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55 responses to “Verizon Affirms Unlimited Smartphone SIM Card Usage in Hotspots, Tablets, LTE iPad”

  1. Jon

    Please see the following quote from Verizon above:
    “The SIM holds the detail of your data plan. If you move it to another device, you will be charged for the service you use. If you have an unlimited SIM and it fits another device, you can use it and you will pay for the service plan associated with the SIM.”

    However, can someone get confirmation from Verizon that this idea will work in reverse? In other words, will a data-only SIM card from an LTE iPad work in a Verizon LTE smartphone? This would allow the option to have a smartphone with a $30/month data-only plan and no voice service.

  2. End of an Era: T-Mobile Yanks Free T-Zones Prepaid Access |

    […] HSPA+ data for $30 per month. After which, the plan throttles customers to 2G speeds.Similar to our recent Verizon Wireless LTE SIM-swapping coverage, T-Mobile appears to be permitting this special plan to work in tablets and portable hotspot […]

  3. Mark

    Is the key statement from vzw (Your sim holds the detail…) published by vzw anywhere independently? Or does it only exist in your article?

    Can you provide a link to the text of the relevant FCC 700mh rules?

  4. Mark

    Thanks, Chris , for clarifying.

    Concern is that without any independent statement from vzw, they very well might later just re-spin this as a “misunderstanding” and jerk my unlimited plan anyway.

    Not to in any wzy diminish what you’ve accomplished — great work !

  5. Apple Quietly Updates Carrier Settings on Verizon LTE iPad, May Requires iTunes to Update |

    […] to that the use of unlimited, grandfathered smartphone data plans on iPad was officially permitted, as well as on other LTE tablets, laptops, and portable hotspots.EmailPrintTwitterPosted in Apple, […]

  6. Verizon to Force Grandfathered Unlimited Data Users to Shared Data Later This Year |

    […] 4G LTE smartphones, as many of those with such plans are able to take advantage of such features as unlimited mobile hotspot access on the new iPad as well as on LTE mobile hotspots. With this latest move, Verizon looks to stamp that out as soon […]

  7. Josh

    I think your summary of the FCC position is a bit vague, and because of that, might be a bit misleading. It is not true that just any phone can be used. The companies have reserved the right to limit connection to only those phones they have tested and “certified” to be compatible with their network. Of course, they got the FCC to agree with this limitation under the guise of having to ensure their network is safe from any potential harm. Of course, any exact same model of phone (tablet) that the company sells is automatically “certified”. If really only comes to light if you want to use something else.

    So, you can’t simply slap an LTE SIM card into just any kind of device you want, assume immunity from the FCC. There are limits.

  8. You Can Use Your Verizon Smartphone LTE SIM in an iPad (with Unlimited Data Plans & Hotspot too) – Verizon Responds |

    […] affected or dropped by doing this. We go in-depth with Verizon’s subsequent statements, in a follow-up article. […]

  9. Verizon Will Ban Unlimited Data Plan Transfers on Thursday |

    […] on Verizon Wireless proper continue to enjoy truly unlimited, unthrottled 4G LTE data, even on alternative devices. 3G smartphone owners (again, such as iPhone 4/4S) have faced throttling, but only when the Verizon […]

  10. Shae

    Thanks for this write up

  11. Mike Gorman

    Hey everybody. I had a question regarding Verizon LTE on the iPad. I have a Galaxy Nexus with a plan on Verizon and I have put it in my iPad 3 a few times and it has mostly worked. When I first got the iPad, I was able to connect to LTE (even at my house which my GNexus will only connect to 3G!). More recently I pop the SIM card in and it will connect to Verizon but only on 3G. I know that 4G is available in the area I was in as I was in 4G on my phone, shut it down, popped in SIM card, epic LTE fail.

    Any thoughts? Could this be related to the carrier settings update? I haven’t connected my iPad in quite some time, could it be related?

  12. Bob

    How do I retrieve text messages sent to the old number – now being used in new iPad?

  13. Bob

    Can I go back and forth (same SIM) between the phone and non-phone devices and have the phone portion work when it’s back in the phone? Or, will putting the SIM in a non-phone permanently “disable” the phone service?

    In other words, I want to use the SIM in a data-only device some of the time and in a smartphone device at other times..

  14. brad

    My Verizon iPhone 4s works just fine for voice and data without the sim in it. Can’t I just put the sim in a 4G LTE iPad without it affecting my phone or will that disable my phone at that time?

  15. Tom S


    The iPhone 4S SIM card is not an LTE SIM card. It is only for international roaming (a GSM SIM). You would have to upgrade to iPhone 5, which has an LTE SIM card. Then, you could insert that LTE SIM card into a Verizon iPad 3/4/Mini and it would work.

    You will have to buy the iPhone 5 used, or pay full retail price however, to keep your unlimited data plan.

