Updated: T-Mobile USA’s Prepaid Web Daypass – Now Available For Android

Updated 26-Nov-2010 The Web Daypass now works on all phones including Android devices.

T-Mobile introduced a new Web Day Pass option for its prepaid users this week.  It provides 24 hours of unlimited data access for $1.49.  While its a little pricey for everyday use, it should come in handy for travelers or anyone else needing to use data occasionally.  To activate the day pass you just open the browser and try to load a page and you will be asked if you want to buy a DayPass.

Web DayPass Subscription Prompt Web DayPass Subscribe Web DayPass Accept Prompt

I tested it on an Nokia N8 Symbian smartphone. As soon as I opened my browser the  prompt (first image, above) appeared and a few clicks latter (images, above – click the thumbnails to vew full size) the Web DayPass was active (image, below) and my prepaid Balance was $1.49 lighter.  With  the DayPass active all the data aware apps on the N8 including Mail, Social, Ovi and Google Maps and Opera Mini and Mobile worked normally. The Broadband Reports mobile speed test reported a very decent download speed of 1859 kbit/s on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. The DayPass doen’t auto-renew, you have to reactivate after 24 hours to keep using it
N8 Speed Test Web DayPass Success Message

While T-mobile’s site appears to indicate that the DayPass is available for any device on any prepaid plan, the operator doesn’t seem to want you to use Android handsets with it. At least when I tried with a Google Ion, which is a Google developer phone version of T-Mobile’s MyTouch 3G, I got the “Subscription Upgrade Required” message shown at right.  Clicking the “Please click here…” link just reloaded the page as did  the other four links on the page.

I tried without success to get around the message by trying every possible combination of 3G on, 3G off, switching between T-Mobile’s T-Mobile’s two prepaid APNs; epc.tmobile.com and wap.voicestream.com and trying to go through the T-Mobile prepaid account page at wap.t-zones.com/myaccount or wap.myvoicestream.com.  No matter what I tried I couldn’t get past that unhelpful message.

Google Ion Speed Test Android - Subscription Upgrade Required

I called T-Mobile support and after being transfered several times by T-Mobile prepaid reps who couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t activate a Web DayPass on the Ion, a  customer support supervisor stated that the Web DayPass is not available on Android phones.

Blocking Android  seems like a strange restriction. Sure, Android phones can use a lot of data, but so can Symbian, Windows Mobile, Maemo and iOS phones.  I don’t know about other smartphones but based on my experience the DayPass works on at least one Symbian phone, the Nokia N8.

When I swapped the DayPass enabled SIM into the Ion data worked on it too so at least there is a workaround if you have an extra phone and don’t mind swapping SIMs. It’s certainly possible for T-Mobile to close that loophole if they really don’t want Android devices using the DayPass so enjoy it while you can. The year and a half old Ion doesn’t support HSPA+ so I only got 570 kbit/s with it but that’s still a respectable 3G speed.

Update: 26-Nov-2010: After hearing reports of other users being able to purchase a Day Pass using T-Mobile Android phones,  I tried to enable on my Google Ion Android phone again today. When I first tried to go to the T-Mobile My Account page I got:

Error Unknown

You homepage is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

After retrying several times I was finally able to get to the homepage and purchase a Daypass and data worked fine except that I still got “Error Unknown” most of the time when I tried to access My Account.

On their postpaid monthly data plans, there’s a 5GB “soft”cap.  Once you exceed 5 GB in a month your speed is throttled to about 64 kbit/s.  I’m suspect there is a similar soft cap on the Web DayPass although I don’t know what it is.  There have been reports on various user forums from users claiming that they have been throttled after they have used anywhere  from 30 MB to 150 MB in a day.  150 MB is pretty reasonable (the 5GB monthly cap divided by 30 is 170 MB) but 30 MB is pretty low considering that many desktop web pages are over one MB. I haven’t been throttled yet and I neglected to check my data counter before activating the DayPass, but I’ll try testing the limits tomorrow and update this post when I hit the soft cap.

Update 24-Oct-2010: T-Mobile mentions a 30 MB daily soft cap on the Terms and Conditions page that you click though when activating a DayPass.  After 30 MB, download speed is supposed to be slowed.  I tested that by downloading over 200 MB and I don’t seem to have encountered the cap.  Even after 200 MB I was getting speeds in the 300-500 kbit/s range.  While that’s slower than the best speed (1859 kbit/s) I saw, it’s still 3G performance. The slowdown could as easily be due to network load or atmospheric conditions (it was clear at the beginning of the test when I got the best speeds  and raining at the end) as to any capping.

28 thoughts on “Updated: T-Mobile USA’s Prepaid Web Daypass – Now Available For Android

  1. The Daypass has been eliminated. There is an option — switch your plan to the $2/day unlimited (phone, text, and 2G data). This will not revert automatically, you have to manually switch back. Also, it starts at midnight instead of running for 24 hours. Not a horrid deal but it could be better.

