Data Dropout

Martin Kingsley
22 April, 2011
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Not sure if you’ve come across this problem on iPhone 4, but this came up on my screen today: “Could not activate cellular data network: You are not subscribed to a data service.”

And now I have no connection to the internet –  I can still make calls and SMS but no data connection. I’m on Vodafone’s $49 cap plan with 1.5GB of data (should be plenty!) but there’s no 3G sign or anything when I turn of my Wi-Fi! I called Vodafone and they said it was not their coverage problem.

If you have any tips or advice, please let me know!

Shir Lee, via email

This could be a problem with improper activation at Vodafone’s end, or otherwise a problem with your carrier profile. If you’ve absolutely exhausted all options with regards to resetting settings, restoring to factory defaults and, of course, talking through the problem with Vodafone, I advise getting on Wi-Fi and visiting the following URL from your iPhone:

This crew provide custom carrier profiles (otherwise known as APNs) for iPhones, catering to a wide variety of international carriers, and I (as well as many, many others) have had success treating a wide variety of esoteric and improbable problems of a similar nature to your own by deploying a custom carrier profile.

Simply visit the website from your device and follow the on-screen instructions to install the APN for your selected carrier.

Reader beware. Custom carrier profiles can be unpredictable, and a wide variety of problems can potentially come from using them, including, for instance, your Wi-Fi spontaneously deactivating or your 3G coverage dropping out significantly or even entirely. Should the profile be defective, however, swapping back to the original is as easy as going to Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data Network and switching over.

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