network; VIN to a state registry, insurance company, etc) and specifically identify the make & model of the item. There's other comparisons as well (changing either can be considered illegal, for example).

    ADDENDUM:
    Quote Originally Posted by eserfeliz View Post
    anyway, my OLAM still doesn't recognize my iphone, probably because i haven't made any calls.
    OLAM will recognize it eventually, but it will be recognized immediately by CS if you talk to them while the iPhone is actively using the SIM. The sole exception is if the iPhone is not a US/AT&T-locked iPhone, then it might show up as 'unknown.'
    Last edited by GenesisDH; 2009-08-13 at 06:04 AM. Reason: ADDENDUM
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  8. #7
    So... to answer my question...

    I should be able to use the PDA Data plan? I know they will be able to see my iphone if they want to but I am reading of multiple users that are not using the iphone data plan and are not being caught. Also since I will only be using data and texts is it more possible that I could get away with it for longer?

    Also, if they did find out about it and change you into the iphone data plan, you would be able to cancel it within the 30 days after they put you on it, right?
    Last edited by bbaskety; 2009-08-13 at 03:08 PM.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbaskety View Post
    So... to answer my question...

    I should be able to use the PDA Data plan? I know they will be able to see my iphone if they want to but I am reading of multiple users that are not using the iphone data plan and are not being caught. Also since I will only be using data and texts is it more possible that I could get away with it for longer?

    Also, i they did find out about it and change you into the iphone data plan, you would be able to cancel it within the 30 days after they put you on it right?
    You can 'illegitimately' be able to use the PDA plan, but there's no guarantee that you'll 'get away with it' forever (this is especially true if you're not on contract).

    You've been part of the 'Sidekick plan' group (from what you've mentioned) and you've seen how things can change quickly w.r.t. the carrier's treatment of its users. Don't expect that to change... AT&T hasn't called bluff yet, but they have the power to at any time.
    Last edited by GenesisDH; 2009-08-13 at 06:54 AM.
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  11. #9
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    OLAM is irrelivant, it shows my iPhone never had any issues. You guys come up with some crazy stuff.

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  13. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by GenesisDH View Post
    You can 'illegitimately' be able to use the PDA plan, but there's no guarantee that you'll 'get away with it' forever (this is especially true if you're not on contract).

    You've been part of the 'Sidekick plan' group (from what you've mentioned) and you've seen how things can change quickly w.r.t. the carrier's treatment of its users. Don't expect that to change... AT&T hasn't called bluff yet, but they have the power to at any time.
    where are you getting your information, anyway?

    seeing as all i needed to do was go to Unlockit - APN Changer for your iPhone and download the carrier settings for data, it's pretty apparent that none of the blocking is being done on the network/server side. it's all being done client side. i called CS today (from a landline) and it still didn't pick up my IMEI on my phone. sure, if you make a phone call, your IMEI is transmitted, but it doesn't seem to work the same for data.

    "paranoia is another word for ignorance" -hunter s. thompson

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  15. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by eserfeliz View Post
    "paranoia is another word for ignorance" -hunter s. thompson
    I guess I am really ignorant then, cuz I am trying to get all the information I can before I jump in...haha

    eserfeliz, what data plan are you using? Keep me posted...

  16. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by bbaskety View Post
    I guess I am really ignorant then, cuz I am trying to get all the information I can before I jump in...haha

    eserfeliz, what data plan are you using? Keep me posted...
    it's called "PDA Personal". $35/mo, plus any applicable taxes and fees. so far this morning i've placed VOIP calls, downloaded apps from the app store, e-mails, everything at 3G speed. just don't indicate in any way you're doing this for an iphone and you'll be fine.

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  18. #13
    Oh nice, that is the plan I was looking into getting today. I was going to activate it on a Blackjack then just move the SIM card over. What are you using for VOIP calls and did you purchase a texting package? Also, what provisioning did you have to do for the card online?

    Thanks for all the help thusfar...
    Last edited by bbaskety; 2009-08-13 at 05:02 PM.

  19. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by bbaskety View Post
    Oh nice, that is the plan I was looking into getting today. I was going to activate it on a Blackjack then just move the SIM card over. What are you using for VOIP calls and did you purchase a texting package? Also, what provisioning did you have to do for the card online?

