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msureka Level 1 Level 1



I just bought the new iPad (3) and got it out of US.


I inserted my local micro-sim which has 3G service enabled. 3G is detected on my iPhone 4 using the same sim. However, the iPhone 4 has an "Enable 3G" button which is missing from the iPad 3.


Both are on iOS 5.1.


The iPad just shows "E" (Edge), but not 3G. The internet works on this, but offcourse very slow.


How do I Enable 3G on the new iPad outside the US?




iPad (3rd generation) Wi-Fi + 4G, iOS 5.1
Solved by msureka on Aug 9, 2012 2:09 AM Solved
Ok, so I guess the problem is that with certain operators the 3G works well, and with some, it stays with Edge. It highly depends upon the signal strength of your particular area. If the signal strength is very good, it will connect t 3G, otherwise Edge. I switched my operator to Reliance and Airtel, both worked well in 3G, but Mtnl was giving Edge in the same location (India). Nonetheless, the modem firware of iPhone seems to be more powerful than the one in iPad, as even when the signal strength is not very good, it picks up 3G on an iPhone, but iPad won't. So, the easiest thing for you to do is switch the mobile operator and check if you get 3G.
  • Ingo2711 Level 7 Level 7

    Does your carrier support 3G for your iPad?


    iPad Wi-Fi + 4G is compatible with all carriers that support iPad Wi-Fi + 3G, with additional support for fast 3G networks, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA.

    copied from iPad Wi-Fi + 4G: About 4G LTE connectivity

  • msureka Level 1 Level 1

    Yes, the carrier does support 3G. As I said, the same sim works fine on my iPhone 4, but on iPad 3 it does not detect 3G. Probably for some reason 3G is not enabled on the iPad maybe?


    The iPhone 4 has an "Enable 3G" toggle after which it detects the 3G network, but the iPad 3 doesn't.

  • Ingo2711 Level 7 Level 7

    There is no 3G switch like on your iPhone4. It is always on 3G, unless the reception is too bad, then it switches to Edge (E).

    When I got my new iPad, I had to order a SIM card that supported the data features of my iPad and allowed me to use 3G, tethering, hotspot etc.

    After the SIM got activated, the device switched automatically to 3G, which it did not do when I inserted the SIM from my iPhone 4, supporting the same features. The iPhone SIM was not recognized.

  • CleaverT Level 1 Level 1

    I just started a separate discussion on this same topic (sorry, hadn't seen this one):



    Doesn't work in the Cayman Islands either. EDGE only.

  • 1aRa Level 1 Level 1

    I am having the same problem!


    I have the iPad 3 and the original iPad here in Japan. The original iPad has no problem connecting to NTT's 3G network. I take the sim out of the original iPad, insert into the iPad 3 and.... nothing. It goes from "Searching" to "No Service".


    Then, I return to same sim to the original iPad and I am back on NTT 3G in a jiff. I have verified all my APN setting (although, it shouldn't affect the iPad's ability to at least recognize the network). I also cannot find any setting/switch/button that would affect it's ability to recognize a 3G network.

  • 1aRa Level 1 Level 1

    After a sim card trouble-shooting, a full reset and much research, I have found out that the iPad 3 modem firmware (baseband) is 1.0.10. Which happens to be a very new baseband that does not have much information.


    My iPad 1 baseband is 07.11.01 (running ios 5.1) which works great on the 3G here in Japan. After 3 calls to Apple, the only thing I have come to understand is why the charaters on "The Big Bang Theory" like to make fun of the Apple "geniuses."


    I believe (I hope I am wrong bc the answers are not in the near future) there are only two things that can happen:

    1. Apple updates the iPad 3 modem firmware to allow the iPad to utilize these other 3G carrier.

    2. Each individual 3G carrier changes their network setting and/or SIM cards to allow this baseband to utilize the networks???


    "It also works on GSM/UMTS worldwide network technologies including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA — the fastest 3G networks out there." Apple might need to update the website.


