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Apple iPhone Troubleshooting Tip – “Could not activate cellular data network”

Written By Samrat| 8 October 2008| 83 Comments

Last week when I updated my Apple iPhone 3G with the new firmware updated version 2.0.2 released recently. As usual the iPhone worked perfectly normal after this upgrade, but surprisingly today morning when I tried to check my mails on the phone it started giving following error “Could not activate cellular data network” which I expected to be related to service provider and blamed them but later something else actually happened. I tried restarting the iPhone for several times but it didn’t work at all for a long time after a series of attempts.

I really got fed up and I tried calling AirTel customer care, but they suggested me to call Apple Care India(1800-425-0744) which is toll free and I expected some good support from them. When I called Apple Care people for help, they guided me to the following URL to have a look at support information on iPhone: http://www.apple.com/support/iphone/in/. So again with a hope to fix it I tried opening the web page but the above link disappointed me by giving “Page Not Found” error( Apple are you Listening? sorry Reading?).

None of the above information or support helped me to resolve this issue, then I came back to home and started searching for this problem on Google(Yes I believe in Google) expecting some useful information. Fortunately I found some useful information which gave me some relief after all the attempts.

I had resolved this issue very easily by following these steps(twice):

Go to: Menu > Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Once you Reset the network settings, iPhone3G got restarted and then above issue got resolved related to cellular network and now it was working fine. Thank God(Should I say Thank you Google?).



83 Comments »

  • taxman said:

    thank you after hours and i do mean hours of trying to sort the same problem on my iphone after a update to firmware version 2.2, i found your blog and your tip has helped me resolve my problem

  • Kim said:

    thank you. This worked for me too even though I have the original iPhone, not the 3G.

  • tash said:

    Thanks, iphone fixed….i thought it was the bushfires!

  • Mark said:

    great thanks, fixed mine too, had the same issue all over sudden and no clue why it happend

  • Alex said:

    You are amazing!! Thanks so much. This works for original IPhone too!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

  • Tina said:

    Hi all…
    I’ve been having the same problem, ‘could not activate cellular data network’. I’ve tried the resetting network settings and it hasn’t fixed the problem. I thought it may be a tzones issue so I upgraded to the full internet pkg w/tmobile. Still doesn’t recognize the courier. I can only access internet via wifi. This started last week so it sounds like others may be having the same problem. Any suggestions?

  • Samrat said:

    @Tina

    Just try it the way as explained in the post….

  • Tina said:

    Ummm….tried that before I posted. I have a 1G w/2.0.2 firmware if that makes any difference.

  • lee said:

    i have the original iphone and this does not work for me grrrrrrrrrrrrr

  • Sarah said:

    Hi all,

    my interenet will not connect either, saying the same thing with another msg saying “safari cannot open the page because it is not connected to the internet” even though there’s a 3G sign etc. Phone O2 who tole me to do what SAMRAT did and after a few attempts at doing this it STILL is not working. does anyone have any other suggestions?????????

    any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!

  • Raven said:

    I have the original IPhone, “Could Not Activate Cellular Data Netowrk” error. Reset the network settings twice, no luck!

  • sivaramaiah said:

    my iphone is frozen on the apple logo, I tried resetting but that didn’t work, every time I turn it off and on again it just freezes on the apple logo.

    Pls help

  • Rajan said:

    I do experienced the same problem and especially when you move around differnt countries this problem will hapen often.
    To solve the problem better to reset network settings.

    The another way, is select automatic and switch off before selecting automatically to select the network.
    Once you have reached the location and if power ON and there is no problem will occur. I believe it is Iphone software bug.
    Also it takes too long to search networks to select.

    For info, thanks.,

  • Samrat said:

    @Rajan

    Thank you for the information…

  • gabe said:

    thanks! i have the 3g 2.2.1 and i jailbroke it and i had the same problem , now it works

  • rahul said:

    hey samrat..

    ur tip really worked..i was worried after my iphone started showing same error…after searching on google for sometime..ur tip was the most relevant and apt..

    maybe u should email this to apple and airtel and many other customers might be saved of this trouble.

    keep up the good work..

    ciao

  • Anna said:

    OMG! Thank you so much! I have the original phone and it worked afterI spent hours trying to figure this out. Thank you!!

  • Sameer said:

    Thanks dude, thanks google :) FINALLY got this figured out.

  • erick said:

    ive try everything of the above and my ipgone still isnt working!!! getting really annoyed that i cant do anything useful with it!

  • Nobu said:

    Thanks! It works.

