How to use your iPhone 5 with Net10 Wireless

This guide will help you get your iPhone 5 up and running with Net10 Wireless. Net10 Wireless’s Unlimited Talk, Text, and Data plans is an excellent and affordable choice that could save you at least $40 dollars a month on your phone bill.

Switching to Net10 will require a little effort on your part. You’ll need to setup the Access Point Name or APN in your iPhone’s settings or else Data and MMS picture messaging won’t work.  If you are using an iPhone 5, you’ll need a nano SIM card. Net10 doesn’t sell Nano SIMs so have to cut a regular sized SIM card to fit into your iPhone

Note 5/17/2013

I wrote this guide to describe my experience. I have heard from many users that this guide has helped them get data and MMS working. Others have said they still have trouble with MMS. Try the guide, if it doesn’t work, leave a comment and I’ll try to help.


You’ll Need:

  • An unlocked and contract-free iPhone 5
  • A Net10 AT&T-compatible SIM card
  • A T-Mobile SIM card  (needed to help set up picture messaging)
  • a paper clip or SIM removal tool
  • a SIM cutter tool or sharp pair of scissors
  • a small piece of sandpaper or nail file
  • a WiFi internet connection for your iPhone

You can order a SIM cutter on Amazon or eBay.  I ordered the one in the picture below from Amazon. They range in price between $5 and $20 dollars. Using a SIM cutter is like using a stapler or a hole punch.Order one that cuts both micro SIMs and nano SIMs. If you don’t want to buy a SIM cutter,  use a pair of sharp scissors that can plastic. Print out a template nano SIM template to use as a guide to cut your SIM. I found this guide on the Web.

IMG_0579 1

111 comments on “How to use your iPhone 5 with Net10 Wireless
  1. Habibi says:

    I need help accessing my net10 sim card for my iphone online

  2. Andrew comstock says:

    Would I be able to use net10 with a verison iPhone 5?

  3. Roger delancey says:

    Can I use my iPhone 6 from sprint

  4. Eric says:

    I just activated an iPhone 5 I purchased used from Amazon.
    I ordered a nano sim from eBay, basically free.
    I activated the phone at Net10 byop. It only took about 5 minutes.
    I was able to make phone calls and data and messaging worked almost instantly.
    I have been trying to upgrade from my iPhone 4, activated by Net10, for several months.
    I tried a Fire Phone and I liked the size of the phone but it dropped my calls almost every time.
    Then I got the LG G2 and its a beautiful phone but the signal kept fading in and out.
    I live in an area where Net10 does not have a great signal. So far my iPhone 4 has worked the best. I’m hoping the iPhone 5 will be even better. I cannot afford Verizon or AT & T and they are the only carriers that really work here.

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Eric,
      Do you know if you are using Net10’s ATT sim or their TMobile SIM?

      • Pat says:

        I have a question. I have a att iphone 3 set up through net 10 right now. Have had it for over a year with no problem. Im looking to get a unlocked 5s and tranfer the same number and account to that. Will this be a problem?

        • Bob Thompson says:

          Hi Pat,
          It should not be an issue. You’ll need to get a Net10 att nano SIM and then transfer your existing service from your current SIM to the new one.
          Your current service should transfer over too. I’d do it near the end of your billing period, just in case it wants you to buy a new service plan in the middle of the transfer.

          Transferring your service is easy (your number and remaining service is transferred from the current SIM to the new SIM)
          Log in to you online account t on the net10 website
          Create one if you don’t have one
          Choose activate new phone or SIM card
          Click activate under the picture of the sim
          Select Transfer my Existing NET10 Service
          Click continue
          Enter the sim number for your new sim
          Select your current product
          Click submit…

          That should be it. Or at least get you 99% there.

          If have done this a few times it’s pretty easy.
          Let me know how it goes.

  5. Shay says:

    I have an iPhone 5s that I purchased new from Walmart and set it up on the Net10 network. We moved a few weeks later to an area in which Net10 bounces off of AT&T’s tower. After 3 months, AT&T blocked our phones from being used on their towers. Net10 sent us new sim cards and said they would be good for 3 more months. Every 3 months we would have to change our sim card which also meant our phone number would change every 3 months. We were okay with that as long as we had service. However, AT&T still wouldn’t allow us to use their tower even with the new sim cards. I asked Net10 to unlock our phones so we could set them up with a provider in our location. They refused. They said that since I bought the phone through Net10 that they owned the phone and refused to unlock it. I told them I bought the phone at Walmart and not through Net10. They said when I put their sim card in my phone, it became the property of Net10 and therefore cannot be unlocked. So, we have 2 iPhone 5s phones that are pretty worthless at home which is where we obviously spend the majority of our time.

    To top it off, the phone broke and the repair company couldn’t fix it. They are offering me a settlement based on what Amazon is selling a refurbished 5s Sprint phone for. We can’t use Sprint out here. All the providers we can use Amazon is selling their phones for about $150 more. So, we purchased a NEW phone for $649, 6 months later it broke, and our offer is only for a refurbished phone that won’t work in our area. This is so stupid.

