The 3G version of Apple’s iPad hit store shelves on Friday, and it’s already been hacked to run on a U.S. carrier that’s not AT&T: T-Mobile. Better still, it’s possible to send SMS text messages from the iPad on T-Mobile’s network.
A few iPad 3G owners have been able to access T-Mobile’s EDGE data network by cutting their T-Mobile SIM cards down to the iPad’s MicroSIM size then inserting them into the device. It takes a while for the iPad to register on the network, but once it does, it works well. Unfortunately, the iPad doesn’t support T-Mobile’s 3G band, so if you try it you’ll have to settle for 2G network speeds.
There’s an unexpected bonus, though. The iPad can send SMS text messages on T-Mobile’s network. AT&T doesn’t allow that on the normal iPad plan. Right now there’s not an easily usable text messaging app for the iPad (the iPhone one doesn’t work properly), but Twitter user MuscleNerd was able to take a primitive approach just to prove the point. You’ll need to jailbreak your iPad to do the same, though.
Other than the text messaging capability, the appeal to running the iPad on T-Mobile is mostly one of principle — it’s good to have carrier choices. Granted, T-Mobile’s EDGE network is much slower than AT&T’s 3G one, but it’s also far cheaper, with data plans in the $10 per month range. YouTube user islickster00 even has his running on a legacy $5.99 EDGE plan.
islickster00’s $5.99 T-Mobile EDGE iPad
MuscleNerd’s SMS Texting iPad
KeatonReckard’s iPad 3G on T-Mobile