iPad–“you are not subscribed to cellular service”–a Fix !

I was on my way to a potential new client to do a demo on an iPad development and NIGHTMARE –  my iPad would not connect to the internet using 3G sim card !!!

I get the error”you are not subscribed to cellular service”


WTF ?!!?!?!!

My iPad was working perfectly since I purchased it and I just topped it up with 100mb of data just to be safe – so what the heck is going on ???

I called the Vodacom Customer care and after listening to a million options Press 1 for this and Press 2 for that no options applied to my problem.

Luckily I remembered the Vodacom Technical help number (082 155) which I phone and within 30 seconds, I was sorted.


On the iPad go to your Setting, click on Cellular Data and then click on APN.

No matter what they told you in the past, the setting must be: iPhone.Vodacom.za (not internet)

If you now go back to your web browser, it SHOULD simply work (you might need to give it a second or two and might need to switch off your iPad and boot again).


If this DOES NOT work then:

Call 082 155 (if you are on Vodacom) and wait till you hear the iPhone options. Press that and then when the operator comes on, tell him/her that you would like to register your SIM card for the iPhone APN. He will ask you for your number, and some security questions and then you will be done. You will hear the usual “Wait between 1 and 6 hours and then try again”

Once you have done that, simply go to the EASY FIX step above and enter your APN settings.

This will sort you out and you can once again surf away on the iPad Smile

What this has changed all of a sudden ? no idea….

But as I like to say “You know what is the Golden Rules ?” “He who has the Gold makes the Rules !”

could this be more appropriate to Cellular companies ? I think not !


  1. Thanks so much!! After endless hours at vodacom trying to sort the problem out, 3 seconds after reading your post it’s fixed and my iPad is connected 🙂

  2. Wow! Thanks for telling me what Vodacom staff are clearly not trained to say because the organisation is managed by credits. I owe you!

  3. So update to the above my iPad mobile data stopped working posibly after iOS 5 upgrade, and only way to get it working is to change APN back to ‘internet’.
    So no mater what they tell you elsewhere if you are using iPad and are having issues with mobile data connection change APN to ‘internet’ switch off than on your mobile data and voila all is happy again…….

    1. It seems to swing between these two APN. I even had to change mine back internet and then when the error happened I changed it back to iPhone.Vodacom.za – so who knows which one is right but at least we have options to try !

  4. My iPad settings went all craze for the first time in a year,it changed to iPhone .vodacom.za,I had to change it Apn as just Internet ,and now working back as usual…..I will guided along by this post,many thanks

  5. I called Vodacom yesterday after viewing this site….thank u…I have one more problem though…- can’t upload fotos on Facebook using my ipad

  6. In my case it worked vice versa.
    I could not connect to the internet after upgrading my Ipad2 to IOS5.01
    I read your advice, but it did not help me because my APN settings was set for “iPhone.Vodacom.za”.
    so I contact the Callcentre and the guy told me to change it to “internet”. Problem solved!!!

  7. Thanks for taking the time out to help the “not so IT inclined” wanna bees…I found this site very very easy on google and your answer very usefull, although mine eventually work with “internet” in the APN subject line…

    Keep up the tips!

  8. just did the “internet” thing on the APN setting for iPad 3 16Gig and its grafting! (working yay!)_
    just to add spent best part of 45min tooing and froing with vodacom customer care. friggen muppets

  9. M sister arrived from Dubai for vacation…. She was at Vodacom and was sold a micro sim and a 1gb data bundle…. It connected at the Vodacom store, but nowdoesn’t want to work…..both iphone.vodacom.za and internet dont work… what to do?

    1. I assume you called their customer services ? Tell them to re-register that SIM on the network. If you have access to an iPhone, stick that SIM in there and see if that works. This way you know if its the iPad or the SIM
      (assuming that iPad isnt locked to a network in any way)

  10. Ironically mine came preset with iphone.vodacom.co.za but didn’t work. When I phoned the callcentre they said change it to internet, and it worked. Go figure???

  11. hiii I am from india.I faced this issue after i upgraded my OS version to IOS 6.WIFI is working perfectly for me, however i cant connect through sim.Byd eafult the APN option is blank,i changed it to internet and still it not wokring for me , can u help me out here ?

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