    And yes, Verizon added that requirement just to deter people from doing what you want to do.

  16. Romayne

    Can anyone let me know if they have tried the sim swap recently without any problem from VZW?

  17. Josh

    Thanks for the article.

    I have successfully put an iPad Mini SIM in an iPhone 5. The iPad Mini is on a data-only Verizon Share Everything plan. The iPhone 5 is on a separate Verizon Share Everything plan.

    Everything seems to work great for me when using the iPad SIM in the iPhone 5 except for the Personal Hotspot feature. When trying to use the Personal Hotspot on the iPhone 5, I am told I need to contact Verizon. The same SIM card in the iPad Mini has a Personal Hotspot that works just fine.

    Is there a known workaround to this?

  18. Ron

    Great info. I have some questions…instead of getting someone’s grandfathered unlimited data plan, I have the opportunity to get an unlimited data plan through Amerinet. It is a deal worked out b/w Amerinet and Verizon that my employer gets to offer to me as a benefit. Are all unlimited data plans created equal or is this current unlimited plan inferior to the grandfathered ones?

  19. Jesse

    Will this work going from a smartphone with a standard SIM to an ipad mini (nanosim)? I have not been able to get Verizon to put my ipad mini onto my unlimited plan. I’ve already tried activating the ipad online, but I get an error stating that my current plan is not compatible with the ipad mini. Verizon reps at the corporate store also tell me that my ipad is not compatible with my unlimited 4G data/phone plan; however, according to this article, it seems that the FCC ruling requires Verizon to allow me to switch from my phone to my ipad (and back again). What is the magic phrase I need to say to get the Verizon rep to allow me to activate my ipad’s SIM on my existing line, or is the only option cutting my standard SIM?

  20. Joe Totti

    Ive just picked up a Verizon® Novatel Wireless® MiFi® 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot from a friend for really cheap. Which is why im looking at this site.
    So i can take the sim card out of my htc rezound, which has unlimited data, and insert it on the mifi? The mifi will give out internet up to 5 devices.
    I can do this and Verizon can not touch my plan, alter it, or cancel it?
    My unlimited data is safe if i take out the sim from phone and put it in mifi or tablet?
    Of course, i understand, as long as its the same size sim, no additional steps are needed.

  21. Joe Totti

    oh, also, if this is the case, that it will work. What about for a zoom tablet?
    If I were to use zoom tablet, can i tether from the tablet to other devices and not incur extra charges?

  22. how can i buy 4g tablet and use phone sim? - Android Forums

    […] Verizon would do. This is an aged article but I have found nothing about them changing their policy Verizon Affirms Unlimited Smartphone SIM Card Usage in Hotspots, Tablets, LTE iPad | My concern is more so how to buy this device than if the SIM will work as I have stated. At this […]

  23. Joe Totti

    Ok Im back guys because this is the only article I loved that covered this topic. So many forums and websites covered this topic. But this is the one that beats them all. 🙂
    So ok, I just got the Droid Xyboard. how do I go on about receiving and making call on the xyboard without incurring fees? I want to move my sim card from note 2 into xyboard, back and forth. but how to receive calls while my sim card is in xyboard?I know I forward my calls from cell # to another #. But what are my options, as I heard that using Google Voice would give me extra charges on bill.
    Also, so I should be able to tether free from xyboard to other devices? Without extra charges?
    Thanks, you guys are the best.

  24. Nichole

    So I didn’t notice the Verizon data plans changed until I looked into getting a new phone after having problems with my HTC Thunderbolt recently. This article is great but I was a little confused about what I am paying for on my current plan and how I can take advantage of this unlimited data. Right now I am paying $39.99 for Talk, $10.00 for Text, $29.99 for Email and Web Unlimited and $30.00 for 4G Smartphone Hotspot (unlimited). I was thinking about using my SIM card in a MiFi and possibly forwarding to a prepaid phone but I was confused by the following:

    “Even more obvious is that customers paying for that problematic mobile hotspot data add-on, an additional $30 per month, don’t seem to need to anymore. The plan was only offered to folks that specifically had a grandfathered data plan on an LTE smartphone”

    I thought the $30 charge was for the unlimited data. So which parts of my plan do I keep? Do I drop the Talk, Text and Email/Web?

    Thanks in advance!

  25. Tom S


    You would drop the text messaging and hotspot add-ons, then initiate call forwarding to a prepaid phone, and finally move the SIM card to the hotspot.

    You do not need the smartphone hotspot feature when using a smartphone SIM in a physical hotspot. You only need the hotspot plan add-on when using the SIM in a smartphone. You can even use the a smartphone SIM in a tablet with the tablet’s hotspot mode, and not need the hotspot plan add-on.

    The only two portions of the plan that you need to keep are the base voice plan and the email-and-web-for-smartphones unlimited data plan.