    Thanks for all the help thusfar...
    for VOIP calls i'm using Siphone (free, Cydia); it's the best application free or paid. The paid applications all require Wifi, even with VOIPover3G installed from Cydia. Configuration was pretty easy. My only gripe is that calls don't always ring through, but I'm not sure whether that's because of the application or Backgrounder.

    For texting I'm using Google Voice. You can get a $40 package that has unlimited data + 200 txt, I believe it's called "PDA Connect". I have 300 texts on T-Mobile on my other iPhone for Google Voice SMS notifications.

    After I got my SIM, I clicked on the "Activate your Phone" link on the index page of the OLAM. It was pretty self-explanatory and didn't take long at all.

    Oh, and just as a reminder, you won't be able to get to the APN settings, so go to Unlockit - APN Changer for your iPhone and download the carrier settings from there. Best of luck to you.

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  21. #15
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    Exclamation Seriously...
    Quote Originally Posted by eserfeliz View Post
    where are you getting your information, anyway?

    seeing as all i needed to do was go to 'Unlockit - APN Changer for your iPhone' and download the carrier settings for data, it's pretty apparent that none of the blocking is being done on the network/server side. it's all being done client side. i called CS today (from a landline) and it still didn't pick up my IMEI on my phone. sure, if you make a phone call, your IMEI is transmitted, but it doesn't seem to work the same for data.
    I never said it was impossible to do, but it is against AT&T's Terms of Service... which means if you abuse it AT&T has the right to disconnect your service. That's what is the issue I've been expressing.

    APN issues are completely different than abiding by the TOS, as those depend on both AT&T's side (SIM provisioning for the specific APN) and the phone's (APN settings). That's not the issue I've been saying, it's more about the 'legal' side of it.
    You can use any device on any plan from a technical standpoint, but does that mean AT&T allows you to? No, they have rules: Terms of Service.


    Anytime your phone's GSM/WCDMA radio is powered on, your IMEI is transmitted to the GSM system (for various reasons including crosschecking 'stolen' blacklists, check for duplicate ICCID usage on the network, even identify a phone when used for emergency calls without an inserted SIM). This transmission may not be apparent to you, but it is apparent on AT&T's side. This IMEI transmission is a part of the GSM specification. Read up on it sometime. Let me google that for you

    Yes, CS (and eventually OLAM) can tell the last IMEI you have used with your account or line, but they (or it) might not know exactly what model it is unless it's an AT&T-branded/inventoried phone. Besides, CS reps aren't the brightest people in the world and they tend to neglect info or misinform people for various reasons (look at the MMS issue, for example). Also, the auditing system AT&T uses to flag accounts using iPhones (that's how people get automated SMS and email, do you think they'd have some guy manually do this? Give me a break. ) has something to do with SIM provisioning more so than the actual CS reps.

    Once you start getting those 'ineligible plan' emails, notes in your paper bill, SMS messages... then you'll understand what I mean... and that might be real soon.
    Here's a bit of info coming from AT&T corporate email about the inevitable block of non-iPhone plans w/ iPhones: [ame=http://howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1560432]AT&T to cut data on people with "ineligible" iPhone plan[/ame]

    The above message talks about September 14th as the cutoff date for illegit plans... I bet that's when we'll see MMS deblocking and possibly OS 3.1 release.
    3.1 (since beta2) uses a checksum or some hash checking now on the APN settings. APN modifications aren't as effective with 3.1beta2+ (including mods to enable native tethering). This change might be prompting AT&T to take action now to keep people from b****ing.
    Last edited by GenesisDH; 2009-08-13 at 09:00 PM. Reason: rearranged info
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  22. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by GenesisDH View Post
    I never said it was impossible to do, but it is against AT&T's Terms of Service... which means if you abuse it AT&T has the right to disconnect your service. That's what is the issue I've been expressing.

    APN issues are completely different than abiding by the TOS, as those depend on both AT&T's side (SIM provisioning for the specific APN) and the phone's (APN settings). That's not the issue I've been saying, it's more about the 'legal' side of it.
    You can use any device on any plan from a technical standpoint, but does that mean AT&T allows you to? No, they have rules: Terms of Service.


