How to enable the Personal Hotspot in iOS on Cell C

I tweeted Cell C a while ago and asked about enabling the personal hotspot feature on my iPad. I bought the R1 299 pre-paid offer where you get 24GB over a 12 month period (2GB per month with no rollover). I bought this because the price is really good compared to contract data prices (I previously had a secondary SIM on my MTN contract in my iPad and I used a lot of data and my bill was enormous) and because I wanted a backup for our office ADSL which is erratic (Telkom can’t give us stable and decent connections). My plan for the office is to switch my iPad’s personal hotspot on when needed. Unfortunately when I looked for the option in my iPad’s settings after installing the SIM, the option wasn’t there.

This presented a challenge because I couldn’t do one of the things I wanted the SIM for so I waited for Cell C to get back to me. This morning I was chatting to Reyaan Boltman this morning on Twitter and did a little Googling and found the answer in this article on MyBroadBand. This article prompted me to check out the data settings on the Cell C site and I figured it out from there. The problem on my side is that I had no APN (access point) details in my settings but didn’t think much of it because my device was connected to the network. The iPad needs those settings to enable the personal hotspot. Before I get to that, it is important to note that only the iPad 3 and iPhone 4 (onwards) running iOS5 and up support personal hotspots!

First, go to your Mobile Data settings:

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Type “internet” into both APN fields in your iPad (the iPhone will probably have similar fields):

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When you type in the details, tap in the next field before moving on to the next item or going back to main settings. I typed in the APN details on the one field and immediately went back to Settings and it didn’t stick. Tapping in another field seems to work a bit like “Enter” and captures the new setting. From there, go back to General and then select “Network”:

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It may take a few moments but you should see the Personal Hotspot option appear (you may need to have your iPad on mobile data, as opposed to WiFi, for the device to pick up on the new settings – guessing at this).

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Paul
Enthusiast, marketing strategist, writer, and photographer. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad. Allergic to stupid

11 Comments

  1. Hi Paul, thank you very much for your advice on activating personal hotspot on ipad with Cell C simcard. Very simple but effective! Thanks again.

  2. I bought my ipad mini (dated back to 2013) from USA while i lived there. I don’t have the APN you are talking about. Any ideas ?

      1. yes, i got the new SIM from Cell C yesterday. It is for the 200 G plan for 12 months. The internet on the ipad is working, i just can’t hotspot with it like i could’ve with Vodacom.

  3. ok, i finally found how to work it. Go to “settings”. select “cellular data”. go to “APN Settings”. type “internet” in all three boxes where they ask “APN”. No username or password. Cell C seems to have moved their settings around. HTH someone else.

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