AT&T has informed customers that, on June 17th, that iPhone customers on AT&T’s GoPhone Prepaid service may lose data services. This affects any iPhone, iPhone 3G, or potential iPhone 3G S customer that does not have the official iPhone data package, which is only available on the GoPhone Pick Your Plan account. Furthermore, that plan only was intended for original iPhone customers.
While AT&T claims that iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S were never intended for AT&T GoPhone, their policies and procedures appear to be in contradiction with one-another. AT&T proudly announced last year that they would accept “any device” onto their network, on both prepaid and postpay plans. AT&T GoPhone also supports all AT&T-branded devices, even smartphones (AT&T has sold the Treo 750, and Nokia N75 as GoPhone units in the past even).
This change falls in line with Verizon Wireless’s thus-far-failed promises to open their network as well. The carrier has yet to approve non-Verizon devices on their network for consumer use.
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Customers with an original iPhone, on GoPhone Pick Your Plan, can call 611 to ensure that they are on the proper iPhone Data Plan ($20/month).
However, as this story was going to press, hackers have identified the root cause of the change. iPhone OS 3.0 uses a different, specific AT&T APN (connection server). This APN is routed specifically for iPhone devices, and is separate from the existing APNs (wap.cingular and isp.cingular). By using Apple’s iPhone Configuration Utility, and then emailing yourself a configuration with the change back to wap.cingular, service appears to continue working.
While AT&T has always held the ultimate tool, blacklisting IMEIs from wap.cingular, it does not appear that they will do this, as it conflicts with their aforementioned commitments to “activate any device.” It is not known if iPhone 3G S will work with this workaround as well, since it only exists on iPhone OS 3.0. AT&T could potentially block iPhone 3G S IMEIs from wap.cingular, since they all will be given the new APN from the factory. iPhone and iPhone 3G both will still exist on the wap.cingular APN, as not all customers will chose to update to iPhone OS 3.0.