Simple hack runs Verizon's LTE iPad on AT&T's 3G network

A workaround has purportedly let Verizon iPad owners use AT&T's 3G data in just a few steps--for now.

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Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
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Surfing on an iPad 3
You may be able to surf on AT&T or Verizon's network on an iPad 3, sneaky style. Sarah Tew/CNET

We all know that a Verizon iPad 4G and an AT&T iPad 4G won't ride on each others' LTE networks, because they've each locked the models that they sell to their networks alone. But what if you could work around these business-shielding limitations to surf 3G on another carrier's network?

That's exactly what one owner of Apple's new iPad is claiming has happened with the Verizon iPad. MacRumors forum member jsnuff1 noted that inserting an AT&T micro-SIM card into the device and updating the iPad's carrier settings to support an AT&T connection will hook you up to AT&T's 3G network, which also includes HSPA+ and EDGE. (MacRumors' video below.)

Mac Rumors

Most users would rather take advantage of LTE speeds, presumably why they purchased a connected device instead of a Wi-Fi-only iPad, but a backup connection to an alternate carrier's network could come in handy if you're traveling outside Verizon's range.

In the unlikely event that Verizon leaves this hole unplugged, users who bought an LTE-ready iPad and have an active AT&T micro-SIM account could potentially avoid paying Verizon's monthly data fees.

AT&T and Verizon declined to comment.

Apple included the micro-SIM slot to accommodate international roaming, not hacking into multiple data networks. Even though industrious tinkerers have discovered a workaround, it's a good bet that Verizon won't idle for long before closing the loophole.

Verizon, a CDMA network, does not use SIM cards or micro-SIM cards in its devices.

[Via The Next Web, Mac Rumors]