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Using a smartphone without att's data plan

Sheikh2 25 Sep 2012, 15:09 posted on

My mom has a 20$/m att line within the family plan and we want her to be able to take pictures when ever she wants and be able to text easier, and also deposit checks using a phone rather then sending us out to the bank and also for her to use apps like craigslist notifica

any tips or even other solutions will be considered.

posted on 07 Oct 2012, 11:54

1. SolidSnakeCG (Posts: 8; Member since: 07 Oct 2012)

But you want to be able to have said smartphone on her line, but without the data plan? good luck with that since the system auto detects smartphones and will automatically add the data plan.

posted on 09 Oct 2012, 10:46

2. melissa4992 (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Oct 2012)

sorry wont happen like solid snakecg stated above. i work for att and like he stated the system does detect when you are using a smartphone without a data package.

posted on 11 Oct 2012, 10:16

3. SolidSnakeCG (Posts: 8; Member since: 07 Oct 2012)


posted on 12 Oct 2012, 17:00 1

4. mickeyspal44 (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Oct 2012)

I have been told by one than one person they kept talking with AT&T until they disabled the data on the smartphone. It can be done, but companies do not want to not make the extra bucks!!! They do not make good phones which will connect unless it is a smart phone or prepaid. I have had 3 phones in 3 years which constantly dropped calls or did not have a signal. I purchased a cheap, cheap, prepaid gophone and have 3 bars or more all the time. Yes, it is $50. a month, but for unlimited everything. They can stop the data on individual phones just like they do texting if you do not want people to have it. People have found they can get around it using wi-fi so therefore they do not want to block it. It is called GREED! I have contacted the FCC regarding this and will do so again after my experiement with gophone. Until citizens starting writing and complaining to the FCC in mass nothing will probably be done.

posted on 12 Oct 2012, 18:10 1

6. SolidSnakeCG (Posts: 8; Member since: 07 Oct 2012)

by talking you mean hassling? that's a ridiculous ignorant thing to do buying a smartphone but not have a data plan if you dont want a data plan on a phone that's made to surf the web don't get the damn thing. i swear people get more ignorant by the hour. smartphones or cell phones in general are still considered a "luxury" item and therefore taxed as so by the government, if you can't afford it, suck it up and don't purchase it and FCC won't do much on it due to the fact phones are luxury items and would take more than just a mass of customers to do so

posted on 04 Mar 2013, 11:59 1

14. BadAssAbe (Posts: 464; Member since: 22 Apr 2011)

So by that logic, I really hope you are paying for all of ATTs services, The rich become rich because they know when to spend money and when not to waste money.

posted on 03 Sep 2013, 14:46 1

23. darrelljpark (Posts: 1; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)

Why don't some of you people get it? My wife and I both have iPhones. We upgraded to what we have from our old iPhones, but kept the old ones because they still worked and our kids could play around with them with music and games. When my oldest son turned 14 we got him a basic phone with no web access or data plan because I DON'T WANT MY KIDS TO HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET ANYTIME THEY WANT! His phone was a piece of junk and totally hard to text with. Anyway, it just broke and the 3 choices at the store to replace it all sucked. So why do I want to use an iPhone without a data plan? Because I'd like to have my son use it and not access the internet. It's a way better phone and way easier to use than the the piece of junk that I just had to spend $75 on.

posted on 02 Nov 2016, 20:53

42. wchaa (Posts: 44; Member since: 19 Oct 2016)

nice sharing

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 06:31 1

24. jb4674 (Posts: 145; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)

Your response is flawed. If someone were to acquire someone's used or old smartphone and that person didn't want a data plan, would that person be an ignorant person based on your logic?

Phone companies can disable data plans on smartphones per the customer's request.

posted on 14 Sep 2014, 10:41

32. geekB4TVsHadTransistors (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Sep 2014)

People get smart phones without any desire to surf the web with it. Texting capability is better than dumb phones, both smart and dumb phones don't do voice well, and I'd much rather surf using my i7 computer.

posted on 27 Oct 2014, 22:35

35. Justsayin (Posts: 1; Member since: 27 Oct 2014)

Ignorant is paying for a data plan that you do not need because you can surf free at just about anywhere these days. Some cities have free wifi as do most public places. Ignorant is also being a stupid, hateful, asshole, the only thing you seem to have mastered in life.

posted on 29 Jun 2016, 13:51

41. kufrizen (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Jun 2016)

ignorant is leaving your wifi on and thinking that ur so smart to connnect to any open wifi network. ignorant is believing someone just conveniently left that 1mbps guest network open so you can use your bank...paypal....email...

