2008-12-08

Activate G1 without G1 data plan

Update 2009-12-10: Read Activate G1 without Android data plan, redux for fresh information.

The problem: You got your new T-Mobile G1, you already have a $19.99/month Total Internet data plan for yourself and a Family Time Unlimited Messages plan for the family. You don't need or want the new $24.99/month T-Mobile G1 Unlimited Web data plan, but it seems like you can't activate your new G1 without the special G1 data plan.

The solution: With one settings change, you can activate your G1 with the Total Internet data plan. Here's how.

Remove the battery cover and insert your SIM. Snap everything back together and power the phone on. Wait for the boot screens to disappear, and "touch the android to begin." Wait a moment, and the carrier connection signal bars appear; I see 3 of 4 or 4 of 4 bars in my house. Wait another moment, and EDGE data connection icon appears. Wait another moment, and the 3G icon appears, obscuring the EDGE icon. We are up and running with a good data connection, looking at the Setting up your T-Mobile G1 screen.

Press the MENU button, and the APN settings button appears. Tap it, and the APNs screen appears. Scroll to T-Mobile US and tap it. On the Edit access point screen, tap APN. Change the APN from epc.tmobile.com to internet2.voicestream.com wap.voicestream.com [updated 2009-04-24, thanks to the comment from chris]. Click the back button twice to return to the Setting up your T-Mobile G1 screen.

Tap Next. Scroll down to the Already have an account? section and tap Sign in. On the Welcome to T-Mobile G1 screen, type your Google username and password and tap Sign in. Wait a moment, and the next screen appears: Your Google account is now linked to this phone. Success! Tap Finish setup, and you're done. (Thanks to cash743 at modmyGphone for the clues.)

How fast is T-Mobile's 3G network on the G1? Let's find out. On the home screen, tap the browser. Type http://www.dslreports.com/mspeed into the address box and press the Enter key. Tap 100k and wait. The speed test reports that the download was too fast to take a measurement. Tap choose a larger file, and then 1MB. My result: 589 kbit/sec, 0.71s latency, 14.399s d/l time. Wow, that's fast!

Now configure your WiFi connection. Press the MENU button. Tap Settings, Wireless controls, Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi check box turns green. Tap Wi-Fi settings, and the list of Wi-Fi networks appears. Tap your network. Type your key and tap Connect. Press the Home button, and you're done.

Have fun with your new G1.

21 comments:

Dee said...

This doesn't work for me. I changed the APN setting but still no luck! A few other sites I've looked on said I need to change more than more than just the APN. Adding some IP addresses and port numbers. Any ideas?

Richard said...

Note that you do need a data plan--it just doesn't have to be the special G1 data plan. With the old Unlimited Internet data plan, this worked for me.

kimberly said...

Worked for me thanks a lot!!!

Amie said...

This is fabulous - worked like a charm. Thanks much! I have the regular data plan so I do not need WIFI to connect and all seems to be working great.

Valentino said...

I used another site and am able to use the phone without the data plan, but can only use WIFI. It sounds like u are able to use the phone as well as TMob internet? If so, can I "reboot" the phone and use your method?

Richard said...

Valentino, we activated our G1 with a SIM associated the old non-G1 data plan, but the G1's every day SIM doesn't have a data plan at all. Like you, our G1's only data connection is WiFi. We do not use the T-Mobile data connection with our G1.

Chris said...

Can we expect 3G connections using this workaround?

Richard said...

Using the SIM with the old non-G1 data plan, we observed 3G data speeds.

Anonymous said...

omg thanx so much. i had purchased this phone n my sister rebooted it n i didnt have a data plan so i couldn't connect to da servers but dis actually worked for me with no data plan thanx.

Amie said...

So I had everything working perfectly for months. But now when I try to access the internet via G1 and old data plan I get forwarded to T-mobile site and a message says that I must upgrade my data plan to the G1 - they block all data access (email too I think). Has anyone else had this happen? I am soo annoyed - do not want the G1 plan.

Chris said...

i just started to get the message that I need to upgrade to the G1 data plan, as well. I've been on the wap.voicestream at 3G speeds for months now...do you think this was some sort of software update pushed down by TMO?

Amie said...

They said they had an "audit of the system" and fixed some old errors....I have yet to see much about this at the online android forums (which are painfully out of date), but I hope there is a fix. I am so depressed.

Chris said...

Update: I changed my APN address to internet2.voicestream.com and now I'm back in business...for now

Richard said...

Thanks, chris. I updated my notes, above, to reflect your experience.

Anonymous said...

This also worked for me. I used the sim from my Sony ericsson that has the $9.00 Internet access and all went fine. I too could not get past the activation screen (received a cannot connect to server notice) until I changed the APN setting. Once I did that, bang I was right in..Thanks So Much..

Kevin Z said...

can you use the phone to make calls as well?

Richard said...

Yes. After you activate the phone, you can make voice calls using a SIM that does not have a data plan.

K said...

Hmm how long do you have to wait when you first add the dataplan for it to wait?
I added a regular plan. and changed the APN. I left everything else the same. The server field had 4 asterix as default. should it be blank?

akal07 said...

It didn't work for me. Anyone knows any other methods.

salvador said...

hi... my old phone was a sidekick with the prepaid data unlimited plan.. would this work for my g1

salvador said...

i tried to do it.. i did a master reset on the phone to bring it back to factory settings

but i have a prepaid sim card with the prepaid sidekick data plan.. i changed the apn settings but i don't see the E or 3g icon on the top corner of the phone... so now i'm stuck at the part where i need to sign in my google acct i have one but it shows i have no connection so it doesnt sign in.

what can i do?.. please help!!!

thanks

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