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  • How To: Use iPhone 5 on AT&T GoPhone/Prepaid with 4G Data Speeds (PayAsYouGo)

How To: Use iPhone 5 on AT&T GoPhone/Prepaid with 4G Data Speeds (PayAsYouGo)

Back when the iPhone 4 came out I started paying full price for phones and broke off my contract with AT&T. I know paying $650+ for a phone is a lot of money but so is paying $60+ monthly to get the same phone for $199, not to mention the fact that iPhones change every year and you have to pay more for breaking the 2-year contract. I used to have the unlimited data plan from AT&T but now I am close to Wi-Fi spots at all times and there are very few cases in which I might need internet right away.

With a prepaid plan you have more freedom to choose how much you want to use and spend every month. At the moment I pay $25 for 250 monthly minutes and unlimited texting which is good since I don’t make too many phone calls and if I need a quick favor I can just text them. I haven’t used data on an iPhone for a while until today. I got my iPhone 5 yesterday morning and got home quickly to cut my micro SIM into Nano SIM to get it up and fully working. Shortly after I realized that I bought a phone with 4G capability so why not try it out?

Getting 4G data on AT&T’s GoPhone service is very easy to do and won’t take much of your time. Follow the directions below.

1.Buy an iPhone 5

2.Get a GoPhone SIM card from AT&T or buy a cheap GoPhone at an Electronics retailer like Best Buy that includes the SIM card.

3.Cut the SIM card down to a Nano SIM (Instructions Here)

4.Settings>General>Network>Turn Off Cellular Data

5.From your iPhone 5 go to http://www.unlockit.co.nz/ and as “Carrier” choose “AT&T (PAYG)” then create the APN and Install Profile.

6.Go to paygonline.com/ and purchase whatever minutes or plan you want except for the “Unlimited $50 Monthly Plan” since it won’t work, you will want to purchase the data separately for this to work. You can get up to 1GB of data for $25 which is pretty good. I recommend paying $5 for 50MB for now until you get this to work and then purchase more.

7.Restart iPhone 5

8.Settings>General>Network>Turn On Cellular Data

9.You should see 4G/LTE next to AT&T but just incase, restart it one more time.

10.You’re done, I don’t recommend  refilling your data by calling AT&T.

When you complete those ten steps you should be done and data should be working. If you have any questions feel free to contact us here.

(Update 9/24/12) You can use this method to use the device as a prepaid phone without buying data.

(Update 5/30/12) AT&T has made 4G/LTE GoPhone compatible with iPhones. Normal data plans that include smartphones should work now.

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Hello internet I'm Daniel. I've always had a passion for gadgets and gizmos. My life took a turn for the best when I bought the First Generation iPod Nano the day Apple released it. I was amazed at how technology was becoming part of our daily lives and how fast new products were being developed. Since then I have grown to love technology related products, how they work, and how these products can be improved. I love providing my thoughts on companies latest products so consumers can make up their mind on whether or not they want to spend their money on them.
  • Martin

    Can u send mms pics?

    • No you can’t. There is a method, which I have not tested, to enable it.

  • So you’re saying ill be able to use my iphone 5 like how i would with any “pay as you go” phone?…If yes, would i be able to send out mms messages??

  • Danny

    Have been thinking about doing this. Will I be able to use wi-fi and not worry about accidently using their pay per use data?

    • Once the data finishes it doesn’t keep charging you for extra. AT&T pops a message onto the screen saying that you have finished your data and it won’t work until you refill.

  • william

    I’m glad to know that the iphone 5 can be used as a prepaid, i currently have this done with the iphone 4. I put 25$ on my account and it lasts about 2 months. I feel sorry for people who pay over 100$ a month on phone service.

  • chdrake2002

    How did you buy an iPhone 5 without a contract?

    • You can go to any store and ask for an unsubsidized version.

  • chdrake2002

    Also, I’m currently using a 3GS as prepaid. Do you think I can simply cut down my sim card and use it?

    • Sorry for late reply. Phone service will work perfectly.

  • Eduardo S.

    Hi, i just the the 10 steps mentioned above and i got the 4G signal but the speed is so slow.. feels like Edge i ran the speed test and i got 700 latency 0.2MBps download / 0.15 MBps upload.. do you know how to fix that? thanks

  • Bob

    If I already have gophone, can I pop out the SIM card and cut it down to size and pop it in the iPhone 5 ? Will that work?