    Specifically, I am trying to use NTT Docomo prepaid sim for iPad operating on:

    W-CDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA / 2100MHz/800MHz


    Which clearly falls within the iPad 3 specs:

    UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)


    Anybody out there, please help?!?!?

  • Lewpirate Level 1 Level 1

    It's a universal issue I have Verizon in the US and 3G service is a no go.   It's an issue that Apple needs to coordinate with the carriers, and fast.

  • CleaverT Level 1 Level 1

    I agree. I don't know if Apple can push out a modem firmware update by itself but if not I'm sure they will address it in the 5.1.1 update. Hopefully, given the severity of the issue, the update will be released quickly.

  • CalvinBaank Level 1 Level 1

    Same problem here

  • gersoncr Level 1 Level 1

    Hello, just to inform and sorry for my bad English.

      I am from Costa Rica and buy the new IPad last week in New York and worked well, to get to my country and see the error I thought it was my new iPad but thank God it is not so because it would have been be sent to USA for warranty, now I see I'm not the only one and  I hope this is fixed with a simple software upgrade because in my country there is no 4G networks.


    For Users of Costa Rica: operator Movistar prepaid SIM works but sometimes fails with Kolbi intermittently or not.

  • b-dogg Level 1 Level 1

    Hey I'm in Ireland. Ordered my new iPad through the online store on launch day.  My 3G service (eMobile Ireland) works very sporadically. I thought at first it was the carrier - I ordered a new SIM card. After testing with the new sim the problem remains. This cannot be a network issue as my iPhone has a eMobile SIM also and it gets perfect 3G signal right beside th iPad. I tried resetting network settings on the iPad and is restored 3G functionality briefly before reverting to Edge network again.


    I have a feeling that apple need to update their modem firmware! Hurry please apple! I'm getting sick of tethering my new iPad to my iPhone!

  • msureka Level 1 Level 1

    Ok, so after all the replies and playing around with the new iPad, I seriously think, this is the issue with the device. As 1aRa suggested, it is something with the modem firmware which needs to be updated.


    The device gets 3G signal at places where the reception is very strong, but at most places it goes to Edge. However, anyother device, including the iPhone, it gets 3G at all locations. So definteily there is some issue with either the antenaa or some firmware which is causing the 3G signal to fail.


    Hope Apple is listening and will release a new update soon.

  • b-dogg Level 1 Level 1

    I feel your pain bro. I called Apple Customer Service and was waiting for an agent to check the issue for about 30 mins. She checked with someone senior who said "It's the first time we've had a caller with this issue". I did what she suggested (reset network settings, then tried a full restore) and still the same problem.


    FAO: Apple - Your new iPad seems to prefer Edge network to 3G!!! Even though my iPhone 4S on the same network (eMobile Ireland) gets full 3G all the time. Please address this.


    I'm waiting for a software update and if the problem persists the iPad is going back to apple. I don't fancy the two hour teidum of restoring my existing iPad to a replacment model only to find it still has the same problem for it to get resolved shortly with a software update.


    For me instead of being the fastest iPad yet - it's the slowest.


    I don't have wifi / landline internet connection at home, so I rely on 3G the whole time for my data on my iPad. It's making it pretty much unusable for what I bought it for - browsing the web, netflix, youtube, iPlayer, RTE player, internet radio and to use itself as a personal hotspot.


    There are many people complaining about this issue. Myself and everyone else on this thread and other websites report it too.

  • 1aRa Level 1 Level 1

    Here is an update to my troubleshooting efforts. I have been in contact with apple and have attempted the following:


    Working with apple, they verified that there was no IMEI error being thrown. To me, the means that it should be working fine or (as CalvinBaank stated here the ipad3 is not tring to connect to 3G at all.


    So after further troubleshooting, I purchased 2 new SIM cards and did a full restore with them in the ipad during the restore. The ipad was able to reconize that I had a Japanese sim but still was not able to reconize/connect to the network. After a total of 6 restorations, the ipad was unable to reconize the network everytime.


    After further consideration, I will have to add a third possible cause:

    3. There is a physical problem with the hardware in the ipad preventing it from using the 3G network.

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