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Old Jun 19, 12, 9:06 pm   #1
 
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How to test prepaid SIM is activated?

I just received a prepaid o2 Ireland SIM card off ebay, and it was advertised as being already activated with 5.50 euro (but not registered with the network).

Is there any way for me to test that the SIM is activated while still in the US? I have an iPhone 3GS that is jailbroken and unlocked. When I pop in the o2 SIM, the phone just searches for service indefinitely.

This may be a silly question I'm asking, but I just want make sure I am able to use my phone as soon as I land in Ireland to get in contact with some folks. Is there any way to check this before being in Ireland?

TIA!
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Old Jun 20, 12, 6:05 am   #2
 
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Email/call O2 customer service and ask?
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Old Jun 20, 12, 4:34 pm   #3
 
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If you can find a friend with
1. an unlocked GSM phone NOT on AT&T (T-mobile, etc); and
2. a sim adapter to make the micro-sim into a regular size sim - you can then test it.

Putting the sim into a unlocked GSM phone, it should find the T-mobile network.
There were probably some instructions on how to check your balance that came with the sim. This is usually a free call or text. By getting a signal, and getting a balance message, you can verify it's activated and how much credit you have. If you bought it activated, but with no credit (can you do that?), you'll have to assume if it finds the t-mobile network it's OK.

I just did this with a vodafone UK sim I purchased with 10 pounds credit from e-bay.
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Old Jun 21, 12, 7:10 am   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugaboos View Post
If you can find a friend with
1. an unlocked GSM phone NOT on AT&T (T-mobile, etc); and
2. a sim adapter to make the micro-sim into a regular size sim - you can then test it.

Putting the sim into a unlocked GSM phone, it should find the T-mobile network.
There were probably some instructions on how to check your balance that came with the sim. This is usually a free call or text. By getting a signal, and getting a balance message, you can verify it's activated and how much credit you have. If you bought it activated, but with no credit (can you do that?), you'll have to assume if it finds the t-mobile network it's OK.

I just did this with a vodafone UK sim I purchased with 10 pounds credit from e-bay.
Why not an unlocked AT&T phone?
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Old Jun 21, 12, 12:07 pm   #5
 
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Unlocked AT&T phone may work too. I just know AT&T and T-mobile available by me, and my european sim automatically always finds T-mobile, not AT&T. AT&T has some funny rules. Couldn't hurt to try it though.
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Old Jun 21, 12, 5:21 pm   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emailersss View Post
I just received a prepaid o2 Ireland SIM card off ebay, and it was advertised as being already activated with 5.50 euro (but not registered with the network).

Is there any way for me to test that the SIM is activated while still in the US? I have an iPhone 3GS that is jailbroken and unlocked. When I pop in the o2 SIM, the phone just searches for service indefinitely.

This may be a silly question I'm asking, but I just want make sure I am able to use my phone as soon as I land in Ireland to get in contact with some folks. Is there any way to check this before being in Ireland?

TIA!
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Old Jun 21, 12, 7:16 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emailersss View Post
I just received a prepaid o2 Ireland SIM card off ebay, and it was advertised as being already activated with 5.50 euro (but not registered with the network).

Is there any way for me to test that the SIM is activated while still in the US? I have an iPhone 3GS that is jailbroken and unlocked. When I pop in the o2 SIM, the phone just searches for service indefinitely.

This may be a silly question I'm asking, but I just want make sure I am able to use my phone as soon as I land in Ireland to get in contact with some folks. Is there any way to check this before being in Ireland?

TIA!
I don't know if this is an obvious or silly question, but do IE SIMs roam outside of IE?
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Old Jun 22, 12, 8:01 am   #8
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Originally Posted by weekilter View Post
I don't know if this is an obvious or silly question, but do IE SIMs roam outside of IE?
In the case of many PAYG SIMs, in Ireland and other countries, you have to enable international roaming with the provider before they will register with an overseas network.
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Old Jun 22, 12, 5:33 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by star_world View Post
In the case of many PAYG SIMs, in Ireland and other countries, you have to enable international roaming with the provider before they will register with an overseas network.
Which is why I suggested contacting the carrier directly.
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Old Jun 24, 12, 9:17 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugaboos View Post
If you can find a friend with
1. an unlocked GSM phone NOT on AT&T (T-mobile, etc); and
2. a sim adapter to make the micro-sim into a regular size sim - you can then test it.

