Last night I took an hour to activate my unlocked GSM Pre2 and get it onto a prepaid T-Mobile account. The webOS 2.1 device was a developer phone that I received direct from HP which I've been using to develop some apps for my online youth ministry management website, JabberGroups.com.
There were a few lessons learned, however, overall it was a pretty smooth process. Hopefully, this might help somebody else who is attempting to do the same thing.
One thing to keep in mind -- I don't live near a T-Mobile store, so I had to do everything on my own. It might be easier to just walk into the store and ask for help.
Here are the steps.
- Get an unlocked HP Pre2. Mine came directly from HP as part of their developer promotion, but Amazon and Ebay are good places to pick one up also. When you get your hands on a Pre2, you will quickly realize that it is everything that the original Pre was meant to be! Excellent device!
- You will need to purchase a T-Mobile Prepaid SIM card. I got mine at Amazon for about $5.
- Next, I ran the webOS Doctor process. Because I was previously using this device for developer purposes, I did not have it associated with a Palm Profile. Running webOS Doctor restores your device to factory condition, making it ready to activate with a Palm Profile and match it to a carrier. This process will take several minutes. If you are obtaining a brand new Pre2 device, you probably won't need to do this step.
- While that is going on, follow the activating instructions that came with the PrePaid Sim Card kit. There is a weblink that you will need to visit to key in the necessary information to establish your account. You can go ahead and select your plan and add funds. I skipped the plan selection / funding step because I was wanting to sign up for a "Pay as You Go" plus Web DayPass ($1.49 day), which I was not seeing during this process.
- Now, my Pre2 was ready for the SIM Card. I popped it in and the phone quickly recognized that it was now on the T-Mobile network.
- At that point, the Pre2 attempts to go through the account setup process. However, it couldn't do anything because there was no data established with the new T-Mobile account. The Pre2 requires a data connection (not wi-fi) to get setup. A quick phone call to T-Mobile revealed that I could NOT simply sign up for the Web DayPass plan without first having a data connection to TMobile's network. I know, a Catch-22!
To get around this, I simply opted for the lowest priced voice/data plan they offered (1,500 Talk/Text and 30MB Data) for $30/month. Now that this account is established, I can now switch between plans to get exactly what I desire.
Why go through all of this? And why T-Mobile?
Well, I'm at the end of my 1-year Verizon contract on my Pre Plus and am anticipating the Pre3 later this summer. T-Mobile offers very attractive prices on their PrePaid plans (more affordable than AT&T). So, although there was a little hassle involved, I'm now looking at a sweet, activated Pre2 as my "bridge" device. I'll wait til the Pre3 comes out and gets discounted - and then make the jump to a new contract device.
Or....maybe I'll really enjoy not being tied to a contract! I'll keep you updated here at weboscenter.com....