    It’s upsetting that Net10 won’t unlock our phones so we can actually use them. They said their reasoning was because they sell them for so cheap that they can’t afford to unlock them because they paid more for them than what they sell them for. I told them I paid full price at Walmart, not from them and certainly not at a discounted price. They make no sense!

    My question is more of a clarification: Can a locked Sprint phone be used with Net10?

  6. Brad says:

    I bought a AT&T Iphone 5 from someone on Craigslist. He said the device has a bad IMEI.

    I then went a bought a Net10 SIM, activated it with a $40 unlimited plan with a new phone number and its working fine.

    Is it possible for this to work without the phone being unlocked already? I assumed I was going to have to pay to have it unlocked so I was surprised that it worked.


    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Brad,
      I think you got lucky. If the phone is working then you are ok. Hopefully you don’t have an issue later.
      Unlocking a phone doesn’t fix an bad IEMI. Unlocking a phone lets you use a phone that is locked on one network, with another. So if you have an ATT locked phone it won’t work with tmobile.

      A bad IEMI the phone itself is blocked from being used on the network, ususally because it was reported lost or stolen. It could be possible that Net10 doesn’t honor ATTs bad IEMI.

      If you have an ATT locked phone it will work on Net10’s att network without unlocking it. Are you sure its an ATT iPhone and not a Verizon? what is the model number on the back of the phone?

      • Brad says:

        Hi Bob,
        The model number is A1428 which I confirmed is AT&T.

        I’m going to bring it to Tmobile and see if their sim works in it.


  7. Bill says:

    Hi, I want to buy a new/used iphone 5s verizon… it’s clean but linked to verizon… Is this phone factory unlocked or can I unlock it?

    I want to use my net ten here in the USA…..I am also planing to live overseas for a year… should I buy this phone with the ability to have it unlocked or forget about it? Your insight would be greatly appreciated…

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Bill,
      You can use this Verizon iPhone 5s with Net10 and it will work fine. Net10 doesn’t own their own cell network. They use ATT, TMobile, Verizon and Sprint. You’ll need to get a Net10 SIM card for their ATT or TMobile network. You can’t use it on Net10’s Verizon or Sprint network. The phone is SIM unlocked. You won’t be able to use Net10s service overseas. You can buy a local SIM card and use that though.

      If you use this 5s with Net10 and their ATT SIM, you should get 4G LTE service, if Verizon iPhone 5 is also compatible with Net10 /att but only gets 4G
      Let me know if you have more questions.

      • Con says:

        Bob, I had a Iphone4s and upgraded to a 5s. according to Net10 support Net10 is only approved to use AT&T tower for the 5s so now my coverage is really spotty. the 4s was great and used Net10s Verizon towers in our area. Were you aware of this? that 5s only uses AT&T is this some kind of contractual setup? thanks!

        • Bob Thompson says:

          Yes. I am aware of this.
          Recently Straight Talk started supporting the iPhone 5s on the Verizon network. I’d switch to Straight Talk. I’ll be writing about this soon. Let me know if you want to switch. what model 5s do you have? Where did you get it?

  8. Mark says:

    Hi Bob,

    Just wanted to let you know, I purchased an unlocked GSM iPhone5S from the Apple store and a BYOP NET10 SIM kit from another retailer so I wouldn’t have to cut my SIM. I’m sure you are aware the new SIM kits have a wide range of SIMS and include the nano SIMS so no need to cut anything.

    I had an iPhone4 on Net10 already so I logged onto my account and transferred the service from my existing SIM to the new SIM. I powered off the iPhone4 and powered on the iPhone5 and ran through the setup, within a minute or two the phone was fully active and I think because I was using an AT&T compatible SIM net10 pushed the APN settings to the phone so I didn’t have to do any SIM swappping like with the iPhone4. I tested picture MMS with WiFi turned off and it worked perfect as well as every other function on the phone. The only thing I will need to do is sign up for automatic billing again since that didn’t seem to transfer to the new SIM on my account and I didn’t want to enter my payment info again because I think they would have immediately billed me and reset my billing cycle and I have 2 weeks to go on my current cycle so I’d be paying double for 2 weeks.

    Thanks for keeping the site going, it really helped me when I was setting up the iPhone4 and I used it to do some research to ensure the 5S would work properly before I purchased it. I wanted to pass this info along about my experience with the iPhone5 in case other readers are looking at doing a similar upgrade.

  9. Danny says:

    I had a contract with net10 with my iPhone 4S I just purchased a iPhone 5 and I was wondering what can I do ? The SIM is to big to fit my iphone 5

  10. h says:

    Dont bother doing this. Mine worked for about a day and then “no service”. Only net 10 Iphones have software that’s compadable with their service. Im haveing to switch over to att n t prepaid to get it to work. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Homer,
      I appreciate you taking the time to comment, but I disagree with you. I have set up net10 on multiple iPhones I purchased from the Apple store. I have also had 100s of readers follow my guides to set up Net10 on iPhones that were not purchased from net10.

