Tuesday, November 13, 2012

iPhone LTE data with a Docomo nano SIM

Via commenter Willy comes a post purporting to have LTE data working on an iPhone using Docomo's Xi network. The post is in Japanese, so I'll explain below in English. It seems he:
  1. Started a contract for Xi with a Docomo nanoSiM (aka nanoUIM) with an factory unlocked iPhone.
  2. Turned on data roaming (Not sure why - maybe because DCM is not in carrier.plist?).
  3. Set the APN to open.mopera.net.
  4. Used iTunes to restore the 6.0.1 firmware, downloadable from here:
His carrier version is 13.0. He confirmed that power cycling the phone, yanking (and replacing) the SIM, and turning off roaming didn't affect the ability to connect to LTE. Turning off automatic carrier selection shuts off data, however.

If this works for a Docomo SIM, it should work for a b-mobile SIM. I don't have any idea why simply restoring the firmware would work. As always, do any of this sort of thing at your own risk!


  1. Is the APN open.mopera.net safe to use (same as mopera.net?) or will addt. charges occur? I am using an unlocked iPhone 5 with mopera.net...

  2. As far as I can tell, there should be no problem. Because using an unlocked iPhone with Xi is allowed and not in breach of your contract, this should be something you can confirm with a DCM store. Be aware that you might get incorrect information though:


    If you haven't already, register for my docomo so you can view online billing information. It is usually a day out of date, but if something goes wrong, you'll catch it in about a day, when the financial damage is still minimal.

    My guess is that it should be no problem to use the open.mopera APN, but I can't guarantee that. I'm reading that it is basically the same but doesn't include any port filtering. Gizmodo (j) has also picked this up, so if it is a problem, you won't be the only one who gets a funky bill!

  3. Is there a link to nanoUIM?

    How much does it cost etc?

  4. So guys, I went to the DoCoMo shop today and picked up a nanoSim. Tried the procedure but no go with LTE. I also did the double restore/update procedure found here: http://gadget-shot.com/news/11551

    Maybe it also has to do with the iPhone 5 version. I have the A129 (CDMA + GSM) version.. but it is from Verizon - Model: MD655LL. Maybe only the Hong Kong Models work?

    Would be great if anybody could post if they got it working. I hope that maybe with iOS 6.1 (currently Beta 2) it will become universally available.

  5. Didn't work on mine either. Mine is purchased in Singapore, it's GSM model A1429, which supports Docomo LTE Band 1.
    It takes long time to restore my backup, so I didn't want to retry.

  6. Didn't work on a GSM model A1429 from Australia either.

  7. This actually worked for me. Using HK unlocked iPhone5, 64Gb. I did the 'force update' once and no dice, still 3G. I just did it again now and I now have LTE. The iPhone field test menu also shows LTE information, so I don't think it's just a false badge.

    Some prelim speed testing gives me about 8Mbps downstream, which isn't amazing but above what 3g can handle I suppose.

    Heard some people say that the CDMA models will only do LTE on CDMA (not GSM) and hence won't work with docomo, but not sure.

  8. Can you send us some more information like screenshots and what not and whatever else would be useful to iOS users?

  9. I followed the instructions to the dot essentially. LTE works, but the phone often falls back to 3G and then seems to struggle to pickup LTE again if you remain in the same place. I've found that when moving from cell to cell, it will often switch back to LTE from 3G. If you make a call, it switches to 3G (as expected as the iphone 5 doesn't support simultaneous voice and LTE data).

    The Japanese video above and linked post is really all I did. I'm happy to try to answer specific questions of course!

  10. Oh, and I actually use just mopera.net as the APN, not open.mopera.net as the poster in the original Japanese post did. I don't think the APN should have any impact on whether you can connect to the cell tower via LTE or not. It works with both open.mopera.net and just mopera.net. My impression is that mopera.net is a touch faster, but that could be a fluke.