    • Yea, works perfectly. MMS and Data will not work. Data will work with this method but MMS requires a completely different method.

      • S Zhou

        I cut the microSIM from my iPhone 4 GoPhone down to the nanoSIM size. Calls/SMS work, but data doesn’t work with the wap.cingular/PAYG/GoPhone APN settings.

      • JV Music

        Hi, Do you know how to do this completely different method? my mms is not working but my data does, I can access internet and everything but I can not send or receive mms messages.
        Thanks,

  • Eric

    I ordered me a nano sim card, called up Go Phone C.S to switch my service from old sim to new sim, now by internet is slow ass hell. On my 4S I was getting speeds between 3-6, now it wont even load the speed on speedtest app and surfing the internet on the 5 now is just slow. WTH is going on?

  • Ish

    Hi, Excellent piece. Thanks for helping out with the cause. I currently have a go phone with AT&T and also pay just $25/month for 250 minutes of phone & VM, plus unlimited texting. Given that MMS is not supported via this method, can you confirm that SMS unlimited does indeed work? Thank you in advance

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  • Mikey

    Great tutorial , AT&T prepaid works great on the iPhone 5 , looking to add some data so I can check emails and websites on the go

  • Hello, as I insert the Pay as you go sim card, I get the “Invalid SIM” message, any help ? Thanks.

    • Is it still happening?
      It shouldn’t happen at all, wether its unlocked or not. Are you inserting a cut down sim? If you cut some of the band, it could ruin the SIM and not work at all.

    • turn on your iphone thru wifi first, then go to the browser, find http://www.unlockit.co.nz, download the apn changer. then turn it off. then insert your cut up sim card. turn it on, without the wifi. it should work

  • Hey. Great tutorial man. I was wondering if there is way to get LTE on Gophone just like this?

  • Rick

    Just went through these instructions and worked like a charm Phone + 4G Data. Grazie!

  • Sam A.

    I really do need the unlimited talking for the amount that I talk… I just got my iPhone 5 today and am excited to hear that after a year or more of having the iPhone 4s with a go phone plan I could potentially use the internet on the go! QUESTION THOUGH: since I do need the unlimited plan, with this method work if I get the $65 smartphone plan? Just wondering because ATT will not tell you yes or no until AFTER you purchase the plan lol

  • Bireley

    I really need the unlimited data plan. Why wouldn’t the procedure work for the $50 Monthly Unlimited Plan”?

    • kugitnak

      becuase the $50.00 is for unlimited calling and texting

      • Shelby

        Not according to their website..it says unlimited data is included with the $50 plan.. if you are using a cheap gophones sim and the sim was activated using the cheap phones IMEI then it should work.. because ATT won’t be able to know that you are using the Iphone because the IMEI on the Sim is that of the cheap gophone. http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/plans/prepaidplans.html

        • Guest

          There system does recognize the imei number thats being used even if its not activated on the account. It can even recognize some non att devices that are smartphones and make it require a data package such as some unlock samsung devices.

  • Guest

    Does this work if your under a contract, I hate contracts, but don’t have money for the unlocked, I want the 16GB iPhone 5 but want to switch SIM cards but don’t want to break the contract or pay $600+.

  • Bryan

    Why Can’t my Iphone 5 Connect to LTE? It is always 4G. My friend has ip5 with a contract of At&t and her ip5 is able to connect LTE in same my place while my phone is not.

  • Yen

    Thanks. It worked for my iPhone 5.

  • Drew

    I have an unlocked iPhone 5 that I bought from the Apple store in Canada. I would like to get a pre-paid card for it when I am travelling in the US. I cant seem to find any Nano sim pre-paid providers – any suggestions? Thanks

  • Renato

    Today, 9th Dec 2012, I just bought an unlocked iphone 5 and then went to ATT and bought a NANO prepaid sim card filled with 25$ (the 250 minutes plan. – The sim card is actually free). The salesman said that it would not work data plan if I use the iphone 5 but I done the steps above (buying the $5 data plan – 50mb) and it worked with no problems! thanks for the guide!

  • Ami

    can we use the 65 dollar plan for smartphones?

    • Courtney

      I’ve used the $65 plan on my 4s for a while. All you need to do is use an apn changer, and you’re set. I just bought a 5, I’ll see how it goes.