      If your phone says no service, then you are having an issue with your Net10 account or the service in your area. You did not mention which iPhone you are using nor which Net10 SIM you are using so its a little hard to help you.

  11. Lillian says:

    Does it literally work by cutting the regular att compatible SIM card? Because I just bought the package bring your own phone and of course the nano didn’t came with it.. I called net10 and they said that they don’t carry nano sim anymore and I would have to look in my local stores to buy nano SIM card. But after reading this now I would like to try it but idk if it’s gonna work on my iPhone 5

  12. Karina says:

    thanks for your guide, it helped me a lot, I have iPhone 5s, and my works with •Net 10 (att.mvno) thanks soooo much

  13. itxel Leon says:

    I have an At&t Iphone 4 and switched to Net 10. W orked fine except for mms. I want to purchase an iphone 5. What’s my least expensive option?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi itxel Leon,
      You need to choose between a new and used phone and the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, or iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5 is discontinued, but still a great phone. You can find some good deals on craigslist or eBay. If you are nervous about buying used, try a reliable seller on eBay like Gazelle, or another sweller with a return policy. You can get a locked ATT phone to work, but I recommend looking for the unlocked ATT or unlocekd GSM model.

      I recently bought an unlocked iPhone 5s from the Apple store. You want the GSM unlocked or SIM free model. Finally, you can check Net10, Walmart, or other Net10 retailers, they have had some deals on iPhone 5. They sometimes discount the 32G or 64GB models.

      If you read my guides, you should be able to fix MMS on that iPhone 4.

      • Mesha says:

        Hey, i also have an iphone 4 and i was wondering if i bought a nano sim for an iphone 5c im thinking about getting, will it effect my pictures or anything?
        Secondly, can an iphone 4s 16gb chip fit in an 8gb iphone 4? I want more memory and was wondering if it was possible to do it that way.
        Any advice would be amazing. Thanks.

  14. Charles Morton says:

    Straight Talk and Net10 both are selling Iphones with their plans. Straight Talk’s Iphone is tied to Verizon and won’t accept a SIM card and is the CDMA model.

    Is the Net10 Iphone also ‘locked’ to it’s carrier?
    Is the Net10 Iphone GSM or CDMA?

    If the Net10 Iphone is GSM, can you buy the Net10 Iphone, then use the Straight Talk SIM to get Straight Talk service?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hey Charles,
      You did not mention which iPhone model you want. If I was going to buy a new iPhone, I’d get a 5c or 5s. It will cost more, but why pay the premium for a new model that is already at least 12+ months old. If your looking at a 5, 5c, or 5s, these phones support LTE and so do Net10 and Straight Talk when using the ATT network. IF you use a Straight Talk iPhone, you are going to get Verizon 3G, which at least for me, is not a good deal. If you live in an area where Verizon has better coverage, then that might effect your decision.

      Net10 sells GSM model iPhones so, there iPhone 5, will get 4G LTE. But they sell the iPhone 5 16G for $500. You can order a new SIM free iPhone 5s 16G for $649. The iPhone 5s is a way better deal. You can buy a iPhone 5c 16G direct from Apple for $550.

      If price is an issue, and lets face it, these phones are not cheap, you might consider a used iPhone. I often scan craigslist and ebay and it looked to me like there are some pretty good prices on used iPhone 5 and iPhone 4s models these days.

      I’m using an iPhone 5 I bought for full price from Apple last year. It cost me $690 with tax. If I am saving $45 a month on ST, that phone is paid off in 16 months compared to a 24 month contract at $90+ a month with ATT. With a used phone, or some other less expensive phone, you’ll be saving more money.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions or want to discuss your options with prepaid. The article you commented on is like 9 months old. I can share with you more information about prepaid options.


      • Charles Morton says:

        Great answer….Thanks!

        Walmart’s Net10 has Iphone 5 w/64gb for $649 during this ‘cyber week’ and I am interested in the big amount of memory. An unlocked 5c /16gb from Apple is $549.

        • Bob Thompson says:

          Hey Charles,
          That is a decent deal. Do you have a link for that. I ask because Straight Talk was created exclusively for Walmart. Straight Talk and Net10 are owned by the same company. I as surprised to hear they are offering a Net10 deal like that.

          I am not sure that phone will work on Straight Talk. My guess is it will. Locked ATT phones do.


  15. Angie says:

    I’m so sorry if this question has already been asked, but I don’t understand where to look to set up the APN. I’m looking in my iphone settings…help? 😉

  16. A_S says:

    Can you use an iPhone 5s or iphone 5c from AT&T for net10?without it being unlocked?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi A_S,
      My iPhone 5 was unlocked. Many readers report using locked iPhones here, including the 5s. If possible, buy the unlocked models if you can. Apple is shipping both models unlocked.

      With the locked phone, you’ll need to use the ATT SIM. Some readers report having trouble doing the SIM swap with a locked phone.

      This article is a little old. Check out and look around. Feel free to post a comment if you have more questions.

