If the device / modem shows a signal, but will not connect, it is very likely that the APN setting is incorrect, particularly if trying to use a phone SIM in a modem/router. Most routers automatically configure the APN from the SIM or have preconfigured APNs per the SIM type, so it’s likely it is either trying to configure an obsolete APN or picking up an incorrect APN from the SIM.
Many Eir (Meteor) and Three masts will allow the SIM to connect with any APN name keyed in, except when roaming. With Eir, it can result in an intermittent connection where sometimes the router can connect in 3G mode and refusing to connect altogether in 4G mode. With Three, it varies from mast to mast with some 3G masts only accepting the correct APN for the type of SIM, e.g. 3ireland.ie for a Three phone SIM.
The APNs below are ones I’ve run into either trying SIMs myself or while helping people configure their forum/device such as with friends and on boards.ie. These are the main networks that offer data SIMs. I also included their phone SIM APNs for reference. Three is the only network I’m aware of that still offers public IP addresses with their data plans, required for remote access such as CCTV and home server access.
As far as I am aware of, none of the main Irish networks require a username or password. If a dial-up number is required, it is *99#
Note: If the device is showing ‘No Signal’ or No Service’, it is not an APN issue. The APN is only required to establish an Internet connection, which occurs after the device has established a connection with the network. The above right screenshot shows an example where the router has a connection to the network (3 bar signal), but is disconnected due to an incorrect APN setting.
Note that Lyca mobile actively blocks tethering on its network, so its SIMs will unlikely work in a router either, at least not without involving other tweaks such as tweaking the computer’s TTL value.
Three / O2
- 3ireland.ie (Three phone SIM)
- 3internet (Three data SIM, public IP address*)
- 3broadband.ie (Three data SIM, private IP address)
- nbs.ie (former NBS data SIM, private IP address)
- internet (business phone & former O2 phone SIMs)
- open.internet (former O2 data SIMs, private IP address)
- open.internet.public (former O2 data SIMs, public IP address*)
*Public IP address may need to be requested
Note: Data roaming must be enabled to connect in 2G/3G mode with Three SIMs.
To check whether a Three phone SIM is a former O2 SIM, check the APN setting on the phone. If it is ‘3ireland.ie’, it is a native Three SIM and if it is ‘internet’, it is a native O2 SIM. Three still supplies O2 native SIMs with certain contracts, particularly iPhone and Business contracts. On most Android phones, the APN setting can be accessed by going into the Network settings menu and then into ‘Access point names’.
Warning! Using the incorrect APN with bill pay SIMs can result in auto-of-bundle charges even on the unlimited / All You Can Eat plans, especially with business, iPhone and former O2 plans. Some Three bill pay phones such as the iPhones are configured to use the open.internet APN for tethering, which will also result in out-of-bundle charges when attempting to tether directly from the handset (Hotspot mode).
Eir / Meteor
- data.eir.ie (Eir phone SIM)
- data.mymeteor.ie (phone SIM with Meteor branding)
- broadband.mymeteor.ie (data SIM with Meteor branding)
- (data SIM with Eir branding)
- isp.mymeteor.ie (older Meteor data SIM, 3G-only)
- wap.mymeteor.ie (older Meteor phone APN)
- eircom.ie (older Eir phone SIM, may use Meteor’s APN)
- broadband.eircommbb.ie (older Eir data SIM APN, public IP address*)
*Public IP addresses are not offered by Eir/Meteor. They may still be available by request on Eir data SIMs.
Update: One person with an older Meteor SIM let me know that the ‘isp.mymeteor.ie’ APN will no longer connect in 4G mode. This happened shortly after the brand change to Eir. I also tried this APN with a more recent Meteor SIM and it could only connect in 3G mode with this APN. For anyone with this issue, try the ‘broadband.mymeteor.ie’ or ‘broadband.myeirmobile.ie’ APN. With my prepay Meteor broadband SIM, these are the only APNs that will connect in 4G mode.
- live.vodafone.com (phone data bundle)
- hs.vodafone.ie (broadband bundle)
Warning! The APN must match the type of data bundle, otherwise it incurs out-of-bundle charges. All bill pay data SIMs use the hs APN. The day/week/month passes on prepay also use the hs APN. All phone data bundles including the €20 top-up for 5GB data plan use the live APN.
Note: Unlike other networks, Vodafone issues the same prepay SIM for both mobile phones and data devices. When registering for My Vodafone, it will ask whether the SIM will be placed in a phone or modem. It will then show the relevant bundles. As mentioned already, it is essential that the correct APN is configured on the device as attempting to use a phone data bundle with the hs.vodafone.ie APN will incur out-of-bundle charges as if no bundle was present.
The bundles can be viewed by expanding the ‘Mobile broadband add-ons’ at the bottom of the ‘Buy an add on’ page in My Vodafone:
If a Vodafone SIM that was used in a router/SIM is to be later used in a phone or vice versa, this setting can be changed by going into the ‘Manage My Details’ link at the top right in My Vodafone, then go into ‘Change personal details’ and then ‘Edit details’ and change the account type drop-down to select ‘Mobile Broadband User’ or ‘Mobile Phone User’.
- internet (phone and data SIMs)
Note: iD Mobile needs to connect to the network in 3G mode first, so if the device is not showing a signal, make sure it is not set to 4G only mode. Once it connects in 3G mode, it can take roughly 10 minutes before it switches over to 4G mode. If the connection drops, it will need to reconnect back in 3G mode.
Data Roaming must be enabled to connect.
Update 6th March 2018: iD Mobile has gone into provisional liquidation. The network will cease operation on the 4th April 2018.
- 3ireland.ie (data SIM, private IP address)
- tescomobile.liffeytelecom.com (phone SIM)
- tmidata (data SIM)
Note: Data Roaming must be enabled to connect.
If you have come across any other data APN names, feel free to mention them below.