This is NOTHING to do with activation or anything to do with the cellular network.
For over a year now I've been using a couple of older iPhones just making use of their WiFi connection to my local network and hence the Internet. The other day I noticed the 3Gs could not make use of the network. It sees the correct WiFi network and apparently connects fine (no complaints), but then nothing else works over the network. At its most basic, Safari cannot even access the local web server, so it's nothing to do with any Internet connection (or lack of).
I've tried with Airplane Mode on and off, with SIM and without, turned WiFi on and off, restarted the entire phone, everything I can think of, but I just cannot get the network to do anything other than connect.
It's not the iPhone that's faulty in some way as I tried the other iPhone (4) in the same situation and lo and behold, that now doesn't work either, although an iPhone 5 with working SIM functions perfectly on the same network. So from this I deduce it's an iOS thing rather than hardware. Did it start with iOS 6.1.3? No idea since that's some time ago and I cannot determine exactly when this problem originally surfaced.
This is a new problem as these iPhones have been doing this perfectly for a long time, now suddenly, both cannot use the network. Has anyone else seen this and/or got any suggestions?
OK, here's how it is.
I use the SIMless (i.e. no functioning SIM) iPhones as house phones. I run a SIP (VOIP) PBX on my server and a SIP client app on the iPhones so they work as phones around the house. Both myself and my wife have working iPhones as well, also with the same SIP client (Bria, but that's another story). Anyway, that's the function of these 'spare' iPhones and hence they do not need a functioning SIM, but they do need to work on the network here which utilises several dual band AirPort BaseStations.
My reason for starting this discussion was to find out if others were experiencing the same problem as the answer to that question would decide my next step. In the end, I realised the simplest test was to take the SIM out of my iPhone 5 and see how that worked, or not.
What I found was:-
- Any iPhone with a SIM would work.
- Without a SIM, it would still work on the 5 GHz 802.11n WiFi network, anywhere in the house.
- But if I tried to connect instead to the 2.4 GHz b,g,n compatible network on one particular AirPort in my study, it would fail in the manner previously described.
- Any iPhone would work (SIM or not) on the 2.4 GHz b,g,n compatible network on any other AirPort
So in the end it was a problem with that one AirPort and any iPhone connecting to it on the 2.4 GHz network and without a SIM would not work. I cannot conceive of exactly how or why it would do this, but AirPorts are not unknown to get their knickers in a twist occasionally and a restart usually sorts it out - as indeed it did in this case.
So, the problem is resolved, but can I just end by saying that despite the assertions by KiltedTim, I was not refusing to even look at my LAN. My irritation was simply because that was NOT my question. I purely wanted to know whether anyone else was experiencing this same problem and if not, THEN I would need to investigate my own LAN further to find the problem. This I have now done after establishing that iOS was not to blame (as shown by the fact that the iPhones did work with a different AirPort).
With any forum such as this, it is important that anyone replying takes notice of what has been asked and not just offer simplistic 'solutions' to questions that had not been asked. It is a form of arrogance that implies the OP is in some way stupid and not as clever as the responder, whereas that may not in fact be the case.
Anyway, problem solved and thank you to those who actually offered help.