Thursday, 23 September 2010

Using a Telstra prepaid SIM on a NetComm MyZone

Due to the popularity of the subject, I thought I'd dedicate a post to whoever out there is trying to get his NetComm MyZone wifi hotspot to work using a Telstra prepaid SIM.
The twist in Telstra's case, and the reason why this subject requires a post of its own, is that the only suitable product Telstra would currently give you for your NetComm MyZone is a micro SIM intended to be used by iPad devices, whereas the MyZone requires a normal SIM. The MyZone official website (here) claims micro SIMs won't work on the MyZone, not even with a SIM adapter; my experience says otherwise, and here is how I went about it:
  1. I bought a prepaid iPad SIM from a Telstra shop and had them activate it for me on the spot (you can also do it over the phone). You can see this product's page here.
  2. I bought a micro SIM adapter. You can have a look at how one of these things looks like here. These adapters can be bought at many independent phone shops or on eBay (search for micro SIM or micro SIM adapter and you shall find plenty of offers).
    You can find instructions from Gizmodo for making an adapter yourself through some simple DIY here.
  3. I put the Telstra micro SIM inside the adapter and fit that in my MyZone.
  4. I set the APN on the MyZone to Telstra.internet as per the instructions here (note Telstra advises the use of a different APN on iPads, but their run of the mill APN - Telstra.internet - works well on the MyZone). If you chose to go with another provider then all you need to do is ask them what their default Internet browsing APN is.
That was it: From here the MyZone worked like a charm.
As for recharging this prepaid SIM: Telstra's recharge page for their iPad micro SIMS (here) has been designed for iPad browsing; since I don't have an iPad I find it easy to recharge using the Safari browser on my iPhone. Still, there are plenty of other recharge options available for you to use even if you don't have an iPhone, like this other web page here or over the phone.


Anonymous said...

Tried this today. Following all the instructions. But Telstra monitor show or identifies the iPad SIM as a standard plan and charges 5c/Mb anyway. So doesnt seem to "trick the iPad SIM into giving you the 1c/Mb as when you use on the iPad. So maybe Telstra have fixed this loophole somehow?

Moshe Reuveni said...

That's odd; I never had any such issues. Maybe it's because I'm using a prepaid service? Or maybe you should just complain to Telstra?
I sort of find it hard to believe they're sophisticated enough to realize you're not using an iPad. After all, there's nothing to prevent you from jail breaking an iPad.

Anonymous said...

Netcomm MyZone: I'm using the Telstra Next G 12 month 10GB prepaid with Telstra mini SIM, which is fine for a light user, but you can top up anyway.