Everyone now knows that the iPhone 3Gs in Italy are unlocked, capable of working with any operator and any Sim. This means that once a phone has been purchased (with contract or without contract), you can call or surf with any card. It is a convenience that in few countries of the world (practically in none) is so easy and immediately accessible that it constitutes a real "plus" for customers who are lucky enough to be able to use it. Yet it is not uncommon to find, even on our forum, people who complain that they have not been able to navigate or have failed to set the iPhone correctly. This happens, mainly, for a problem related to the Apn, or to the setting of the Access Point Name.
WHAT IS THE APN? The APN is the gateway to get to the exchange of data with your mobile phone. In practice it is the system with which a mobile network accesses the Internet. The system is controlled by an authentication process that basically passes by reading the Sim parameters. In practice, each mobile operator has its own APN and on some occasions there are different APNs depending on the services and even the types of subscription. If you enter the wrong one, you just don't navigate. This is especially true for iPhone than for some dedicated operators; for example for Vodafone the Apn iphone.vodafone.it.
THE APN SETTING Fortunately for those who have a Tim or Vodafone phone it is not necessary to make any changes to the Apn. The iPhone, thanks to the data bundles in the firmware, auto-sets itself on the apn of the card that interests us. Only if we use an "unofficial" mobile operator card will we have to change the APN. To do this, just insert the Sim (Wind, Tre or any other, also foreign, that we want to use), go to settings -> general -> Network -> general data network. At that point you will have the opportunity to use the apn that interests us (for three naviga.tre.it, for wind internet.wind). On some occasions, however, it could be useful, if not even indispensable, to include other APNs also with the Vodafone and Tim cards; the case of those who use a corporate APN for example. But if for Tim, after the last micro update, the editable Apn, for Vodafone it does not (the network setting option remains hidden) and this can cause small and big problems.
PROBLEMS WITH THE VODAFONE APN The "problem" occurs in some rare cases, for example for those who have a data subscription signed with the British mobile operator and do not subscribe to the iPhone pack. In this case, the iPhone apn remains the one established for the Vodafone Sim (iphone.vodafone.it) and this, not having the Vodafone pack active, does not allow us to navigate. In reality in other cases this problem does not seem to exist; for example if you have a normal consumer contract, as experienced in the editorial office. Those with this type of contract seem to be able to navigate smoothly. Probably only those who have a contract with an "agreed price" data package have the block. The APN gets stuck and there is apparently no way to change it. In reality there are many ways to do it, some simple and the result of third-party work, some supported directly by Apple, others handcrafted but still efficient. And this also with Vodafone, despite the fact that the mobile operator in its FAQ seems to say the opposite, i.e. the obligation of a pack for iPhone. When we say "modify it" we mean inserting the one of the promotion that interests us and take advantage of the data bundle we have available, as well as the iPhone to browse. In the case of Vodafone, for example, web.omnitel.it. But how can we do it since apparently this is not possible?
APN CHANGER The first solution offered by the Internet service APN Changer for 3G iPhones which we can access directly from iPhone via Safari. The service modifies the iPhone APN for free and collects any donations from satisfied users. In practice, a few simple steps are enough and the APN is modified as we see fit. And the change remains permanent even after iPhone is turned off.
UTILITY APPLY The second solution to set the APN of our liking is offered directly by Apple with the iPhone Configuration Utility 1.0 program for Mac. Once the 2.29 MB file has been downloaded and the application is installed we can create all the iPhone profiles we want with an easy to use point and click interface to set up VPN, Wi-Fi settings, email accounts, certificates, permissions and, among many other things, also the APN. A second opportunity, always presented by Apple, comes from the iPhone Configuration Web Utility 1.0 for Mac (but there is also a version for Windows); it is a web application that responds to the localhost address: 3000 (to be launched from an Internet browser) which allows all Configuration Web Utility configurations
FOR SMANETTONIO in addition to the two options above, there is a third that does without any third-party applications and support. It is an "analog" setting which provides for the insertion of a Sim of Three, Tim or Wind.
In this way, by accessing the Settings, General, Network section, the APN field will appear for manual entry. Let's use it to enter an APN that interests us most. At this point we go back one menu, that is to say we go to the Network screen. We remove the Sim that allowed us the variation and re-insert our Vodafone Sim into the iPhone: at this point the APN field remains available and allows you to modify it as we wish. For example, it becomes possible to insert it instead of the official Vodafone APN for iPhone: iphone.vodafone.it now let's modify it with the traditional one, always by vodafone: web.omnitel.it
Ultimately with the Italian 3G iPhones it is truly possible to call and surf the Web with any Sim from any operator. This implies that, for example, we will be able to buy an iPhone without subscriptions and without plans for Web traffic created specifically by Tim and Vodafone for iPhone and access with other plans, perhaps more convenient because they are stipulated with other operators, with a corporate footprint or, perhaps, with the same operators Tim and Vodafone, but with more generous data bundles. There are several out there and in some cases it is a pity to waste them.