In big surprise from Apple, the iPad 3G is NOT carrier locked, which means that it will work on other GSM cellular data networks. Instead Apple decide to use new microSIM cards catch AT&T’s 3G band. Currently the iPad is the only mobile Internet device that uses the new microSIM technology. You have a choice of two data plans from AT&T. First one being a 250MB a month capped plan, costing about $15 a month, the second is a unlimited data plan that costs about $30 a month.
In a recent iFixit teardown of the new iPad 3G, it was found to support UMTS/HSDPA (850/1900/2100 MHz) and GSM/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz). Basically it means that it can run on a total of 3 GSM networks here in North America, but it will only support AT&T 3G speeds. Meaning if you decide to run your new $600+ iPad on T-Mobile you would only get EDGE speeds. Now how would you go about this since the iPad only supports microSIM cards. Well first off SIM and microSIM contacts are backwards-compatible, so somehow you would have to cut down you standard SIM to fit the microSIM slot. I guess it’s possible, the boys at iPadInsider have come up with a pretty handy hack that involves you trimming down you T-Mobile SIM (or any GSM SIM card) to work with the iPad 3G. So if you have a spare SIM card laying around or you’re willing to sacrifice your current SIM to never make outgoing calls again, check out the guide bellow.
DISCLAIMER: We have not tested this, so this information may be inaccurate or incomplete. iPadInsider.com will not be responsible for individuals following the instructions on this page. And are doing so entirely at their own risk.
Here’s how to get iPad 3G to run on T-Mobile EDGE network:
1) Have your iPad 3G and T-Mobile SIM with EDGE data plan ready
2) With the SIM eject tool that came in the box, take out the AT&T Micro SIM and place it on top of the T-Mobile traditional SIM, trace it and trim it with a scissor or any other tool that can get the job done right (Be sure not to cut the gold contact). Or follow this guide from Techradar.
3) Insert the DIY T-Mobile Micro SIM in the iPad
4) Turn off WiFi
5) On the iPad, go to Settings > Cellular Data > Turn Cellular Data ON
6) Turn ON Airplane Mode and then OFF to refresh
7) You should be on T-Mobile EDGE at this point, if not go to Settings > Cellular Data > APN Settings > And try these on the “APN” field:
Also here is a T-Mobile running on iPad video tutorial.