  17. Aizah says:

    I want to buy a iphone 5 to use on net10, just to upgrade, but I wanna but it off the apple website, do i have to have it unlocked?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      That is a good question. Currently, you can buy an unlocked iPhone 5c directly from the Apple website. They currently do not sell an unlocked version of the iPhone 5s. They sell a full price version of the tmobile iphone 5s. There is a lot of disagreements in the online forums as to whether this phone is unlocked. Many people are claiming it’s locked and you must use it on tmobile for 60 days before they will unlock it. You can buy that phone online. Some people are buying full price Verizon and att iPhones 5s (model 5s, not plural iphone5). The Verizon models are sim unlocked. Legally Verizon was required to do this when they licensed the LTE spectrum from the government. Some readers here are using them. They should also support lte on the att network, the Verizon iphone 5 did not. The att model will be locked. But will work on net10 using the att sim.

      Last year you could buy the full price att iphone 5, restore it using iTunes and it would unlock, I wanted to do the same for the 5s. I checked all the forums online and everyone was debating is the 5s would unlock. I asked a moderator over at imore and he said his full price att iphone 5s was locked. He said att unlocked it for him. He was an att customer at the time.

      My guess is the truly unlocked iphone 5s will go on sale after Christmas or so, based on the history of the iphone 5.

      Sorry the answer had to be so complicated. Let me know if you want to discuss further.


  18. Shannon says:

    I went through this whole tutorial and it helped a lot, but when I got to the part about the picture messages I tried to do everything but it won’t work. When I put the T-mobile card in it says that there is service not how you said it says no service. Even though it had service I can still get the data network info is still there so I swapped them and it wast there this time. I don’t know how to get it to work now? Maybe it is cause I have the iPhone c and is uses the ios7 I don’t know. Can you help?

  19. Chris says:

    Bob I am very greatful for everything you have done to help so many phone users. So I wanted to give you a gift back. I found this amazing template for cutting a Sim or a micro sim into a nano sim. It works perfectly. Personally I have better precesion using a razor with a handle instead of the scissors. I hope you post this template on your guides for users to use. It makes it much simpler.


  20. Gail says:

    Hi, I have three iphone 5’s and one iphone 4 on AT&T. We unlocked one iphone 5 and the iphone 4 and tried T-Mobile and had no service at our house. they made us give the sim cards back when we cancelled. I bought two cut down nano sims on ebay for 99 cents to try the net10 svc. Do I need to try it on the unlocked iphone 5 and 4 or can I try it on the locked ones? I got the codes to unlock the other 2 phones, should I go ahead and unlock them ? I picked up a cheap phone and airtime card and net10 works great at my house. I am scared to port my number until I am sure the iphone 5 works.

  21. Bailey says:

    What if I don’t have a t-mobile SIM card can I still get data on my phone?

  22. Roman Hernandez says:

    I’m already on that but my mms won’t work and my enternet speed is slow even tho I have the 4G

  23. says:

    Hi. I was wondering if the TMOBILE SIM & AT&T SIM have different coverage? I’m currently using a TMOBILE SIM on Straight Talk & when I leave town I lose service. If I purchased an AT&T SIM on Net10 would I still lose service?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi kabrian,
      Yes. They do have different coverage. It depends on where you live though. with Net10 you should get the same type of coverage that a ATT or TMobile customer would get in your area. If your friends with iPhones get good coverage, that is pretty much what you would get on with the Net10 ATT SIM. Generally speaking, the Net10 ATT SIM is a better choice for iPhone users.

  24. JGM1937 says:

    I am looking to try this for two of my family’s iPhone 5’s unlocked from AT&T. Would I just follow the same steps, but use the old AT&T sim instead of T-Mobile? I understand there is a cap for data with AT&T (1.5GB).. Does Net10 offer 4G for AT&T or T-Mobile sims? This might be the deciding factor.. Also, does the sim switch method require that the sim (T-Mobile or AT&T) still be valid or is it just for pulling of smartchip/APN cellular settings? Thanks in advance, and thank you so much for the guide!

    • JGM1937 says:

      Oh, I am located in one of T-Mobile’s (and AT&T’s) LTE markets – Washington, DC. I’m just trying to rationalize if my unlocked AT&T iPhone 5 (model A1428) will work with BOTH the AT&T and T-Mobile sims from Net10, then which is “best” for me? Besides the data cap with Net10 T-Mobile, can you think of a reason why I SHOULDN’T get the Net10 T-Mobile sim if I am able to get T-Mobile LTE speed (4G) with this Net10 sim on my iPhone 5? Thanks again, Bob!

  25. Jen says:

    Thanks for this information. I was finally able to do picture messaging. The only thing at the very end, i had to switch airplane mode off and then back on for it to work.

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Great news! remember to bookmark the web site, save your T-Mobile sim, and write down which settings worked for you. If you update iOS you will have to do this again.

