Call it luck or call it being at the right place at the right time but I am now a proud owner of the iPad 3G. I was in the US for a Blackberry conference and Apple decided to launch the iPad 3G a couple of days before I was leaving. I called the local Apple Store in San Antonio, Texas that afternoon of launch (April 30th) and they told me that they’ll be shutting the store between 4-5PM to equip themselves for the iPad 3G. I reached at 5:40PM and managed to walk away with a 16GB unit. That same weekend, I saw a press release by Etisalat about the launch of the Micro SIM. The stars were aligned.
I came back to Dubai on Monday and called Etisalat on Tuesday. Since we all love ranting on Etisalat, lets get that quint-essential part out of the way. The Etisalat representative told me that the Micro SIM is available at all Etisalat outlets and I was near Dubai Mall. So I specifically asked her if I should be able to get it in the Dubai Mall store and she said yes. However, the Dubai Mall store was clueless. The person I spoke to didnt even know what a Micro SIM was but another guy did and he said that I’ll only be able to get it at an Etisalat Business Center for now. So on Wednesday morning, that’s exactly what I did.
The good thing is that you can get the Micro SIM in a Tawaam package which gives you two SIM cards for your number. I picked that up and replaced the SIM on my Blackberry- the service was working within 15 minutes of me getting the new SIM cards which is impressive. Now, as you can see from the picture below, the Micro SIM can basically snap out of the regular SIM just like the regular SIM snaps out of the business card sized pack you get. This allows you to use the SIM with your normal phone until you get a device that requires a Micro SIM (such as the upcoming iPhone) so I would suggest upgrading whenever you can.
The second Micro SIM went inside my iPad and the following video will show you that.
The only thing I needed to do was go into the carrier settings and manually set the APN to etisalat.ae for it to work. If you remember, this had to be done on the iPhone as well until it was officially released and followed by a carrier update patch- I assume the same thing will happen once the iPad 3G is officially rolled out in the Middle East. Using Speed tests. I was able to get about 1.17Mbps speed on the Etisalat network- pretty decent.
I’ve contacted du as well and should hopefully be receiving a Micro SIM from them as well that I can test for speed. But for now, if you have an iPad 3G, Etisalat is offering you a Micro SIM that works perfectly with it. In fact, any Micro SIM should work as the iPad is carrier unlocked. If your carrier does not provide a Micro SIM yet, you can get a little adventurous and cut your regular SIM into a Micro sized one- just don’t blame us if it doesn’t work.