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iPhone 3G/no wifi/seriously?


iPhone 3G/no wifi/seriously?

I've been a GoPhone customer for 6 years with very little issue - until I inherited an iPhone 3G from a friend.  All seemed to be working well with wifi (I never used the 3G because I didn't sign up for an optional data plan) until a couple of weeks ago when I switched plans.  The customer service rep I spoke with mentioned the new 4S, but it's not in my budget right now.  In hindsight, I should have paid a little more attention to what he was saying, in that, I wouldn't be able to use the web with my current iPhone.  I assumed that it was only pertaining to using the 3G service....but I was wrong!


A few days after the plan switch, I noticed that the wifi button on my phone was greyed out.  Initially, I thought that it was an effect of the last iOS update to 4.2.1 firmware/5.15.04 baseband.  I tried resetting, restoring, and nothing would work.  Doing a little research, I discovered that AT&T had killed all wifi capability on iPhones that use the GoPhone service, something I assume is due to IMEI tracking.


Is it just me, or does anyone else feel that modifying a phone's core capability is wrong?  I imagine it's AT&T's way of forcing customers into postpaid plans, but seems a little extreme to take away a function on a phone that has NOTHING to do with the wireless service that I'm already paying for.

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Message 1 of 7
Former Community Manager

Re: iPhone 3G/no wifi/seriously?

All smartphones require a dataplan for use. 


I'm happy to put you in touch with someone who can review your account and discuss your options if you'd like. If so, please send me a private message with your name, account number, phone number and the best time to contact you.


As of May 1st, I am no longer serving as the Community Manager for AT&T. This account will no longer be able to accept private messages.

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Message 2 of 7

Re: iPhone 3G/no wifi/seriously?

Sorry, but AT&T does not have the ability to kill the Wi-Fi on your device.

Either the device has a corrupted install of the OS or the Wi-Fi chip has died.


Regardless, as already stated... all smartphones on AT&T require a data plan.  This has been a requirement since Sept 2009. 


If you want to use the iPhone as an iPod Touch, you certainly can... but you cannot use it on AT&T without a data plan and still be within the Terms & Conditions of service to which you must agree in order to use their service.

Message 3 of 7

Re: iPhone 3G/no wifi/seriously?

What "research" did you come across that said ATT killed your WiFi? Not only does it seem very unlikely in general, but almost impossible from a technical perspective.
Message 4 of 7

Re: iPhone 3G/no wifi/seriously?

Are you sure the friend you "inherited" the iPhone 3G from wasn't having issues with his WIFI? Something worth checking into.
Message 5 of 7

Re: iPhone 3G/no wifi/seriously?

I'm a strong believer in prepaid GoPhone iPhones. I'm a GoPhone user myself.

Do you really think that AT&T has the ability to modify phones' capabilities? It seems somewhat unlikely to me, unless you can prove it, of course. Smiley Happy

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy

Message 6 of 7

Re: iPhone 3G/no wifi/seriously?

I thought the baseband is used by the service provider to send/receive data and voice service provided by the phone company and WiFi is part of the phone operating system provided by Apple and can only be turned off by an update from Apple. I could be wrong, but if your WiFi no longer works after an update, I believe you should be contacting Apple.

Message 7 of 7
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