  26. Nichole

    Ohhh, now I get it! I thought the mobile hotspot was paying for my unlimited data. Thanks Tom!

    This may be a stupid question but I’ve never looked into a prepaid phone. Would I be paying a monthly fee for minutes on that phone? Could I just add a line to my Verizon plan and get a simple Voice and Text plan and have my calls forwarded to the new Verizon phone?

    I’m not sure if it is worth all of the trouble but I think my home internet would be more expensive plus it is nice that I don’t have to watch my data usage. Any recommendations on the mobile hotspot? I don’t think my HTC thunderbolt has a micro SIM card.

    For now I was thinking of just purchasing a Droid Razr Maxx at retail price and activating that under my plan. Any advice on where I should get one? I’m afraid of spending a lot on a phone that isn’t compatible with Verizon network. I saw someone selling one on Amazon that was “No Contract”. Is this the same as unlocked? $650 for a phone through Motorola seems like a lot…

  27. Joe Totti

    Nichole, i bought used razr maxx from someone on craigslist for $150. If you’re not wanting to spend alot especially if you want to experiment a little, used phone is best. Retail price at verizon….alot in my opinion.
    🙂 just go on Craigslist, find a good RAZR Maxx, used but in great condions at the cheapes price. Id suggest meeting up the person at a verizon store so that a) you can check out the conditions and if it works well, function wise. B) to be sure esn # is clean.

    Hope this helps a little.

  28. Nichole

    Thanks Joe! That’s a great idea to meet at a verizon store to make sure everything works.

  29. Nichole

    I agree. The article and all of the comments have really helped me! Thanks Christopher for the advice about Page Plus and adding a second line! I’ve been looking on Craigslist and trying to decide between a Motorola Droid Razr Maxx and Samsung Galaxy S3. I think for now I’m just going to get a different phone and then decide on getting another line a little later. It’s nice to save money on internet but the hotspot does give me problems from time to time. Still worth it for me though…

  30. Doug

    OK, so I am trying to move my unlimited data SIM from my Bionic to a Pantech UML290 USB modem. the VZAccess Manager app detects the modem, but will not connect. I went into MyVerizon and it has detected the USB modem, but it will not let me activate it unless I modify my plan.

    Does this sound right? What am I doing wrong?

    I put the SIM back into my Bionic, but MyVerizon still shows the Pantech, even after I did the Change Devices shuffle on their website.



  31. GrandMother lol

    If I have a grandfathered VZW unlimited data plan that includes 2 smartphones (1 HTC and 1 iPhone 4S), an additional line without the unlimited plan and a (home use) VZW mifi 2200 wifi, what kind of tablet could I get that I could swap the sim card into from the iPhone 4s to have unlimited data on. Where I live we could not keep our AT&T Internet so for 3.5 yrs we have had the mifi 2200 with a 5GB limit per month and are having to use our phone with unlimited data as our means for net usage rather than use our mifi very often because it eats up the data too quickly. We have two pcs and one wireless printer. We very rarely play games on the Internet and watching anything streaming is out of the question. I had to unplug my printer completely bc the wireless connection was draining the 5GB limit. It’s frustrating to say the least. We would love to have a tablet for use at home but are scared to invest the money and not be able to use it because of the limited wifi plan. we are thankful for our grandfathered plans bc otherwise we would have little Internet access at all. Recommendations?

  32. Mike Bass

    So I have been switching my Data only SIM from a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 on Verizon to a Galaxy Note 2 back and forth with no issue for many months. I was only ever charged the $10 tablet monthly charge. Two months ago I noticed that my bill went up. they automatically switched my plan from a tablet plan to a phone plan because they detected the device was the Note 2 even though I was not making phone calls or getting/sending texts.

    When I called Verizon customer service they said that if I put the sim in a phone they will detect it and change my plan. the SIM was initially activated in a Tablet.

    Is that legal or are they breaking the agreement with the FCC?

  33. Mike bass

    Actually I called the FCC today. And they said that Verizon is allowed to charge for data on a phone even if you don’t want it and if you want data only on a phone they also have the right to charge you for voice service on the device So for now we are sol at least for my use case

  34. Drew

    Just checking if this is still viable?

    I have two grandfathered unlimited data 4G smartphones. I’ve been mostly rooting and using the WiFi tether app for root but recently found that to be wonky. I am thinking about buying a MiFi and SIM swapping from one of the smartphones.

    I read on another site that if the MiFi connects to 3G you have violated the user terms and they can can your unlimited data since the FCC rule only applies to the 4G spectrum. This info seemed kinda old and was on the pro-carrier Howard Forums so I am just wondering if this was proven false?

    I’d really hate to loose the unlimited data as I use a lot (4-6GB/month) just on the phone streaming music.