How I fixed my iPhone 3GS

When I purchased my iPhone 3GS from Vodacom the tethering functionality wasn’t available and Vodacom couldn’t tell me when or even if it would be supported. So I followed some guidance on the interwebs and installed custom carrier profiles to try and fix it. It worked for a few days and then upon changing my cellular network APN name from iphone.vodacom.za to internet, the tethering option disappeared, never to return again.

When Vodacom finally released support for it in iPhone firmware update 3.1.2 the tething option still didn’t return. And then subsequently the Visual Voicemail feature also didn’t activate. This really became annoying and I decided to jailbreak 3.1.3 so I could make the iPhone a WiFi access point for my new iPad WiFi. Using Tether I managed to fix the tethering options but couldn’t get Visual Voicemail to work at all.

On release of iOS 4.0 my phone functionality got progressively more impaired when I lost the ability to send and receive MMS – the settings were there, but it just didn’t activate. Another nuisance was that I kept receiving a Vodacom carrier update which applied successfully every time yet continued to prompt me on the device and through iTunes.

After much procrastination I synced everything off my iPhone and saved my text message database by extracting it from the latest backup and did that awful thing – I erased all content on my iPhone. When prompted to I connected it to iTunes, activated it and set it up as a new phone, wishing not to restore bad settings to the phone. I checked out the settings and lo and behold, the entire cellular data network settings menu option had disappeared. Good grief, it was worse than before!

iPhone3GS_Missing_CellularDataNetwork

In addition under the About menu it reported that my Carrier was Not Available. Previously this had reported Vodacom 5.0 or Vodacom 5.1 if I recall correctly.

iPhone3GS_Carrier_NotAvailable

I then attempted a restore to iOS 4.0.1 from within iTunes itself. It must have done something differently as suddenly my iPhone now has tethering, MMS and Visual Voicemail all working perfectly. Oh and the Vodacom 7.0 carrier update applied and soon afterward the Vodacom 7.1 carrier update went through too.

iPhone3GS_Carrier_Updated

So if you’re iPhone is acting all wonky, I highly recommend restoring it using the latest firmware and setting it up as a new phone.