    Anytime your phone's GSM/WCDMA radio is powered on, your IMEI is transmitted to the GSM system (for various reasons including crosschecking 'stolen' blacklists, check for duplicate ICCID usage on the network, even identify a phone when used for emergency calls without an inserted SIM). This transmission may not be apparent to you, but it is apparent on AT&T's side. This IMEI transmission is a part of the GSM specification. Read up on it sometime. Let me google that for you

    Yes, CS (and eventually OLAM) can tell the last IMEI you have used with your account or line, but they (or it) might not know exactly what model it is unless it's an AT&T-branded/inventoried phone. Besides, CS reps aren't the brightest people in the world and they tend to neglect info or misinform people for various reasons (look at the MMS issue, for example). Also, the auditing system AT&T uses to flag accounts using iPhones (that's how people get automated SMS and email, do you think they'd have some guy manually do this? Give me a break. ) has something to do with SIM provisioning more so than the actual CS reps.

    Once you start getting those 'ineligible plan' emails, notes in your paper bill, SMS messages... then you'll understand what I mean... and that might be real soon.
    Here's a bit of info coming from AT&T corporate email about the inevitable block of non-iPhone plans w/ iPhones: AT&T to cut data on people with "ineligible" iPhone plan

    The above message talks about September 14th as the cutoff date for illegit plans... I bet that's when we'll see MMS deblocking and possibly OS 3.1 release.
    3.1 (since beta2) uses a checksum or some hash checking now on the APN settings. APN modifications aren't as effective with 3.1beta2+ (including mods to enable native tethering). This change might be prompting AT&T to take action now to keep people from b****ing.
    When I provisioned my data card last night, the CS rep at the store input my IMEI as 0s and 1s. Even if my IMEI is being transmitted by radio, trumpet blasts or Morse Code, the IMEI that is in AT&T's CS database and on their servers contains 0s and 1s, nothing more. As my device was purchased secondhand and not stolen or anything weird, and I'm not making emergency calls (or any other sort of calls, for that matter), for all intents and purposes, I have a legit, honest-to-God PDA device on the AT&T network, and it will stay that way, despite your Google-FU and dazzling display of knowledge of GSM specs.

    Knowledge is great, but useless sometimes.

  23. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by eserfeliz View Post
    When I provisioned my data card last night, the CS rep at the store input my IMEI as 0s and 1s. Even if my IMEI is being transmitted by radio, trumpet blasts or Morse Code, the IMEI that is in AT&T's CS database and on their servers contains 0s and 1s, nothing more.
    Let us know when your AT&T account has been alive for longer than a day. One day of it working isn't proof that it will work days, weeks, months, or years down the road.

    Just saying.
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  25. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by GenesisDH View Post
    Let us know when your AT&T account has been alive for longer than a day. One day of it working isn't proof that it will work days, weeks, months, or years down the road.

    Just saying.
    it's been a day. still surfing it up. OLAM still doesn't have a device in it.

    don't hold your breath waiting for my (and apparently countless other people) data plan to fail. just sayin'.

  26. #19
    Looks like I am going to try the PDA Personal plan. After weighing my options it seems the worst that can happen is they switch me to the other appropriate iPhone plan, I cancel it immediately, then jump to T-mobile.

    It seems the consensus is, from the multiple forums I have been surfing the past couple days, because of the cost of the plan, people seem to think AT&T would not look down on this plan as strongly. I guess I will see where this takes me...

    I appreciate the help and opinion of everyone that chimed in, please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you...

    eserfeliz, let me know if you run into any hiccups in your surfing of AT&T data...

  27. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by bbaskety View Post
    Looks like I am going to try the PDA Personal plan. After weighing my options it seems the worst that can happen is they switch me to the other appropriate iPhone plan, I cancel it immediately, then jump to T-mobile.

    It seems the consensus is, from the multiple forums I have been surfing the past couple days, because of the cost of the plan, people seem to think AT&T would not look down on this plan as strongly. I guess I will see where this takes me...

    I appreciate the help and opinion of everyone that chimed in, please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you...

    eserfeliz, let me know if you run into any hiccups in your surfing of AT&T data...
    day 2 and all's well. made an hour long data call last night, nobody knocking on my door.

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