  26. DWTrader says:


    So yesterday morning I missed a call from NET10 porting department. They left a voice mail saying they needed the zip code where my number was activated. I called them back within 15 minutes and instead of waiting on hold I used the “call back” feature. Within 30 minutes they called me back.

    The representative could not understand why they called me and I had to explain the entire past to him. He tried to attempt to port my AT&T number to the activated sim but was unable to do so. He looked up my support ticket (which is now cancelled???) and assured me that they had already sent a replacement sim. I asked him for shipping details but he said I would have to get that from the NET10 forum people since they initiated it. Hmmmm. Kind of strange that there is no connection between departments. Any way, I left a message on the forum to get shipping info but 24 hrs later and no response. Not sure if a sim was actually sent or not. If I don’t have it by the weekend then I will have to order one.

    On a good note, I successfully ported my sons iPhone 4S from AT&T yesterday in about 20 minutes with a new sim. Everything was done through the web site and no verbal communication was required. I have his data working using the but still need to work on the MMS issue when he and I have more time.

    Lessons learned:

    1. If you want to try NET10 first before porting your number then you need to have another new sim when you are ready to port.

    2. Do not use Pretty useless. It is not a “chat” format. All communication is done through private messaging. Often times it is hours between messages. You will be much better off calling.

    3. When calling, use the call back feature. I was called back in less than 30 minutes.

  27. DWTrader says:

    I have been on for seceral hours now and here is the final response.

    “dwtrader, we have created a request to transfer your phone number but then we also need to send you a new SIM card. The current SIM card that you have now is active with a different phone number. You will get the SIM card in 3-5 business days. Once you have received the SIM card, insert it into your phone, turn the phone on, and make a call.”

    Do not know why my situation turned out differently.

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Dennis,
      I am sorry to hear about your porting problems.

      I also was told I needed a new SIM card. I called them to ask why. The rep wasn’t really clear. They never sent me a new SIM card, and my port happened maybe within the hour. In fact, I think they told me I needed to buy a new SIM card.

      The fact that your current SIM card was assigned a number I think is meaningless. Most people on other carriers are assigned a number before the port. I went through this process before I set up this website, so I dont recall everything that took place.

      If it was me, I’d go back to the Net10 site and continue with the complete my port transaction. I can’t guarantee that it would work. Or even that it wouldn’t cause a problem. Just what I would do.

      You could also consider calling them on the phone. Make sure you are seated comfortably or at your desk working or something because you will be on hold for some time.

      I also wanted to thank you for sharing your experience with us. Reader experiences help others make informed choices and set expectations. Please let us know how you make out. If we can help you somehow, ask and we will try.

      Best Regards,

  28. DWTrader says:

    Well… number port has not gone as quickly or as smooth so far. I activated my Net10 sim without porting my number to make sure the service would work properly. 1 day later, 6/3/13 12:10 AM I went back to the web site to begin the number port. I selected “Activate my NET10 Service with a number from another company”. During the process it told me that the sim was assigned to another number and I had to enter that number also. In the end a “Sim Exchange: page appeared saying they would have to send me a new sim and a ticket for the sim exchange was created. Now here I sit 11 hours later. My number still works with my old provider and I am kida in limbo. I checked the status of my ticket in my Net10 account and here is what it says:

    “We are working on processing your port request. When porting a cellular number, the port could take up to 2 business days to complete, and it may take longer for landline phones. Your transfer process will be completed once your old phone stops working and you have installed your new SIM card successfully on your new phone. At this point please follow the instructions provided to you when you created your port ticket.”

    Not sure why some ported in an hour to an already active sim when this is how mine went. Don’t know if I did something different. Really worried about losing my old number.

    Was this similar to your Bob Thompson:

  29. Dashia says:

    I Can’t Find My T-mobile Sim Card So How would I be able to update my apn if its hidden

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Dashia,
      You need to have a T-Mobile SIM card to do the SIM Swap to get MMS working. You can get Data working by using the web site.
      For MMS, find a Tmobile SIM. Look in any old prepaid phones, or buy one. You can find SIMS on eBay costing between $0.99 and $4.99.

      Your only other option is to jailbreak your phone. I don’t have guide for that.


  30. Jodie says:

    didnt work for me 😐

  31. DWTrader says:

    I want to try Net 10 before I port my number from ATT. Where exactly did you go on the web site to start the port process. Did you select “Activate my NAT10 Service with a number from another company” or “Complete my port transaction”. I cannot find any place to “port my number from another company to an active Net10 Service”

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi DWTrader,
      I did the same thing, tried it for a week before porting. I used the “Activate my NAT10 Service with a number from another company” option. I entered the serial number for my active Net10 SIM. The instructions on the site were confusing, something about needing a new SIM. I ended up calling Net10, but that was a waste of time. The port went through very quickly. Remember to have your AT&T account PIN. Net10 called me for mine to verify that it was my account I was porting.

      We had another reader that commented his port went through in 20 minutes.