*meanwhile* you get sniffed doggy-style and like it. yepp you definitely mastered in life pal.


posted on 08 May 2015, 19:28

38. normmason (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 May 2015)

Wow, call the kettle black. Read some of the other posts on this blog and get a sense of reality! In addition to being ignorant, you are at least 3 or more of the following: young, female, blond, liberal, a trust baby, just plain stupid, a confirmed wealth redistribution fool, Obama supporter, etc...........
You're probably all of the above... if a CG snake is venomous you need to bite yourself.

posted on 01 Jun 2015, 22:27

39. jujub (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Jun 2015)

I registered just to complain about this 2.5 year old post. What an A-hole! beyond being just plain mean, it's made worse by the fact that it's idiotic. (A) The US has no national luxury tax and (B) Cell phones are a luxury good? even in 2012, that hadn't been true for nearly 15 years, and there were already some reasonably price smartphones in 2012. Wanting a smartphone without the data plan is a completely reasonable. If you spend almost all of your time at work or at home and both locations have wifi, it's quite reasonable to not want to pay significantly more for a service that is largely redundant. Not everyone cares about foursquare check-ins mobile grindr hook-ups. In closing, I hope you've grown out of this douchiness.

posted on 17 Aug 2015, 08:01

40. phissith (Posts: 19; Member since: 22 Feb 2013)

This post is old but I felt the need to reply. I have a mother who doesn't care to ever use or pay for data plan since she is content only browsing or doing what ever smartphone is capable of within wifi area such as school,work or home. You're telling me in order for her to use smartphone over wifi only she is not allow to do that and must purchase data plan not matter how one's prefer to use the phone? Perhaps someone for example forces you to buy a particular battery brand for your phone and you are not allow to use any other brand. Maybe that will put thing in prospective for you. Or laptop that only way to use the internet is that you must bundle it with Comcast internet service only otherwise...laptop will not work with any other wifi provide.

posted on 12 Oct 2012, 17:07

5. mickeyspal44 (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Oct 2012)

I just read where T-mobile does not advertise it but they will not make you purchase data plan if you do not want one. I am thinking of taking my business to them after using AT&T for about 12 years or more. Good luck.

posted on 31 Dec 2012, 00:10

13. DevonJames (Posts: 10; Member since: 30 Dec 2012)

How did this work for you? I can't imagine you heard right... ?? I'm a graphic designer in Atlanta, and I have never relied on a phone so much for work as i do now. I've got AT&T's 4G LTE (sorry Verizon, I want Android 4.1) network and it genuinely makes my life easier. I wouldn't risk it.

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 06:51 2

7. Sheikh2 (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)

@SolidSnakeCG , you have said NOTHING to contribute to this discussion.. lets see
1st you say "good luck" in a useless sarcastic way
2nd you say "retail?" w/e the f that has to do with this topic
3rd you argue againts a valid point. which is

why should a consumer be forced to pay extra for a service that does NOT need to be used 24/7 ( wifi is a good enough sub.)

Thats like saying I want to buy a Ferrari but the people who sell me gas tell me I have to buy 91oct instead of 87octane. or some other stupid s**t like i have to go 200 MPH if i want gas... why cant i just drive the ferrarri they way i want it..

what i am pretty disappointed about is that you have really irritated me.

please if anyone has anything useful to say, if anyone knows how the system works. do they search imei's? if so, is there a way i can root/jailbreak my phone to change the imei to look like a dumbphone? these are the Q&A... not some negative prick saying good luck.

posted on 03 Nov 2012, 10:45

12. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

The network sees your IMEI, so I suppose if the phone can be seen as a generic IMEI then it could work. The problem is that your data speeds will not be there if you have a 4G, 4G LTE phone - even with a Blackberry from another carrier, it will not work as good.

posted on 04 Mar 2013, 12:40

15. hepresearch (unregistered)

If the said smartphone is unlocked and old enough, and therefore not in AT&T's database, they will not grouse about it. Just make sure that you disable all of your internet via cellular radio settings, and use the internet on WiFi only from then on. Who cares about data speeds when you are just doing simple things from home... and WiFi isn't all that bad, anyway?

posted on 23 Oct 2012, 08:15

8. DeVianTiCoN (Posts: 13; Member since: 17 Sep 2012)

If you dont want a data package dont buy the phone. if you think another company can offer it to you w/o a package go there..

posted on 24 Oct 2012, 13:31

9. Sheikh2 (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)

Thats a great "other solution" and i have looked into it, a company called simple mobile can offer everything unlimited except data for 25/m and she can use a smartphone, but unfortunately she is stuck with att for 2 years.

so i need like genius who knows how to trick the system, and every system can be tricked.

posted on 28 Oct 2012, 10:43

10. appleID (Posts: 1; Member since: 28 Oct 2012)

AT&T iPhone factory unlock atwww.iphonesfactoryunlocks.com get your AT&T iphone unlocked now!!

