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---
title: How to get an iPhone in Montana (before Verizon came)
categories:
- Technology
tags:
- iPhone
- Montana
status: publish
type: post
published: true
meta:
_edit_last: '1'
_rawhtml_settings: '0,0,0,0'
_wpbitly: 'http://bit.ly/WQDR6a'
_su_title: ''
date: 2010-02-03T00:00:00.000Z
redirect_from: /blog/technology/how-to-get-an-iphone-in-montana-before-verizon-came/
---
<strong>EDIT(Mar 8, 2011):Well, now that the <a href="http://www.engadget.com/apple/verizon-iphone/">iPhone is available on Verizon</a>, Montana's biggest cell carrier, this post is more of just an archived look at what we used to have to deal with during the 4 dark years of a mainly iPhone-less Montana.</strong>
I have an iPhone 3G in Montana with a (406) area code phone number that I brought over from Verizon (the phone number, not the iPhone) with me about a year ago. It works <strong>great</strong>! It took a little bit of work to get it rolling, but it's actually not too hard. If you're willing to jump through a few hoops, I'll explain in plain English how to get the coolest piece of technology in existence.
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Before we begin, a minor background on the situation for the uninitiated. iPhones are currently only sold in the US on AT&amp;T. AT&amp;T is not available in Montana. The main option here is Verizon Wireless, which most of the Montanans I know have. The reason you can't get an iPhone on Verizon is because the iPhone &amp; AT&amp;T "speaks" <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM" target="_blank">GSM</a> and Verizon &amp; it's phones "speak" <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CDMA_2000" target="_blank">CDMA</a>. However, Cellular One is in Montana and does "speak" GSM, so you can get an iPhone on Montana's Cell One. To allow an iPhone to get on a cell carrier that speaks it's language (GSM), there is a process called "unlocking" that allows your phone to get on any network. <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2007/08/24/know-your-rights-is-it-illegal-to-unlock-my-iphone/" target="_blank">Unlocking is not illegal</a>.
So, here's what you need to do to get an iPhone in Montana.
<ol>
<li><strong>Buy an iPhone</strong>. In order of preferred method: ask your friends, check the <a href="http://craigslist.org" target="_blank">Craigslist</a> for your area, or buy one off <a href="http://cell-phones.shop.ebay.com/Cell-Phones-Smartphones-/3312/i.html?_nkw=iphone&amp;_catref=1&amp;_fln=1&amp;_trksid=p3286.c0.m282" target="_blank">eBay</a>. It doesn't have to be an "unlocked" one you see frequently on eBay. That just means that the next step is taken care of for you, which is the hardest, but still doable.</li>
<li><strong>Unlock it</strong>. So there's jailbreaking and there's unlocking. Jailbreaking is the process that allows one to run anything you want on a device, like an application that will unlock your phone and allow it on any network. (<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jailbreak_%28iPhone%29" target="_blank">More info on Jailbreaking here</a>-great info). So you jailbreak so you can get unlocked from AT&amp;T. To start, <a href="http://www.iclarified.com/entries/index.php?caid=2&amp;scid=11&amp;seid=1" target="_blank">Go here and select a tutorial</a> that matches the iPhone you got and the Operating System you have. Follow it. You might have to try it a couple times, but don't worry about messing it up because you can always just restore your iPhone's Operating System and start over. If you're having problems, listen to what the <a href="http://blog.iphone-dev.org/" target="_blank">iPhone Dev team</a> has to say as they are the grand masters. Oh, and <strong>never</strong> pay for an unlocking software.</li>
<li><strong>Setup service with </strong><a href="http://www.cellonenation.com/" target="_blank"><strong>Cellular One</strong></a>. If you want to keep your number, tell Cell One that and they'll prepare the paperwork to send to your current cell carrier. Tell them that you already have a phone and you just need a SIM card. The plan I have is unlimited data/unlimited voice/unlimited texts for $89/month. I should note that a major drawback to this whole plan is that Cell One doesn't have service outside of Montana. You can roam, but you can't use your data plan (ie no Google Maps), which TOTALLY SUCKS, I know, but is a con I'm personally willing to accept for all the pros I get from an iPhone while I'm in Montana (which is 99% of the time). The suggested course of action is to get roaming credits before any out of state trip as that is much cheaper than paying roaming fees after the fact. Also, it should be noted that <strong>you don't have to sign a contract </strong>since you own your own phone. I'm on a month-to-month contract and can leave with my iPhone at any time :)</li>
<li><strong>Insert Cell One SIM card into unlocked iPhone</strong>. Test call someone. Brag that you got an iPhone. Hopefully you didn't piss them off, because you'll want them to call you back to test incoming calls too.</li>
<li><strong>Setup Picture Messaging &amp; Data Network</strong>.
Under Settings&gt;General&gt;Network&gt;Cellular Data Network
<strong>Cellular Data</strong>
APN: internet.chinookwireless.net
Username: <em>blank</em>
Password: <em>blank</em>
<strong>MMS</strong>
APN: wapgw.chinookwireless.net
Username: <em>blank</em>
Password: <em>blank</em>
MMSC: http://mms.cellonenation.net/mms/
MMS Proxy: 204.181.155.195:8080</li>
<li><strong>Test Text &amp; Pic Messages. </strong>Send one of each to some asking them to send a test one back. Picture messages take a little bit to send. Be patient.</li>
<li><strong>Test Anywhere Internet</strong>. Go into settings and turn off your WiFi if you're by some. You'll see and "E" in the top indicating that you're connected to Cell One's EDGE network. Open Safari and go somewhere. If it's not working, go back into your Network Settings and check the Settings again, sometimes they don't stick.</li>
<li><strong>Rejoice!</strong></li>
</ol>
OK, that wraps it up I think. If there's anything I missed, leave it in the comments and I'll edit the post to integrate the info. Also, I just wanted to say that I am in NO WAY involved with Cellular One or Apple, nor am I making any money off this, I just want to share with you this method as it is our only way to get an iPhone working in Montana. Well, besides getting an iPhone from AT&amp;T in another state and just roaming in Montana, which isn't that bad of an idea. I have friends that do that and don't have any big problems, they just have crappier reception than I do. Finally, if you followed this post and wanted to say thanks, just leave a comment at the bottom so I know that it was appreciated. Hope this helped!
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