I'm not sure this is the correct place where to ask this. If you can indicate me another Stack Exchange website I can use instead would be great.

Anyway, I'm willing to move to a prepaid sim card for my iPhone to cut costs. That is, I don't want to pay a monthly subscription, but pay per minute/sms/internet traffic.

I'm not calling or texting a lot, just very occasionally. And I sometimes use google maps via 3G.

Also, I would like to receive Facebook messages via 3G, but I don't need to be notified on time, the phone can check every 30 minutes for example for the Facebook inbox.

Can I have this with a prepaid sim card? To have my iPhone to check every 30 minutes for incoming messages / mails, so that it connects just few times per day and it doesn't stay online all the time?

1 Answer 1


This is perfectly doable. I use a prepaid SIM myself and get by without a problem (although my usage is a lot different to yours). Here are some tips to maximise your iPhone efficiency and minimise your bill.

  • Switch off "Background App Refresh". I have mine switched off for all but a few apps but for your needs it isn't necessary. This will boost battery life as well as reduce data usage since apps won't be able to update their content while backgrounded.
  • Set your mobile data network to 2G, and switch to 3G only when necessary. Again, this will boost your battery and reduce data costs, while still allowing Push notifications to come through.
  • Switch Push off for Mail, Contacts and Calendars. You can set the default action to "Fetch" and then pick between 30 minutes, an hour, or manually. The iPhone will then only check that often for mail or updates to your contacts/calendars (unless you open their respective apps).
  • I don't use the Facebook Messenger app so I'm not familiar with its settings, but if you have Background App Refresh off, you will only receive Push notifications and the messages will only actually come through once you open the app. There may be an option within the app itself to restrict the fetch interval for messages (although I doubt it because "Facebook knows best").
  • Disable 3G for specific apps. If there are apps you only need an internet connection for when you are at home or in a WiFi area, disable cellular data for them. This makes sure they don't sneak any information past you if you inadvertently open them while out and about.
  • Disable Location Services. This one is always a controversial one. While it will boost battery life and reduce data usage, you have to weigh up the cost of using a little bit of data to be able to use Find My iPhone against the cost of replacing your phone if it gets stolen.

Thats about all I can think of for prepping an iPhone for prepaid use. I'll update this if I think of any more.

  • sorry i have a doubt: If i have a prepaid mobile, which means im not online unless I explicity use an app to connect, do I receive push notificiation? or do I receive them only while using an app and connect in that moment?
    – aneuryzm
    Apr 25, 2015 at 11:17
  • i believe you already answered this. but just to be sure
    – aneuryzm
    Apr 25, 2015 at 11:18
  • You will still receive push notifications irrespective of if an app is open, yes. It will use data but a very minimal amount.
    – Sera H
    Apr 25, 2015 at 15:03

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