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I am at my wit's end trying to get my wife's iPhone 5 switched from T-Mobile to straight talk.

Just about a month ago my wife's old cellphone was reaching a breaking point, so she decided to get an unlocked gsm iphone 5 16GB from the Apple store. We took it to T-Mobile where they popped in a sim and everything worked perfectly. Well, there's no 1900mhz HSPA+ in our area yet, and she had to edit the APN to get MMS messages working, but perfect apart from those things.

Our contract is up now and she wants 3G speeds so we decided to switch her over to Straight Talk. What I've done so far is port her number over, and texts (non-MMS) and calls work perfectly.

But data won't work whatsoever. It gives the message:

"not subscribed to a cellular data service"

I've tried calling Straight Talk tech support but they try to walk me through editing the APN but now the Settings > General > Network entry no longer shows up! I think it depends on what SIM you have inserted, but the T-Mobile sim we had is long trashed at this point.

What I've learned so far is that if the Settings > General > Network entry does not show up that means your phone is locked (?), but she specifically bought an unlocked phone so now I'm just confused.

Some advice I've googled has said to restore the phone in iTunes, but she had never synced it before switching to StraightTalk. Anyway, I backed up and restored it, but I didn't get the:

"Congratulations your phone is unlocked."

message I guess I should be seeing.

I've also read advice telling me to contact AT&T about unlocking the phone, but you have to fax something? And it takes 5-7 days? Ugh.

I guess I'm just asking how do I get the Settings > General > Network entry to show up so I can continue with Straight Talk tech support and try to get the data problem solved?

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3 Answers 3

Try using http://www.unlockit.co.nz to set the APN to StraightTalk.

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I tried it, but I actually already installed the official APN blob from straight talk found at their website: iapnupdate.straighttalk.com –  dnissley Feb 5 '13 at 19:09
    
My difficulty is that the tech support rep asks me to verify the APN settings, and I can't which ends their script and they tell me to contact AT&T. –  dnissley Feb 5 '13 at 19:11
    
This actually did help to some extent, when I used the straight talk APN blob from the unlockit site, data worked (but no mms). In order to clear out the previously installed APN blob I had to do Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. –  dnissley Feb 6 '13 at 14:48
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

So I ended up jailbreaking and following the advice on this wiki page.

Steps involved:

  1. Reset network settings to clear out custom apn blob (they conflict with TetherMe settings).
  2. Backed up phone in itunes.
  3. Jailbroke phone using evasion.
  4. Installed TetherMe from cydia.
  5. Set up straight talk config in TetherMe settings.

This got mms messaging and data working perfectly.

I guess whether the Settings > General > Cellular > Cellular Data Network entry shows up depends on the sim card itself. The settings app uses some unknown internal criteria to hide or show that option.

I also tried the sim swap method described on that same wiki page with no luck.

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Also important is to turn off automatic APN selection in the TetherMe settings, otherwise it seems that the apn names are reset to 'phone' occasionally, causing data and messaging to not work. –  dnissley May 22 '13 at 14:06
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Go to unlockit.co.nz and download the apn for straight talk. This is how I got my iphone working on straight talk with 4G speeds

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