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?
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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.