How to Find a Phone's APN Number

By Ma Wen Jie

Access Point Name (APN) is the way that your Global Packet Radio Service (GPRS) data-enabled cell phone accesses your carrier's data services. Unlike International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers used for identification of a particular Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) phones on international networks, the APN is not a number. The APN is the name of a server on your carrier's network. If you are using a phone sold by your carrier, it should have all data access information properly set. However, if you have bought a new or used phone from a private party, you may need to configure data communication manually.

Things You'll Need

  • Cell phone to be configured
  • Activated Subscriber Information Module (SIM)
  • Telephone to call your cellular carrier
  • Customer service number for your carrier

Step 1

Power off the phone to be configured and remove the battery. The exact procedure on how to do this will vary, depending on the brand and model of phone.

Step 2

Insert an activated SIM card into the phone.

Step 3

Insert the battery and replace the battery cover.

Step 4

Turn the phone on.

Step 5

Call your cellular carrier's customer service from a different phone than the one being configured. This could be another cellular line or could be a land line.

Step 6

Tell the service provider who issued the SIM card that you need to configure network access on the phone into which you just inserted the activated SIM. Tell the carrier the brand and model of phone. The carrier's customer service will help you get to the network settings on the phone and tell you the APN and any required user names, passwords, or other custom settings required by the carrier.

Tips & Warnings

  • In addition to APN, you may need a user name, password, DNS server IP address, or SMTP setting. Each carrier configures data access differently.