  32. Kyle says:


    Question. So I was wondering since I don’t have AT&T service around my area and I do have T-mobile…so would I just use the T-mobile SIM card?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hey Kyle,
      You can use the T-Mobile SIM with your iPhone, but you may get very slow data. I started with T-Mobile on my iPhone but in the vast majority of places I was going I was only getting Edge or 2G data service. The TMobile network has not always supported the radio frequencies that the AT&T iPhone uses. T-Mobile is improving their network they are updating their network with 3/4G service for the iPhone as well as 4G LTE for the iPhone 5 in many areas.

      Check out my posts on the smartphonematters blog to read about my experience on the t-Mobile network. Some readers have reported getting great service with the T-Mobile SIM on their iPhone.

      If I was you, I’d go to the nearest T-Mobile store and look at the options for T-Mobile directly. You may also be able to get a prepaid SIM with T-Mobile so you can check out how well it works. I think T-Mobile has some plans that would be cheaper than 50 bucks a month.

      BTW… if you currently have a Verizon iPhones there may be an option to sign up for Net10 or Straighttalk and use the Verizon network.


      • Adam T says:

        Two questions. First, I’m buying an iPhone 5 from someone else. It was originally on Verizon, but was unlocked and he has been using it on T-Mobile. If I want to use net10, how can I get the PIN if requested? What info will I need? Do I go to Verizon or T-Mobile? Anything else needed? Second, and likely more important, you mentioned in an earlier post that it may be possible to use net10 on a Verizon iPhone 5. This may solve a lot of problems. How do I do it? What is needed? If Verizon / CDMA doesn’t use SIM cards, will I need one for net10? I’m sure there’s a lot more to discuss, and I’m confident you can anticipate requirements. I await your response. Thank you.

  33. Dashia says:

    I clicked switch over my number on the website and my phone Status still says no service is because I have to wait till my number Switch

  34. Rich Scharf says:

    Guess I can post the information as well as you having to. I tried these settings using the SIM swap and they worked for my iPhone 5 on Net10.

    APN: tfdata
    MMS: tfdata
    MMS Proxy:
    MMS Maxsize: 1048576

    Just follow Bob’s number tow method using the SIM swap. It takes awhile for the internet to load the first time after inputting the information and following Bob’s steps EXACTLY. Good Luck.

  35. Rich Scharf says:


    I saw your other page and tried the tfdata APN setup and it worked for my phone. Perhaps you may want to post that on this site also. Thanks for all your hard work.

  36. Rich Scharf says:

    ATT number ported right over in about 20 minutes. I got data working using method one. I tried removing the method one APN and went to method two with no good results. Nothing will take. I am running an unlocked ATT iPhone 5 on IOS 6.1.4. Any other suggestions?

  37. Rich Scharf says:

    Also, got the email you asked about.

  38. Rich Scharf says:

    Just wondering if you ported your old number after you got net10 working? If so, how did it go?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Rich,

      Yes I did port my number. The port actually went well and the number was moved in an hour or so.

      I did my port from the Web Site and it wasn’t straightforward in the sense you could log in to the site and replace this new number. I remember I ended up calling Net10 because I was confused and was on hold for an hour or so. I think the either the rep told me they needed to send me a new SIM card or I would need to buy one.

      The good news is all that was a waste of time. I went to the web site and started the port to my already active Net10 SIM and lit was done in an hour or so. You will need the PIN number from your old carrier. Net10 will call you and ask you for it when they approve the port. Make sure you have it.


      • Rich Scharf says:

        Thanks for the info. I took the leap and tried it from scratch on the web site, porting from ATT. I will keep you posted on how it goes.

  39. Kim says:


    I am having trouble configuring the picture messaging.

    I was already a net10 customer and wanted to upgrade to an iPhone so I purchased the iPhone 5 from the apple store and a sim card from net10. The sim card did not come as a package so I went to a tmobile store and purchased a nano sim from them.

    I misread your site and thought it was step 1: Go to the unlockit website and then Step 2: do the sim swap.

    I initially went to the unlockit website and was successful in using the phone and also internet when not connected to wifi.

    As I want to be mms capable, I followed the instructions on the website for the sim swap but when I put the net10 sim card back in, the “cellular data network” option disappeared. I later read at the bottom of your site that the APN needs to be removed before trying the sim swap method. I tried this after the fact but with the same results, the “cellular data network” option disappears after I put the net10 card back in.

    Any help you can give me to get the mms to work, I’d appreciate it.



  40. Richard Wojcikave says:

    Hello, thank you for all the info! I have an iphone 4 & iphone 5 on Verizon that I want to transfer over to Net10 and the iphone 5 has a sim card in it from Verizon, they said it was for the 4g LTE when I purchased it… My question is, will that sim card work and will I have 4g lte speeds on the iphone 5 like I do on Verizon or will it be 3g speeds or dramatically slower?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Richard,
      Thanks for reading. First off, Net10 does not support LTE. Net10 is an Mobile Virtual Network Operator that buys service in bulk from TMobile and AT&T and resells it. An AT&T iPhone 5 on the net10 network will get 4G speeds using HPDSA speeds, which is faster than 3G but not as fast as 4G LTE. I do not have direct experience using Verizon iPhones with Net10. I have read reports that the iPhone 5 will work and you will get 3G or 4G speeds. I am not sure about the iPhone 4.

