As of March 2012 the sole provider for 3G service on Windows 8 tablets is AT&T.
One of the very first Metro-style apps for Windows 8, available as early as the Developer Preview, is the AT&T app. Microsoft contracted with AT&T to provide 3G service to the Win 8 tablets that were given to attendees at the //BUILD conference. The AT&T app was developed in close conjunction with Microsoft, as until then many of the developer tools had not been released yet.
Launch the Store app and then do a search for "AT&T" via the Search charm.
First Time Activation
The first time that you run this app your SIM card will not yet have been activated. On the initial screen you'll very clearly see a blue box that informs you of this.
In the "Current Plan" section click on the "Activate my SIM card online" link (just beneath the blue box). Even though you have not yet configured your SIM card or setup 3G service you will be able to get online for this sole purpose.
A new "Plans" screen will be displayed, and you'll see two options:
- DataConnect Monthly Recurring Plan
- DataConnect Pass
For the purposes of this guide we'll setup 3G service without a long-term contract, and hence we'll select the "DataConnect Pass" option.
On the next screen you'll see an option to login as an existing customer or to become a new customer. Click on "Get Your Pass".
You'll see a new screen, and you'll be prompted to enter a device nickname as well as indicate where you purchased the device ("Other" is a safe answer if you're not sure or if it doesn't match any choices). Then click on "Save".
On the next screen you should now notice that one of the 5 dots underneath the title "DataConnect Pass" has gone green with a checkmark, and that the second dot now has a downward facing arrow. These are your visual indications of how far along the wizard you have progressed. This screen will prompt you for the User and Login information.
The first set of fields are straight-forward. Near the bottom you'll see a "Payment Type" option. If you're a //BUILD attendee then you received a promotion code, and you should select "Promotion/Coupon". Enter a code and then proceed to the next screen.
On the third screen of this wizard you'll see the available plans. If you entered a promotion code then select the only option and click "Next".
The fourth screen will show you the Terms of Service. Click on "Accept".
Finally on the last screen of the wizard you'll see a summary. Click on "Confirm".
Congratulations! You have now successfully setup 3G service on your Windows 8 tablet!
Adding a Plan
If you chose a non-recurring data plan then you'll be periodically adding a new 3G data plan. Adding a plan to an existing 3G service with the AT&T app can be a little unintuitive. On your home screen start by clicking on the AT&T tile.
On the initial AT&T app screen under the "Current Plan" section you'll want to click on the "Manage my account online" link. On the next screen type in your existing customer information and then click on "Login".
You will now be on a screen title "Account Overview". Click on "My Devices and Plans"; you'll notice that the upward arrow next to it now puts down and that it has expanded. You should now see an inner box that has your Device Nickname and other info. Underneath that you'll see "Add a Device" and then "Shop Rate Plans" in bold.
This is where it can be a little confusing. You do not want to click on "Shop Rate Plans". Instead, click on the box that has your Device Nickname -- you might not have even realized that this box is actually a giant button.
The box will now grow and have an adjoining box underneath it.
If you scroll down to the bottom of this new box you'll see a blue button labeled "Add a Plan". Click on this button to add to your existing data plan.
You'll now be on a new screen title "Add a Plan", and you should see several options. For the purposes of this guide we'll assume you have a promotional code, so we'll select that option and then enter a code in the box underneath it. Now click on "Save".
You're now done!You have successfully added a new data plan to your service.