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iPhone: Using custom APN and unable to use Cellular Data Network services after upgrading to iOS 3.x or iOS 4 or later

Symptoms

After upgrading to iOS 3.x or iOS 4 or later you may be unable to use some Cellular Data Network services, such as:

  • Cellular Data connection for Internet services
  • Visual Voicemail
  • MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service)
  • Internet tethering

You may also see this error message: "Could not activate cellular data network: You are not subscribed to a cellular data service". This can happen if you edited the Cellular Data Network settings—the APN (Access Point Name) details—either manually or with the iPhone Configuration Utility prior to installing iOS 3.

Note: This issue does not affect phone services (making and receiving calls or sending and receiving SMS messages).

Resolution

If you did not edit the Cellular Data Network settings prior to installing iOS 3.x or iOS 4 on your iPhone and you are unable to use Cellular Data Network services, try turning off and then turning on iPhone. If the issue persists, contact your carrier about the availability and provisioning of these services on your wireless account.

If, on the other hand, you did edit the Cellular Data Network settings, these settings will be reset to the default values after updating to iOS 3.x or iOS 4. You will need to edit the settings again.

Additional Information

  • For additional information about Cellular Data network services, see the iPhone User Guide.
  • Editing the Cellular Data Network settings is only available on authorized unlocked iPhones or with carriers that allow modifying the APN details.
  • If you edited the Cellular Data Network settings incorrectly or unintentionally, tap Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
  • To edit Tethering APN settings on an authorized unlocked iPhone, it may be necessary to update to iOS 3.1.3 or later.
Last Modified: Jul 7, 2010
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  • Last Modified: Jul 7, 2010
  • Article: TS2774
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