  • icckleblackcat said:

    For those still having the problem with o2 payg the answer can be found here:

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=9651970

  • Marty said:

    Thanks for this great infomation. It worked perfectly.

  • Marie said:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have a 1G phone and it was losing my voicemail messages and I couldn’t read my email, big problem when you’re trying to arrange housing for a sibling several states away.

  • eclipsepix85 said:

    I had this trouble too,.after updating my 2g to v3.0 and jailbreaking/unlocking.,,,..

    Just type wap.voicestream.com under your apn / cell data settings… leave user and pass blank and back out, refresh by hitting weather or ect… and it should reload your tmo net edge settings….

    worked for me…

  • Tom said:

    WARNING! – Reset Network Settings deletes any wi-fi passwords you have stored.

    Best to check that it’s not a network problem before trying a reset.

  • Tom said:

    Thanks for this advice, unfortunately still didn’t solve my problem, found the answer at http://www.tutorialhelpcentre.com/blog/iPhone_Fix:_Could_not_activate_cellular_data_network thanks again though :)

  • Sheryl said:

    Thanks mate!!! I got the same problem and ur advice helped me fixing it

  • Larry said:

    I had this issue the morning after updating to the new 3.1 software upgrade on an iPhone 3GS. Resetting network settings resolved the problem.

  • Monica Fineis said:

    This worked for me! Thanks!

  • Josy said:

    Thanks so much!! This worked for my old hacked Iphone too.

  • jim hollander said:

    thanks, that worked for me too, and i have an original iphone.

    Jim

  • Ilse Gey van Pittius said:

    Thanx!!! Your blog helped me and now I am connected once again.

  • Jordan Cole said:

    Mine iPhone says im not suscribed to a cellular data network…anyone know how to suscribe? Would really appriciate a reply x

  • Kisha said:

    thank you sooooo very much !! urgh

  • Gemm said:

    Hi, I have a 3gs 16gb iphone im in australia and this tip didnt work for me i have been at this for hours now and still cant do it, does anyone else have any tips? im seriously running out of patience for this.

  • Gilles Desplanque said:

    Absolutely super thanks!
    not only did you solve this problem
    but you also solved a trouble with my mail and internet connection at home on my iphone!
    G.

  • Dallas said:

    Wow you are a godsend!! It totally worked!!

  • Huy said:

    YESSSSS it works!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!! I was pissed off and was about to go to ATT store but it was closed!

  • Chaz said:

    Hi,
    By following your instructions is there any chance that my iphone could re lock its self. it started saying this when i updated the phone and had it unlocked to all networks.
    clearly i dont want it to lock again because then it would be completely useless, but if this can help get internet etc that would be great.
    Thanks

  • Joe said:

    :O it hasn’t worked for me i have the original iphone as well :S

  • cau2germany said:

    thanks you so much for your tip :)

  • CherryDarling said:

    This isn’t working! My buddy said to do the same thing but it still is’nt working! I’m freaked out because I need my phone!!! I have the 3Gs. Help anyone. :(

  • Rick said:

    ENTERING THIS ON MY NETWORK APN: WAP.VOICESTREAM.COM WORKED PERFECTLY FOR ME! THANKS PEOPLE!

  • Don Draper said:

    Thanks @eclipsepix85

    “Just type wap.voicestream.com under your apn / cell data settings… leave user and pass blank and back out, refresh by hitting weather or ect… and it should reload your tmo net edge settings….”

    I have a 2g, v3.1.2, and resetting my network setting did nothing, but this solved the problem.

  • Wesley said:

    It won’t even let me reset network settings! Please help

  • shell said:

    you absolute legend mu phone has been doing my head in you fixed me problem thank you
    shell

  • chris said:

    Didn’t work for me too unfortunately, but i followed a suggestion with the link above and it worked for me.

    Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data Network > now change the APN under cellular data to mobile.o2.co.uk

    thanks all

  • Ewan said:

    If anyone from the UK is having this problem then here’s how to fix it:

    You will need to go to – Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data Network…

    Under ‘Cellular Data’ you will see that ‘APN’ says ‘idata.o2.co.uk’… If you are on Pay & Go then ‘APN’ needs to read ‘payandgo.o2.co.uk’ or if you are Pay Monthly then ‘APN’ needs to read ‘mobile.o2.co.uk’… There is no need to change either ‘username’ or ‘password’… Also you can leave the ‘Visual Voicemail’ settings as they are…

    This should hopefully fix it for you too… If it doesn’t work then try switching ‘payandgo.o2.co.uk’ for ‘mobile.o2.co.uk’ or vice versa…

  • Kerri said:

    Sorry this did not work for me

  • Travis said:

    I have an Unlocked/Jailbroken Iphone 2G that is now on AT&T. I ran into this same problem and the above method fixed it right away. Thank you!

