iPad 3G using Etisalat Micro SIM

By on May 6, 2010
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The iPad 3G works great with the Etisalat Micro SIM card

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.


Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of tbreak.com and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

  • prada

    hi, I just got a prepaid DU simcard, clipped it with nail clipper. it's a sensitive work to do, I believe you shouldn't do that if you are 100% sure you can do that. but it works fine with ipad and you can enjoy 3G when there is good reception and Edge when there is not.


    • Reginald

      Guys, I heard there is a thing called micro sim adapter. These guys sell it here: gomicrosim.com .What do you think, is it worth buying one? They say it allows me to use my micro sim card from Ipad in my old Iphone 3g, thus saving bucks on the data plan.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/tbreaknet tbreaknet

        I'd say wait for your local telco to release it officially.

  • http://www.microsim2sim.com Micke

    You can save a lot of $$$ with microSIM adapter
    The main reason why you need this adapter is because you can use the cheap data-plan provided by your mobile service provider on any device other than iPad with the help of the adapter.
    I got mine from http://www.microsim2sim.com, they have it designed with an adhesive layer that keeps your microSIM firm in place at any agle. I think they are the only ones that have this model. Also, they sent me as a bonus a special sticker that i could stick to the normal SIM card and cut out microSIM with the help of the guide lines marked on the stick. Overall it’s a great stuff that will probably save me some money.

  • A.D.

    Hey, Just wondering if the blackberry data plan works on the iPad in terms of using it for browsing and downloading apps?

  • Meera

    I wanna get a micro sim for my ipad which would be cheaper to buy du or etisalat for the data plan?
    or is the mobile sim card cheaper for the ipad use?

  • Ramzi


    I did exactly what you have suggested. I was warned by the Etisalat reps that I could not use the blackberry data package. I could use the iPhone, but I dont have an iPhone, and I dont want to pay for another data package since I already spend 285 on unlimited Global.

    Is there a way to get around this?

    • http://tech.tbreak.com Abbas Jaffar Ali

      Sadly that doesn't work. Blackberry uses a completely different APN (Access Point to connect to the Internet) than the rest of the phones which makes it impossible to use that on any non-BlackkBerry device.

  • hareesh

    i was using a blackberry mobile with unlimited global plan and now i bought a new taw'am sim card one for blackberry and one for micro simcard so can i get mails in both ipad as well as blackberry at the same time?

    Please reply

    its very urgent

  • Sherina

    That was really helpful .. :) thanks

  • CEO

    I bought my ipad2 3G from carrefour Dubai, made the change in APN settings and have tried out everything suggested in various online fora like reset,mnet for APN settings and made numerous calls to service provider,Etisalat. 3G is just Not working,which is making me tear up my hair.The error msg is your cellular network is not act,ivated,you armor not subscribed to a valid data connection. the other SIM card on my Blackberry is working fine for mail and 3G.

    • http://tbreak.com/tech t-break tech

      Maybe the issue is with the hardware? Seems like you have tried all the options already.

      • Ceo

        i was told that by the service provider, I therefore had it replaced,but the problem remains.

    • Umutgenc

      I run into same problem just today. After a minute research, I found other APN settings which worked perfectly.APN: etisalat.aeUsername: 

      Hope this helps.

  • Alexbdeiri

    Hello, do any one knows if I can get sim cart for mr 3G iPad in dubi airport!?

  • Rosibel

    How can we call from ipad3 3G…

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