  2. Hi. I also have a Nokia N8 on T-mobile prepaid. Could you post the APN settings that allow you to connect to t-zones and then subsequently get the daypass? Thank you.

  3. I am old fashioned. I m still very happy with my dependable Treo 650.I opened my browser and in seconds I had subscribed to Day Pass. Works beautifuly. Also the cloud system is available for the Treo 650 so why is everybody buying up all these new Ipod & Ipad gagets when they can do it the old fashioned way?

  4. Web Daypass works OK for me. And it doesn’t seem to be too strict about blocking ports, either. SSH (22) and a few non-standard ports worked fine.

  5. Seems like on my not T-Mobile branded Samsung Galaxy S with Android 2,1 works perfectly…I do not have any problems with access to any web page…

  6. Hey I have a G1 that has 2.1 Android (hacked) software and works great. I read that some of you have issue with Web Day Pass. I just tried it using differant settings in browser settings.
    1. Cleared all cache and history.
    2. switch to desktop mode, not Iphone or IE6 or android
    3. Again Cleared cache and history
    4. closed all browser windows (menu, windows, hit “x”) to fresh windows
    This then gave me a new home page (google) and I was browsing right away. Even with out having to subscribe to it.
    I verified I was not on WiFi then on my PC checked my Account and found a $1.49 charge to account.
    It must of worked for me as I did this without having to do anything after clearing cache and choosing the Desktop Browser feature of my version of Android software.
    Hope this Help All…

    • Forgot to say that the browser settings has a User Agent line where the Browser types are found.

  7. I visited the US a couple of weeks ago and had somebody get me a $9.99 prepaid SIM to use with my Desire HD. I had the “Your homepage is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.” quite a lot but reloading and generally trying stuff eventually got it working. I had previously bookmarked the subscribe link and at some point got it working each day.

    I think the APN’s I used might have had an effect – I originally started using the wap.voicestream.com one but switched to epc.tmobile.com and I think that might have made the t-zones pages more reliable, unfortunately I didn’t have time to test things.

    Either way, I don’t think they are deliberately blocking Android, it’s just very flakey for some reason.

    • Actually, with Android, and DayPass, I could only access google.com, not other websites (I tried several only). So still, Android is restricted.

  8. woops i spoke too soon.

    i dont know what i did but i logged into tzones first and then to my tmobile and now my web gaurd is off. strange

  9. what also sucks is that webgaurd is automatically set which blocks my online gambling websites as well as porn and all kinds of other stuff. thought i turned it off via my t-mobile but now im not able to log in that way.

  10. Many, many thanks Joseph for discovering this. I had been trying various urls for days in hopes of finding this, with no luck. My guess is that they are still sorting out proper responses for all the browsers/devices that may be trying to use the new service. Interestingly the old t-zones wap pages displayed properly after the pass was activated. I am now a very happy T-Mobile customer.

  11. I discovered a workaround for Android users who want to access their account threw 3G/edge on a prepaid account. On your phone open the browser and enter the following link and bookmark it.


    You will be able to see your account plus enable the webday pass.

    Hope I brightened some users day. I’m happy to get the webpasss back!

  12. Has anyone tried it with fennec? Dolphin browser is based on the default browser and I was wondering if it had any effect?

  13. Another surprising twist on “unlimited” data plans…

    Did you try spoofing the browser user agent to a non-Android device before the first Web access that leads to the activation of a daypass, then resetting it to the correct user agent after completion of the activation procedure? Of course, if the activation relies upon some information as the IMEI, this would not work.

    • I have the same problem on my second-hand Samsung Galaxy S on Pay as you go plan. How to use an “agent” to cheat?

      It’s funny, it works on my iPhone 3GS, but not on a TMobile Android phone.

    • Some versions of the Android browser let you change the user agent. If yours doesn’t the Dolphin Browser available in the Market does.

      However, I just tried using Dolphin with the user agent set to that of the iPhone and it behaved the same as with the normal Android User Agent and I wasn’t able to get to the DayPass registration page. I suspect that T-Mobile is checking the phone’s IMEI.

      For now the only I’ve found to use the DayPass with my Google Ion Android phone is to activate the pass with another phone and then swap the SIM to the Android device.

  14. I have been trying for three days to get the day pass on my pay-as-you-go T-mobile Tap phone, to no avail. The phone is a month old, and until four or five days ago I was able to get access to my i-google home page by subscribing to a 99-cents-an-hour pass. Any clues as to how I can now get the same access via a day pass. There just does not seem to be any path that allows me to subscribe, and the t-mobile support staff cannot answer why I cannot get it.

    • Try going to the T-Zones page by entering the URL: wap.myvoicestream.com in the browser. In T-Zones, choose “My Account” and there should be an option to purchase a DayPass. If there isn’t or it doesn’t work, T-Mobile needs to fix it, I don’t think there’s much you can do.

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