      I have read that some users have had issues of putting a different SIM card in their verizon iPhones and still getting a bill from Verizon.

      There are some options. You can sell your Verizon iPhones and buy AT&T ones. You could find a shop that sells Net10 and see if you can try it out. Finally, I’d also look at StraightTalk and Verizon prepaid. StraightTalk is essentially the same company as Net10 and they offer iPhone service on the Verizon network. I have also read that verizon has 60 and 70 dollar a month prepaid plans, both use verizon’s 3G network though


  41. Tom says:

    Thank you for the information, I have an at&t iPhone 5 unlocked ios 6.1.4 using net10 service and can’t send mms messages/pictures or group messages.
    I have a question to fix my problem:
    Do I install the apn download from unlockit and then do the sim swap method settings?
    Or is only the sim swap method settings without installing the the apn download from unlockit?
    What do you recommend?

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Tom,
      Thank for reading my blog.

      I offer two recommendations on my blog. The first is to use the unlockit web site. This alternative will only work for configuring data, it does not configure MMS. the unlock site downloads an apn profile to you phone to configure data. Unfortunately, the iOS doesn’t support configuring MMS in the profile. I mention this option because it is much easier for users to follow, and some people don’t use MMS. The second option the SIM swap method is harder to follow but it allows the user to configure MMS. So technically you only need to use one method.

      I am beginning to understand after running this web site for a while, that it can be helpful for users to understand both methods. When I wrote the SIM swap method guide, I heard from a lot of users that were given different APN values than I was to configure NET10. A lot of users out there don’t know what APN values they were given by Net10. Using the unlockit web site you can pretty quickly figure out which values work for data, and if we know which values work for data, its easier to come up with the list of APN values to try for MMS in the SIM swap method.

      Finally, and this is an important point. If you do use the SIM swap method you need to make sure you delete any APN profile you installed from the either the unlockit site or net10 configuration site you need to delete them first otherwise the SIM swap method won’t work. To do this, go into Settings->General->Profile and tap remove.

      Let me know how you make out?

      Best Regards,

  42. Bob says:

    I have tried your system to get picture messaging to work on my iphone 5 it’s an att iphone, it seems when I put in the cellular data in and shut the phone it changes everything and I don’t get any internet service I have ti reinstall the apn setting from that site mentioned to get internet back but I still don’t have picture messaging is there anything else I can do to get the picture messaging to work

  43. aDAM says:

    Hello, on net 10 service when trying to use cell data the warning says im not suscribed to a cellular data service. Iphone5 64 , have not updated to 6.1.4 yet but will. the phone works for calls, texts and on wifi using net 10 the 50 dollar pack for unlocked bring your own phones. i did cut down the t-mobil sim to try the swap card trick and the first way listed here but in the end doesnt work. thank you for your help.

  44. Chris Villa says:

    I tried the methods for the apns and neither worked, I have net 10 and an iPhone 5 on 6.1.4 and it doesn’t work….help?

  45. Metab says:

    I’ve just transferred my tmobil account to net10, and w/ the new nano sim it doesn’t work. “No Service”

    I appreciate ur help

  46. Dan says:

    I recently purchased the BYO sim card kit from a local store and hand cut the sim to fit my iPhone5 – I have an unlocked phone(Originally AT&T) I’ve had no issues with my phone and can even send MMS messages without issue. (I used a TmobileSim to open up the “cellular data” options and set them per the Net10 website) The coverage is as good as AT&T except I don’t get LTE (which was spotty at best anyhow) and my bill is only $45/month unlimited (auto renew) versus $140/month with data limits and contract. I’m 100% happy with the service in my area and it took very little effort to activate the service.

    I did not port my cell phone number over, as I moved to a new area anyhow. It has been a great switch and I can recommend them to anyone using an iPhone or sim based cell phone service. just make sure your phone is carrier unlocked prior to trying.

    I’ve saving $1140/year and have unlimited everything service.

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hey Dan,
      That is awesone. Thanks for sharing. If you are using the AT&T SIM, you should be capped at 1.5GB per month as of March 1. For some people, this is an issue. I never come close to hitting the Limit though.

  47. Karisa says:

    Hey, I have a Verizon iphone i’m not sure if its unlocked or not. If it’s not can I still use it on Net10? It has a slot for a nano sim but I don’t own one.

  48. Charlie says:

    I have a nano sim I bought and activated on AT&T, with a Verizon iphone 5 to see if it would work. It did as prepaid as well.

    Is it possible to re-use the real nano AT&T card with net 10. It just fits so much better than the net10 I cut myself.

    I have one left to cut from the net10 – 3 card kit.. The other two came out pretty bad but still work, at least one does.

    Fortunately I still have the large one left.

    What do you think?
    Thank you.