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  • Soham

    Hi,
    I had opted for $50 prepaid plan + $5 50 MB data plan from AT&T last month. I followed the instructions, created profile and was able to use data plan on my iPhone 5.

    This month I hv opted for $65 plan which gives 1 GB of data but somehow data plan is not working on my phone.

    So wanted to know what can be the issue?

    • The plans that come with data do not work on the device since it has device limitations. You have to pay for the data separately.

    • When you renew the rate plan do not get the $65 month plan. This plan does not work with iphone. I tried it and i had the same problem. So what i did was switch my go phone plan back to the $50 monthly plan and added data be its self. Thats all you have to do. I have been using my iphone as a go phone since May 2012

  • Lilly

    Thanks for all the information! I have one question though. I am currently on Verizon and want to switch to att/go phone with an unlocked iphone. What do I do in regards to porting? Do I have to first buy a cheap gophone for ATT to port my number? And will that sim card be “locked” to the cheap gophone for the 90-120 day period?

  • redtiburon01

    Does anyone know if this works using an Android on the $25 monthly unlim plan with purchasing data pack?

  • Troy

    Awesome thanks! Just got off the phone to AT&T and the guy was like there is no way to get access to 4G on the iPhone without a contract. Plus he was telling me the iPhone is not a smart phone when I said they supported smart phone.

  • Shan

    Does VVM (Visual Voice Mail) work? I’m using iPhone 4S as GoPhone and everything is working fine except VVM.

  • natalia

    what do you do once you have the nano SIM card? do you have to go on AT&T website and activate it or you should directly insert in your phone and it works? Im consuded after watching couple videos with ATT go phone for iPhone 4s and 4. (those you have to activate the SIM card before inserting on your phone)

  • Adonis

    how can i make LTE work on my iphone 5 every works great the steps were great just wished i could have LTE if anyone could help me.

    • Court Kizer

      It’s probably because you have the wrong APN setup, IF You pay for LTE on prepaid. Your friend probably says he’s not paying extra for LTE but he is most likely.

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  • Works!

  • Krytal

    Excuse me! Do I have to activate the nano sim card?

  • How can I do this with a Nokia Lumia 900?!? I went to get a gophome sim card and the guy at the store told me prepaid plans do not work on 4G phones.

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  • has anyone tried adding more minutes as oppose to 250 mins?

  • Daniel

    If you are already under contract with a monthly plan is there anyway to still accomplish this ?

  • dave

    I have an iphone 5 our of contract with no service plan. When I am near a wifi hotspot I make calls/text using google voice. I want to purchase a soley DATA only plan so I can make calls /texts on the go and circumvent the minutes/texts etc business. Anyone know who sells data only? Reply here or send me an email. Thanks

    • Erick

      T-Mobile has a $30 unlimited text & data and 100 min talk.

  • Mariama

    Do i buy an unlocked iphone 5 and do this?

  • Marthin

    Excellent post! Thx!

  • Doc Guerrilla

    hi there, I’ve an Iphone 4S unlocked. I bought a prepaid card at AT&T (Go Phone 4G for 35$ Monthly) “quick Messaging & Basic Phone Plans”. I have done all procedures for setting APN. But I can’t send text messages in US and Data doesn’t work. Also I can send and receive sms from italy, and I can receive message from US. Could you help me

  • dezrr

    I did everything but Im getting could not activate cellular data network you are not subscribed to a cellular data service

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  • RG13

    Would this procedure work on the iPhone 5s. I bought the unlocked version, and my concern is if I would be available to use AT&T’s LTE network if I acquire the prepaid plan like you mention. I’ve been told that I can still use the phone but I wont be getting LTE coverage.

  • rutti

    I cut my gophone sim card to work with an unlocked iPhone and installed the APN profile. I get no service. I thought I cut it wrong but my phone number shows in the phone section. Do I get no service because I cannot add data to my current pre-paid account?

  • oliver

    I did this but my data or 4g lte dont work what do i doo??

  • markus huber

    does anybody know if this procedere also work with an in europe bought iphone direct from apple in combination of a attgophone sim from http://www.prepaid-discount.de ?

  • Tianna Simone

    If I were to bring a jail broken iphone5 to the AT&T store will I be able to use it for a prepaid plan?