Having trouble activating the G1 Android Google Phone?
If you buy the G1 Android in a store, you probably won’t have problems activating it since they help you set it up. However, if you buy the phone online and use an existing SIM card, I suggest calling T-mobile first to make sure you have the G1 data plan on your line. I had problems activating the phone since I assumed that my existing data plan would work ok. Not the case. It looks like T-Mobile has locked down the G1 phones to ONLY activate on lines with the G1 data service.
I had the smart phone unlimited internet service on my account (which costs exactly the same as the G1 service) and it kept on erroring out. The message said that the phone was unable to communicate with the Google servers. I also tried following directions on some forums that said you can “use any T-mobile phone with a data plan” to activate it. It didn’t work for me. Even though I had the “Edge” connection icon on the phone, the activation would keep on failing.
I wanted to see if changing the APN settings would do anything. No luck there. On the bright side, I learned how to hard reset the G1 Android! Hold the home + power buttons to turn on the G1. Once the phone turns on and displays an icon of the phone, open the keyboard and hold alt first + w. NOTE: This will ERASE all data on the phone and restore it to factory settings.
So, I ended up calling T-mobile and changed my smart phone unlimited internet service to the G1 data plan. They told me it would take up to 24 hours for the plan to take effect. I checked within 30 minutes and the phone finally was able to activate. My guess is that they run some kind of firewall rule on the smart phone unlimited internet plan that prevents access to the Google activation server.
T-mobile must have made the change last month when they restructured their data plans with text messaging being mandatory. Previously, the unlimited internet for smartphones was $19.95 and had the option of signing up for a text message plan. You now need to sign up for the 400 message ($5 extra, same price as before) or unlimited text plan ($15 extra, reasonably priced for unlimited) On the bright side, I’m glad they added a $10 smart phone data plan for users that don’t need to use internet as much (100 MB bandwidth quota per month) Thats plenty for users who check their Twitter once in a while and check traffic/news.