  • Vanessa Marx said:

    Hey OMG!ThankYou sooo much I was all worried that my phone was messed up or something and i just got it so ya but thanx anyway very helpful!

  • javir said:

    DO THIS IF IT DON T WORK GO A GO TO SDETTING WHERE CELLER DATA NETWORKS IS AND CHANGE IT ALL TO PAYANDGO.COM OR .CO.UK THEN IT WILL WORK

  • Steph said:

    Thanks very much Tom your a Star!! Tried everything then your last option has actually worked. ive been trying to fix this problem for ages!! Im soo happy now thanks again!! :D

  • Scarred Sean-o said:

    Thank very much, it works fine now ^.^

    If I know anyone who’s having the same problem, I’ll say it’s all thanks to you.

  • Tosin said:

    Thanks, this didnt work for me but i also found a solution at http://www.tutorialhelpcentre.com/blog/iPhone_Fix:_Could_not_activate_cellular_data_network

    Very annoying problem!

  • Eorl crabtree said:

    Tom ur a legend, got my mrs an iphone and she has bitched at me for hours!!! now fixed, can watch rugby in peace

  • Alice said:

    Thank you it worked for me….I have the iPhone

  • Andy said:

    Thanks a lot,
    worked straight away

  • sarah said:

    Worked perfectly, thank you for the advice.

  • jasmine said:

    oh my goodnesss!!!! thank you so much i was wondering why my internet couldnt work!

  • steph said:

    THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU legend xxx

  • Chris J said:

    worked on my iphone4 as well, seems obvious but to a brand new user was very nice to have this info available so thank you very much!

  • sarb singh said:

    safrai will not load and says \ could not activate cellular data network\

  • shams said:

    thnx.it workd on ma iphone 2g

  • nizam said:

    For T-mobile users do the follwoing:
    Settings- General- Network and then put the following info:

    APN: general.t-mobile.uk
    Username: user
    Password: pass

    Worked for me! :-)

  • Usman said:

    Hey!!! I;ve tried doing ” reset network settings” but still its showing the same message.

  • Rick said:

    Thank you so much for this information. I was worried for a minute because I accidentally dropped my phone prior to getting that message. So relieved now.

  • emma said:

    Hi.
    I currently have the iPhone 4, having the same problem! Tried resetting the network settings and it still isn’t letting me text people.
    There is no 3G sign in the corner, wondering if anybody could give me any suggections!?

  • Andrew said:

    YES THANK YOU! :P
    I ignored it for weeks but I got annoyed and wanted to settle things out.

  • vijay said:

    hi,

    I have iphone 4G with latest iOS4.3 just upgraded 3 days before but i have same problem while opening messages i am getting the same error “could not activate cellular data network”

    Please someone help me to resolved this…

    regards,

    vijay

  • Jimmi Hendrix said:

    THIS IS HOW I FIXED IT:
    SETTINGS > GENERAL > NETWORK > THEN TURN ‘DATA ROAMING’ OFF

    HOPE IT HELPS

  • Jeanette said:

    It worked!!!! Thank you

  • Rohit said:

    I had did same way put mine is giving same information Data cellular networking not working choose another. Anybody give some idea please?

  • kutaktahu said:

    Thanks..useful information for beginner iphone owner like me…

  • joel said:

    are you like some kind of iphone god?

  • ALDEN said:

    HELLO.I DID THIS JOB,BUT MY IPHONE STILL NOT WORKING!NOW,I AM VERRY TIERD,LIKE MY IPHONE…!PLEASE EVERYBODY!HELP ME TO FIXED…!

  • Sarah said:

    Thank You Thank You!!!! It worked Great! Appreciate the info..It was driving me crazy that I couldn’t text…

  • wapz said:

    hi….. same problem of my iphone 3g.cant access coz could not acess cellular data network….ive tried reseting the network but still not working…any help pls….ive already tried in many times as what in the post above….

  • suresh said:

    thank u so much for this information…

  • shyane said:

    WOW!! I’m glad i found this.. it really fixed my phone. thanks :D

  • Kat said:

    Thank you. This works for iPhone4 as well. I was about to blame my phone compagny as well, but you gotta Google first I guess ;)

  • Terry said:

    Brill – first time correction, did not even have to reboot ……it just worked. Thankyou for the advice.

  • Anderson said:

    Thanks! This fixed my issues with Siri and browsing the web!

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