    • Bob says:

      Hi Charlie,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      I don’t know the answer to your question. If the AT&T SIM is no longer activated, you could try to activate it on the Net10 website. My guess is it won’t work.
      If the SIM you already cut works, just use it. Unless you plan on swapping it in and out of the phone, it should be fine.

      What’s wrong with the fit of the SIM you cut? Did you cut it to small? or crooked? or it doesn’t fit in the tray well?

      When I cut my SIM, i had to take some sandpaper to the top and edges or it to get it to fit a nice as the T-Mobile and AT&T nano SIMs I had.

      I usually recommend buying a nano SIM cutter on eBay or Amazon. I have seen them for about 5 bucks on eBay.
      SIM Cutter on eBay
      Another alternative is to buy a pre cut nano SIM on eBay.
      Like this one

      Does the Net10 SIM you cut work? If you haven’t activated it and place it in the phone it stats bar on the top of the display should change from No SIM to No Service.

      If you are going to cut a SIM with a scissor, i recommend printing out a template and using it as a guide. You can find one here:

      Finally, can you share a little more about your Verizon iPhone 5? Did you buy it full price from Verizon? You might be better off with the AT&T model when T-Mobile, Net10 and some of the other MVNOs eventually offer LTE service.

      Please feel free to ask more questions if we can help or let us know how you make out with your SIM!


      • Charlie says:


        Thanks for answering so quickly. All of the above on the cutting of the sim on my part. I used sissors and didn’t really take my time. I still have the large card you recommended to use left from the kit intact so maybe I can do a better job.

        The sims I cut work, it’s been a long time so I don’t know if both or just one did but one for sure did. AT&T activated on prepaid at the store perfectly. I didn’t even bring the phone out. I set up the pre-paid account, they gave me the card, perfect.

        I like AT&T because, the delay of turning analog to digital and back to analog seems to be a lot faster than Verizon. Verizon also has this really bad connect tone, it’s just annoying and sounds like it having a difficult time connecting but it’s always been that way. I started in cellular in ’88, all analog, however Cellular One used Erisson switches, all digital and AT&T might have continued after I left. It was far more expensive than the rest of the switches at the time but it sounded natural.

        The reason for the AT&T card question is, it fits perfectly. I really wouldn’t want the card I cut disconnecting on the only important call of my life.

        I got the Verizon i5 because of the need for getting calls in buildings for emergency sake.

        I found Verizon is like using a walkie talkie, only one person can talk at a time. Ever since digital came out, that’s the way it’s been here in midstate NY. I almost miss the old analog days where you could have a natural conversation. This is all right if I’m paying 28.39 but not a good feeling at 80. a month.

        Bad signal strength even though there is a tower in everyone’s closet in this area. The speed touted by LTE is not truth, I’ll check it now …….. 5.05 down, 4.68 up, second test, 4.27 up, 3.86 down. LTE is turned on and it shows on the top bar. I used OOKLA.

        The Net10 cut cards worked on Net10. The Verzon i5 comes unlocked because of DMCA. However that is rescinded.

        The story on the Verizon. I ordered the phone from Apple. It would not authorize. I called both Verizon and Apple. They both blamed each other and wouldn’t budge. I was left with a brick for over a week. My brain works backwards, no boogie woggie stuff but it sees things differently. I saw a flaw, called Apple, talked to the hierarchy, said I had found a flaw in a worldwide process that could not be fixed and left out a detail to protect the person that was nice but if tempted to further the individuals carreer, would destroy their life.

        My brain saw it, I didn’t, I explained it and the person agreed any mention of it would bring Apple and carriers to their knees. I gave my word not to release it and if that person did it could cause a catastrophe. It can’t be fixed in a timely manner and would crash all the servers. Not just for one carrier or one manufacturer either.

        Without giving anything away, it is so simple, it bypassed the wise. The phone is half price, it is a month to month, no contract phone as legal as legal can get.

        Although not fair to mention this and not tell, you did ask the question and it was the first time I gave my word not to reveal the process so simple it almost hurts.

        It just confirms the verse, “I will confound the wise.”

        Thank you.

  49. Jennifer says:

    Hi , I really want to buy an iphone 5 unlocked so I can activate it with net10 but I don’t know if I should buy it at bestbuy? & I’m afraid net10 won’t work like the Internet and stuff.

    • Bob Thompson says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks for the comment. I bought my unlocked iPhone at the Apple store and followed the directions on this guide to get it to work. It takes a little effort, but I an paying a lot less money than I was to AT&T. What type of phone do you currently have? Do you have an older iPhone? If it is an AT&T model and your contract is up you can unlock it, try Net10 by paying for a month, see if you like it, and then port your number if you like it.

      If you buy and unlocked iPhone and Net10 doesn’t work out you can try Red Pocket. If it really doesn’t work out you can return the phone or sell it on eBay and recover most of your money.

      What carrier are you currently using now? AT&T, Verizon, someone else?

      Let me know any maybe I can help you decide…

  50. Amanda says:

    Your advice was great its the first time in a month of trying that it actually worked thanks much now. I can enjoy my Netflix on the go again

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