posted on 25 Aug 2013, 01:42

22. monalisachina (Posts: 2; Member since: 25 Aug 2013)

how to root the phone, it automatically adds too much useless data and wast much Internet flow of mine.

posted on 03 Nov 2012, 10:44

11. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

If you had the original iphone 2G, or can get an IMEI, then have customer care change your IMEI and data feature, then a few days later 'upgrade' and get unlimited data for the phone you are really using. I have friends who do this quite a bit.

posted on 04 Mar 2013, 13:04

16. hepresearch (unregistered)

Having a "smartphone" on AT&T without the data plan... I have been doing this successfully for quite some time. I had shared some tips and tools for those seeking to do the same in a post on my own business website (during the times when I was still in business for myself), and although not all of them apply, the principles involved remain unchanged. The central concept is essentially this: you must make sure that the cellular radios on the phone are never used to pass data (this prevents them from taking serious notice of your IMEI if it pops up, and also prevents your IMEI from even being saved to their database if your phone did not come from them), that any data you DO pass wirelessly is restricted to WiFi or Bluetooth, and that your phone OS and settings are as isolated as possible from AT&T's network. I have done this with phones like the Nokia N75, the Nokia 9300, the Nokia E75 (newer, and definitely on their list if you are not careful), some Windows Mobile models from back in the day, and a Palm Treo or two. I have never seen this done successfully with an iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android device, and most certainly not with a Windows Phone model.

Here is an article I wrote about it a long time ago:


Obviously, if you plan on using WiFi for internet or email, then I wouldn't recommend getting rid of your internet settings and applications altogether, but the use of SIM-less offline/flight-mode in order to pre-condition your device, whatever you try out, is the best way to mess with the settings while the phone is isolated from AT&T's network. It is also possible to remove any internet settings that work with the cellular side of the device, and leave just the WiFi port settings in place, so as to prevent a user from accidentally accessing the internet via cellular. AT&T's SIM will try to automatically provision your device for IP, but you can reject any further attempts after removing those settings the first time thorugh. Like I said, I've even done this with an E75, which has WiFi, and I have scoured the internet on that thing for a long time without AT&T ever noticing that it was a "smartphone" and trying to whack us with the data plan charges, unlike many other users of the SAME UNLOCKED UNBRANDED DEVICE on AT&T who have reported that happening to them nearly immediately.

posted on 30 Mar 2013, 12:26

18. Pewterl31 (Posts: 4; Member since: 31 Dec 2012)

just a heads up mms will not working if network data is turned off.

posted on 03 Apr 2013, 21:53 1

19. andrewdoes (Posts: 1; Member since: 03 Apr 2013)

I've had AT&T for several years now and have always had a smartphone on a data plan. After seeing the $230 bills for three iPhones I decided something needed to change. 95% of the time, I am in a wifi hotspot. So, I changed all phone imei's on the account to "basic/feature" phones, leaving the SIM cards as-is. My plan is now $130 a month with unlimited talk & text. We do not have network access to the Internet, but wifi works great. Yes, you lose MMS (unless on wifi and sent through iMessage), but you can easily email those pictures and you won't lose the quality. Eventually, I plan on switching to Net10 ($130 for three smartphones) once my contract expires.

To answer your question, it can be done. Walk into a RadioShack as give them the IMEI of the basic phone and they will put it on your account ad can change your plan. No cost. No hassle. No problem.

I know you posted a long time ago, but hopefully this helps.

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 20:26

20. Stormswift (Posts: 2; Member since: 22 Jul 2013)

Yes it can be done. Yes they can turn off data even when you have a smart phone. If they tell you it is not doable it is simply not true. This is how they got away with it in 2008: ran crying to FCC telling big bad customers were using data and refusing to pay and the only way was to force customers with data phones by data plans. That is total bs today because most phones have wifi (watch them force cellphone makers remove wifi from smart phones).Known exceptions are Iphones and possibly Balackberries because by their very nature they are data hogs: they supposedly stay connected all the time? Android, WebOS Windows - all have instructions on how to minimize or eliminate data usage altogether. With Windows phone as stated above you need to turn off everything, turn on battery saver turn off location - just read instructions and follow.Best case scenario and risk free is if your carrier agrees to turn of data on your account. If you also follow the turn off instruction specific to your device that it ifs full proof. I live in wifi environment both at home and work . I have better use for those $35 /month " data plans" than shelling it over to cellphone carrier when I could be using wifi. For someone who implied smartphones are luxury items - seen your carrier's basic phone selection lately? It is practically non-existent and many off the phones have such poor reviews that they are not worth 2 year contract and break before the contract is over stranding customers with phones that do not work and contracts they cannot get out of. There is no reason why customers cannot bring their own smartphone and not be required to get a data plan. If someone is refusing to pay their bill they will not pay it no matter if they have data plan or not

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