Given the following:

  • iPad air with cellular modem (issued by T-mobile)
  • T-mobile sim card from working telephone: re-allocated to iPad

What are the steps \ procedure to configure iPad's iMessage to receive text messages from SIM phone number?

  • Is it not working?
    – Allan
    Jan 30, 2019 at 17:35
  • @Allan Good question: a text message was sent to the SIM phone number and it does not show up on the Messages app
    – gatorback
    Feb 1, 2019 at 0:29

1 Answer 1


You can't use SMS messaging on an iOS device (or any device for that matter) that doesn't connect to the GSM network.

SMS is part of the GSM services network; the "telephone" functionality of your device. It's the network that allows you to place a call to all phones including land lines. The iPad doesn't connect to the GSM network.

iMessage requires a data connection (WiFi or cellular data like LTE) because they are sent and received through a server over the TCP/IP protocol.

  • I would love to learn more about the technical difference between how an iPad gets cellular data and iPhone gets data. Should I post a question on that @Allan?
    – bmike
    May 2, 2020 at 18:54

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