AT&T Wifi only, no dataplan


Last Updated: 2013-03-31 14:21:27
  1. carbon3c

    carbon3c Active Member

    My son wants a phone that allows wifi access, but no dataplan on AT&T. I've heard that we can buy a phone from someone else, insert his sim card, and then he can use it without a dataplan. Is that possible? What if the phone was originally sold by AT&T, will that still work? Can all the Android configuration be done over Wifi instead of a dataplan?

    Thanks.

    carbon

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  2. UssjTrunks

    UssjTrunks Well-Known Member

    That is correct. Just make sure that the phone is unlocked and is quad-band.

    Yes. I'm not 100% sure on this, but I don't see why it wouldn't.

    Yes.
  3. carbon3c

    carbon3c Active Member

    Thanks, Ussj!

    Ok now an even trickier question...

    If I buy an AT&T phone directly from AT&T for my wife, but she doesn't use it, instead gives it to my son, calls AT&T and tells them that her sim card is back in her old phone, so they need to cancel her dataplan. Then once canceled, she "sells" the phone to my son who unlocks the phone and inserts his sim card....

    Will AT&T force him to get a dataplan, or can he skate by with wifi only? We're all on the same AT&T account, so I'm worried that they will see the recently purchased phone and trigger a dataplan.
  4. Yeahha

    Yeahha Usually off topic VIP Member

    Moved to the AT&T forums.

    I think that AT&T will require a data plan on any smartphone like other US carriers do.

    Per their ToS FAQs AT&T Wireless Customer Agreement - Wireless from AT&T

  5. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna Well-Known Member

    This. If they recognize your IMEI as a smartphone (Android, Blackberry, iOS, WP7), they can just add a data plan to your account. Might not happen right away but they do system sweeps so you can probably expect a data package added to the account sooner or later.

    As far as I'm aware, the only major carrier that doesn't require a data plan if you bring your own device is T-Mobile.
  6. colnago

    colnago Well-Known Member

    Happens as soon as you install the AT&T SIM, and register an AT&T branded "smart phone" on the network.
  7. UssjTrunks

    UssjTrunks Well-Known Member

    I guess I was wrong, or maybe it's different in Canada. I had a friend use an iPhone and a Nokia N96 on Rogers prepaid a few years ago without any issues.
  8. mrcamp

    mrcamp Well-Known Member

    Just buy a unlocked smartphone that's NOT AT&T branded on amazon, ebay, etc. and then have your son drop his sim card in it. There are some basic Nokia smartphones with WiFi on amazon and they should work fine on AT&T, without the system automatically adding a data plan to it.

  9. nb_mitch

    nb_mitch Well-Known Member

    I don't know if this would help but I have an app called "Toggle net switch widget" which allows you to turn off the wifi, 3g, bluetooth, etc. If you installed it and turned off the 3G so it was never on, then At&t wouldn't detect it on it's network, maybe :confused:
  10. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna Well-Known Member

    As AT&T doesn't look at the data use but rather at the IMEI, this isn't really any help. My dad's dumb phone wasn't getting any signal so I put my dad's postpaid SIM inside my LG Quantum with cellular data disabled for like 5 minutes to test if it was the phone or SIM with the problem and the next day, the LG Quantum showed up on the account page. Promptly switched it back to his actual phone so was never hit with a data plan. Besides, I don't think AT&T can just add a data package to your account right away. As far as I'm aware, they still need to notify you first (could be via text, email, bill) before they can add one to your account.
  11. Ascriot

    Ascriot New Member

    Sorry if I'm hijacking, so I just received a Samsung Galaxy S2 (the at&t model) from my aunt. If I do not want to get charged for data, I have to unlock it or would I have to return it and get the international version?
  12. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    Neither will work for long. AT&T does not permit a smartphone on its network without a data plan. They will identify the model by IMEI and add it to your plan.
    barbon and Ascriot like this.
  13. Ascriot

    Ascriot New Member

    Aww yeah. Thank god I did not open it yet... time to get it returned or sell on ebay D:.
  14. jdeezy06

    jdeezy06 New Member


    U will have a dataplan. No way around it. Just get ur son a gophone plan and use let him use that, gophone smartphone plans don't require data. $50 unltd talk/text. Unlimited wifi
  15. barbon

    barbon New Member

    Hmmm, what if I get an unlocked? (So I could use it for T-mobile) I really want to invest in an Android because I think the Wi-fi comes in handy a lot for me, but there isn't any point if I buy it but won't be able to use the wifi
  16. Saltine713

    Saltine713 Well-Known Member

    Unlocking wont change anything. You are still using AT&T's network
  17. Therethennow

    Therethennow Member

    Yep, what they said. As soon as your device connects to AT&T's network, the system can see the IMEI and SIM info for the device. They usually will start charging you for a data plan that they automatically add to the line right away. I don't think they are even required to notify you of this at the time, because it is spelled out in AT&T's terms and conditions of your contract.

    If your son wants a WiFi-only device, you might want to consider getting him something like an iPod Touch, that can connect to WiFi but does not require a data plan. Otherwise, you'll just have to accept that like death and taxes, it is a certainty that AT&T will charge you for a smartphone on their network.
  18. Pepe7698

    Pepe7698 Well-Known Member

    You can actually have AT&T block mobile data to a phone. I have 2 smartphones on my my plan that do not have a corresponding data plan associated w/ them. The downside is that you will not be able to receive MMS on those phones.
    Halzies likes this.
  19. dutchgirl

    dutchgirl New Member

    Hi! I'm thinking about getting an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Mini Android. I do not want to pay for data (I just want to use WIFI) because I'm around wifi 90% of the time. If I buy one that is unlocked can I just insert my sim without AT&T automatically charging me data? Is there something I can do to the phone so AT&T doesn't charge me?
  20. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    No, not really. You phone will be itentified as a smart phone and a data plan will be required.
  21. dutchgirl

    dutchgirl New Member

  22. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    It's not the data use or the APN that AT&T uses, it's the IMEI that identifies your device. Trying to mask or modify that is strictly verboten (and illegal).
  23. BenF

    BenF New Member

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  24. BenF

    BenF New Member

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  25. Saltine713

    Saltine713 Well-Known Member

    You will need a data plan if you get a SIM card from AT&T.

    Filing a complaint to the FCC will do nothing, as they do not regulate business, and it is completely legal for companies to make whatever rules they want. It isn't a law to own a cell phone, so therefore AT&T can do whatever it wants.

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