T-Mobile is now providing 200 MB per month of free data for tablet owners. Compare this act of generosity to Verizon’s game of deactivating their pre-paid SIM cards to steer you into a post-paid plan. T-Mobile recently had an offer for free SIM cards for pre-paid service, so I took them up on it. The good news is that a T-Mobile pre-paid micro SIM card works fine in my 3rd generation Verizon iPad. The data service runs on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. Unfortunately the 3rd generation iPad doesn’t work with the LTE band that T-Mobile uses. In any case, the HSPA+ speeds are adequate for email or web browsing.
Here are the steps to use T-Mobile’s pre-paid SIM card:
1. Turn off the power to your iPad by holding the sleep button down and sliding on the screen when prompted.
2. Using the pin that came with your iPad, remove the SIM card tray and your Verizon SIM card. See here for instructions.
3. Insert the T-Mobile SIM card in the tray and push the tray back into your iPad.
4. Turn your iPad back on.
5. Turn on cellular data. (Settings->Cellular Data->Cellular Data). Turn your wi-fi off.
6. Open Safari and go to any web site. You’ll be prompted to activate and register your device. Click on the thumbnail images below to see the full-size registration screens.
7. Once registered, your service is ready to use. No credit card is needed to activate the free 200 MB plan. Turn your wi-fi back on if desired.
Thanks to Sam T. for pointing out this T-Mobile solution to our readers.