Putting the sim into a unlocked GSM phone, it should find the T-mobile network.
There were probably some instructions on how to check your balance that came with the sim. This is usually a free call or text. By getting a signal, and getting a balance message, you can verify it's activated and how much credit you have. If you bought it activated, but with no credit (can you do that?), you'll have to assume if it finds the t-mobile network it's OK.

I just did this with a vodafone UK sim I purchased with 10 pounds credit from e-bay.

I actually bought a full-size SIM, but thanks for the tip.

Also, thanks for the idea to try a T-mobile unlocked phone. My phone is unlocked AT&T and it can't find service using the o2 SIM.

In other news - I'm actually now getting an o2 message appear on my phone if I connect to wi-fi (asking me about if I want to participate in a contact back-up service)?! Does that indicate that the SIM should work once I am in range of their network, anyone think?
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Old Jun 24, 12, 9:17 am   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Flahusky View Post
Email/call O2 customer service and ask?
Thanks, I just sent off an email to o2 and will report back.

They actually have a forum, which is neat, but it requires me to register my SIM with o2 first, which I don't wish to do.

Last edited by emailersss; Jun 24, 12 at 9:46 am.
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Old Jun 24, 12, 7:06 pm   #12
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As I understand, registration has two meanings. When you first buy a SIM, the vendor registers the SIM with the network whose SIM it is to your name, SSN or some other ID and activates it. The two are done simultaneously in the U.S. and many other countries.
The other meaning of registration is what happens when your phone is turned on, after being powered off, or your SIM registers itself with another network with which your networks has service agreement, provided the network is compatible with the technology in your phone.

I suspect, when the seller said the SIM has been activated but not registered, it's the first kind of registration he is talking about.
In some countries, the vendor collects your ID information, activates the SIM, subject to approval of your registration by the provider. The provider checks your credentials in whatever way prescribed in the country and makes the final decision on whether to continue your service or not. If the information received by the network provider is judged to be incomplete or irregular, your service is turned off by the provider, in which case, you or the vendor have to resubmit your credentials.

The advice regarding putting another SIM etc, will not help you at all, if the SIM has no current registration, or if international roaming has not be turned on.
The best and the only correct advice is that you should contact the provider in Ireland.
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Old Jun 25, 12, 8:54 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by Yaatri View Post
As I understand, registration has two meanings. When you first buy a SIM, the vendor registers the SIM with the network whose SIM it is to your name, SSN or some other ID and activates it. The two are done simultaneously in the U.S. and many other countries.
The other meaning of registration is what happens when your phone is turned on, after being powered off, or your SIM registers itself with another network with which your networks has service agreement, provided the network is compatible with the technology in your phone.

...
Yes, I am using "register" in the policy sense, where one would register his/her information with the govt or service provider. It's not a legal requirement to do such in Ireland, so I probably won't.

I contacted o2 and they already replied to my email
The CSR is telling me to dial the number that allows one to check a balance. I'm fairly sure I won't be able to do this since I don't have service yet, but I'll try tonight. If it doesn't work I'll try emailing o2 again and phrase my question differently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by star_world View Post
In the case of many PAYG SIMs, in Ireland and other countries, you have to enable international roaming with the provider before they will register with an overseas network.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaatri View Post
The advice regarding putting another SIM etc, will not help you at all, if the SIM has no current registration, or if international roaming has not be turned on.
That makes a lot of sense...thanks to both of you for clearing that up. Basically I won't be able to connect to AT&T or T-Mobile since roaming is not enabled by o2.

Last edited by emailersss; Jun 25, 12 at 9:15 am.
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