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.

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  1. Brian Torres | | Reply

    Just got a iPhone 5c today and I can’t activate it I did all the steps and I still have no service…..what am I doing wrong?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Don’t know. Are you doing BYOP or buy the phone from Net10? Which network are you using AT&T, TMobile, or Verizon? Do you know?
      try logging in to your account. Does it show the phone as active? you might need to click a link int there.

  2. Liz | | Reply

    I have an iphone 5 that was on Verizon and I brought to net10. Upgraded to their mandatory 30/month plan, but I still do not receive DATA. Net10 support tried several provile changes, but still no DATA? Ideas, please?

  3. CK | | Reply

    I don’t think that is an equivalent plan at all, though, Bob. At $199 for 1500 minutes, that is $16.58/month, not including tax for only 125 minutes/month on average. My Net10 plan is $15/month, not including tax for 250 minutes/month with roll-over and only a month-to-month commitment. Big difference.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Well I see your point. If you don’t want to pay up front for a year you’ll have to look at the monthly or pay as you go options. The plan I mentioned worked with a smartphone, includes 1500 text messages as well, and 1500 mb or data. The minutes are supposed to triple for android smartphones but i think they do for a
      smartphones. I am going to add a one year card soon so I lill know for sure.

  4. Jonathan | | Reply

    I want to move the SIM card from my Net10 cell phone (not a SmartPhone) to my iPhone 5. So I’m not doing exactly what you are. In other words I’m not using a “fresh,” not-yet-activated SIM card. My plan is to simply use it to make calls, not for cellular data or web browsing. So I cut the card down to size, but Searching is all the shows in the Status area. (At least it doesn’t say “No SIM.”) The phone is definitely unlocked, and I’ve reset it a number of times, but still no luck. (I also tested the cut down SIM in the old phone and it still works there.) Is there anything else I can do short of calling Net10. I’m trying to keep my $15 a month plan rather than moving up to their higher priced data plan.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      I can’t say for sure this will work for you. I know people used to do it. But it is possible that net10 has has set this up so that your Sim will only work with the phone it came with. i know tracfone does this, it tried to do what your doing and found this out.

      If possible try the sim in another phone and see if it works.

      it should be possible to switch to another service and use your iPhone for 15 a month. What service are you getting in your current Net10 plan?

      • Jonathan | | Reply

        I’ll see if I can get someone to volunteer their phone for me to put that SIM into.
        I guess I don’t understand your last question about what services I’m getting in my current Net10 plan. I can place and receive phone calls and text messages. No internet service. From what I understand, that’s the difference between a cell/mobile phone and a SmartPhone—no browser or apps hat require cellular data downloads. That’s the only way companies can offer these cheaper $15/month services.

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          Ok, you are voice and text messages. Do you have unlimited voice and text or a certain number of minutes per month? The goal is to find you an equivalent plan than can be used with your smartphone

          • Jonathan | |

            Ah, OK then. I get 300 minutes to use over 60 days. I currently have about 2500 minutes stored up, so you can see I’m not a heavy user. (Thanks for your help, by the way.)

    • CK | | Reply

      Did this work, Jonathan? I want to do exactly the same thing, but I’m afraid to cut my SIM card on my active, but old and losing battery, Nokia Net10 candybar phone if it doesn’t work. I need to stay on the cheap plan – just like you have. It’s only $17.32/month, and that is all I need. I plan to use my daughter’s old iPhone when she finds an upgrade cheap. If I can then use the iphone at WiFi locations, then that would be great. But, my primary thing is to be able to sync with my computer and take info with me so I can leave my computer at home.

      • Bob Thompson | | Reply

        I don’t know if this will work. Net10 may have tied your SIM to your phone to prevent you from doing this. What level of service are you getting for $17.32 a month?
        Do you know how many minutes and text you use on average per month?

        • CK | | Reply

          It’s exactly the same as Jonathan. It’s the cheapest one that Net10 has. It is $15 plus taxes for a 30-day plan that is on auto-pay. I get 200 minutes with roll-over of unused minutes, no expiration of minutes as long as I keep the phone active. Each text costs half a minute and is part of the 200 minutes.

          The plan listed on the website also says ” international and 411 calling, picture messaging, and web and email access, all while saving big on one of our best deals.” But, I’ve never used those features since I have a candybar phone. Not sure how you would get web or email access.

          So, I’m wondering how I will know if the SIM is tied to the phone. Net10 Service has become absolutely horrible to talk to in the last year or two, so it is pointless to call them because they either won’t know, will cut you off, or you can’t understand them. I only stick with them because this is the cheapest plan I can find. It didn’t used to be that way. I’ve considered switching to ATT GoPhone, but it costs more. It is $28/month including tax.

          • Bob Thompson | |

            my guess is your phone has a full size SIM. Find someone with an ATT phone that uses a full size SIM and try your SIM in that phone. If you can make and receive calls, then it should work.
            If not, I’d consider switching to Tracfone, which will work with an ATT iPhone. For $199 you can get 1500 minutes that last a year. I just did a whole video series on using Tracfone with BYOP smartphones. Check it out.

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