Update: Solved iPhone OS 3.0 update fails connecting to cellular data network issue

Update: Solved iPhone OS 3.0 update fails connecting to cellular data network issue

Summary: I updated my iPhone 3G this morning as soon as the update became available. Everything seemed to go without a hitch and all of my content, apps, and settings appeared to transfer over just fine. However, when I tried to check email, surf the Internet, or perform anything require a data connection I received the following error pop-up, "Could not activate cellular data network: You are not subscribed to a cellular data service." The thing is, I do pay AT&T $30 per month for my wireless data service so I am indeed subscribed to a cellular data service.

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I updated my iPhone 3G this morning as soon as the update became available. Everything seemed to go without a hitch and all of my content, apps, and settings appeared to transfer over just fine. However, when I tried to check email, surf the Internet, or perform anything require a data connection I received the following error pop-up, "Could not activate cellular data network: You are not subscribed to a cellular data service." The thing is, I do pay AT&T $30 per month for my wireless data service so I am indeed subscribed to a cellular data service.

I tried checking settings on the iPhone and even verified that the iPhone was the device that appeared in my AT&T account, but nothing seemed to resolve the issue. I then did a bit of Googling and found some methods to try on the macmend.com site. I tried the first solution of resetting my network settings and then after my device reset it took several minutes where the upper left of the iPhone showed Searching... It eventually changed to AT&T with a 3G icon, but still would not connect.

In the past, maybe that was with my older jailbroken iPhone, you could view the Cellular Data Network settings and change the APN, but I no longer see this option on my iPhone and think AT&T blocks this setting access.

I then realized that my plan may not be provisioned now directly for the iPhone since I bought the Nokia E71x a couple of months ago and AT&T may have changed over my data plan (same pricing). On my account page, the iPhone 3G still shows up though so I am not sure if that is the case. As a final test, I tried to perform a full restore of my iPhone to see if that worked, but I kept getting the message that the iPhone activation server is temporarily unavailable.

A call to AT&T is my next course of action, but I decided to give up for now and pop the SIM into my Nokia N97 where data works just fine and I have the control over my access.

UPDATE: I read a buddy's Twitter post that he was having the same issue with me after updating his original iPhone and trying to use his BlackBerry SIM in the iPhone, which worked just fine before the update. Bill Miranda posted a link to the Limited Edition iPhone site where they give you all the details you will need to fix this issue. I recommend just visiting the site they state, via WiFi of course, since that is the quickest way to get back up and running. My iPhone 3G now has the 3.0 firmware on it and everything works just fine with my E71x SIM. I understand this may also solve the issue for those iPhone owners using Pay As You Go services.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, iPhone, Networking, AT&T, Wi-Fi

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11 comments
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  • Thanks for the heads-up

    I wasn't planning on updating mine right away because of memories of the last major upgrade. I suppose the boards will be filled again with a multitude of "I missed the call for my kidney transplant (or whatever) because I had to be the first to update my iPhone". Memo to all you folks new to the iPhone, if you absolutely, positively must have your iPhone working for business or whatever you may want to consider waiting a day or two until you have some free time if things go wrong.
    oncall
  • RE: iPhone OS 3.0 update fails connecting to cellular data network

    I tried to update and i get a "activation server is temporarily down. Please try again later". Not sure why and what the heck is being activated??

    Apple is slowly and surely taking Microsoft's place while Microsoft looks a lot saner now-a-days.
    tintintin
    • Actually

      That is exactly what happened the day of launch of the iPhone 2.0 OS. The servers are probably overwhelmed from like umpteen million folks trying to get the new OS on launch day. The advice last time was to "keep trying and it will go through". I think I'll wait on upgrading mine a day or two. ZDNET should have done a "flashback" article yesterday to warn it's readers of what happened last time.
      oncall
  • RE: iPhone OS 3.0 update fails connecting to cellular data network

    I am having the same problem. I tried various forms of resetting, hard restart, etc., no difference.

    The other symptom I notice, is that there isn't a "Cellular Data Networking" button in the Network settings.

    rmh6
  • RE: iPhone OS 3.0 update fails connecting to cellular data network

    Go to www.unlockit.co.nz on your iphone (this must be done from your phone for this to work, so either use wifi or disable 3G to use edge to get the connection.)

    Follow these instructions:

    1. Choose "create custom APN"

    2. Select US - ATT

    4. When the Custom APN icon comes up in what looks like the settings page, Click INSTALL.

    Worked for me!
    phubar
    • www.unlockit.co.nz

      This website worked for me, too! Thanks so much for the post!!
      sarcasm_and_sass
  • RE: iPhone OS 3.0 update fails connecting to cellular data network

    www.unlockit.co.nz worked for me too! Many thanks!

    rmh6
  • RE: iPhone OS 3.0 update fails connecting to cellular data network

    I just updated iTunes to prepare for the 3.0 update but after reading some blogs about the issues occurring I'm scared to go through with the iphone update. I think I'll wait until Apple figures out and fixes the problem and when there are fewer people trying to access the download at the same time.
    dbw6
  • RE: iPhone OS 3.0 update fails connecting to cellular data network

    I just got home from work at like 7:45 this evening (Clearwater, Fl.) and my download went without a hitch! The only thing was the slow download process (guess the servers were being hit pretty hard). But after bout an hour of install...WHAM...awesome...no problems whatsoever! I've paired my Bluetooth Motorola Headphones and they work; the only thing about that is I can't skip songs from the headset (that sucks). Searching the iPhone is nice; the landscape text and email is a much awaited thing...no problems there. I'm still playing around with it. Enjoy.
    tate72
  • RE: iPhone OS 3.0 update fails connecting to cellular data network

    I get that error all the time. It's AT&T. They're service is just awful. I can get good signals, but when they're data network is full (like when I enter the New York City area) I am unable to connect data. Thousands of other users have the same issues.
    mcspewak
  • RE: iPhone OS 3.0 update fails connecting to cellular data network

    After the 3.0 upgrade to my 7 day old iPhone, the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features are not functioning. They are actually greyed-out on the Settings" menu. I put a call into iPhone support and after running through the standard restart, restore, and doing the hokey-pokey, it still doesn't work.

    At least, there is a thread on the Apple support boards on it... http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2043310&start=0&tstart=0, so I am not alone in this.
    tweeakk