Save hundreds by combining VOIP on the iPhone with a data only plan

This is a short tutorial on how to reduce your bill by using Google Voice with your iPhone.  This tutorial is based on this thread but takes it one step further by incorporating google voice.

You can cut your bill down to $15 per month by using the 250MB iPad data plan with your iPhone.  If you use a lot of data you can opt for the 2GB for $25 per month.

What you’ll need:

1. A google voice account (free).

2. An unactivated ATT 3G micro sim card.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be a micro sim.  This will work with a normal sized sim on earlier phones too.

3. A valid iPad IMEI number.  You can borrow this from a store demo.

4. A wifi iPad or iPad simulator from the xcode development kit.

To get started sign up for a free google voice account.  Google Voice allows you to make voip calls for free within the United States and also to Canada.  You can port your existing mobile phone number to google voice for $20 but you might want to hold off until you’ve tested everything out.  You can have google voice issue you a free number in the mean time.

Download the free Talkatone application to your iPhone from the app store.  Enter your google voice login credentials. Follow the instructions to set up your account.  You will have to check “Forwards calls to: Google Chat” within your google voice settings to receive incoming voip calls.

This is enough to make phone calls for free over voip from your iPhone.  ATT now allows voip calls to be made over their 3G network.   If the quality and coverage of the 3G network in your area is sufficient, you may want to continue with this tutorial and get the iPad data only plan.  The great thing is you can test this out for a few weeks using your existing data plan.

From the iPad or simulator visit https://dcp2.att.com/OEPClient/openPage?IMEI=IPADIMEI&ICCID=SIMICCID

Replace IPADIMEI  in the url with the IMEI number from an 3G iPad or iPad 2 (IMEI can be found in Settings->General->About).
Replace the SIMICCID in the url with the ICCID number from the sim card you purchased.

You will get a page that allows you to sign up for prepaid service:

Signup Screen


Sign up and install your sim card in your iPhone.  You can port your existing mobile number to google voice but this takes about 24 hours (almost exactly) and will terminate your existing contract if you have one.

You will have to change the APN on your iPhone to “broadband” with no username or password by visiting www.unlockit.co.nz

You can still call 911 from the normal dialer but not over voip.

Similar techniques should also work with other phones and voip providers.




1 comment

  1. Kevin says:

    How many sims can be used for each imei? I registered one sim fine and now it takes me to login page for that imei. i can’t get to the rgistration page

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