T-Mobile USA Prepaid & iPhone & unlimited data for $1.49/day

Since the folks in the T-Mobile store were clueless, I had to figure out myself how to get mobile internet on my iPhone using a T-Mobile prepaid SIM (or pay-as-you-go, as they call it here).

  • Ensure your iPhone is not locked to a provider
  • Buy a $10 T-Mobile pay as you go SIM. I could only find them at T-Mobile shops, Radioshack and CVS didn’t have them. It comes with around $3 worth of credit. You need to top it up with at least another $10 in store, so the total cost of the SIM will be at least $20 plus tax.
  • Have the store clerk use a SIM stapler to convert your SIM card into a microSIM (in case you use iPhone 4 or iPad)
  • If they don’t have a SIM stapler, just use scissors to cut it into shape
  • Insert the SIM into your iPhone and enter Settings – General – Network. Disable 3G to save battery power, since T-Mobile will only allow your iPhone on their 2G EDGE network. Cellular Data needs to be on, Data Roaming should be off (even though the store clerk insisted it needs to be on).
  • In the Cellular Data Network menu, Reset Settings at the bottom. Then enter the “epc.tmobile.com” into the APN field on the top
  • You should see the EDGE “E” or a circle “o” on the top left next to the word “T-Mobile”. If you don’t see it, enable and disable airplane mode, or reboot the phone.
  • Open Safari and go to “m.web2go.com”, then choose “My Account”
  • Subscribe to the daily web pass for $1.49 per 24h
Update:┬áThe Web Pass has been discontinued. There is now a daily plan for unlimited talk, text and 2G web browsing for $2 per day. It’s an ongoing subscription but can be canceled on a daily basis.