Author Topic: iPad cell services  (Read 4576 times)

Weedy Acres

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iPad cell services
« on: May 17, 2014, 07:48:38 AM »
I have a flip phone and don't plan to buy a smart phone (too big for my pocket, too small of a screen for meaningful internet access) and an iPad with cell and wifi so I can access email and internet when I'm on the road or in airports, etc.  I'm on Verizon family plan, so paying $10/mo to add the ipad plus $30 for data.

I've read through a lot of threads on MOVNs, but I never see any mention of ipads.  What are the best options, once my 2-year contract is up?  I've been in places where Spring and AT&T don't work so well, so am concerned about going somewhere off Verizon.

Daley

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Re: iPad cell services
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2014, 09:10:59 PM »
Tablet computers with cellular modems are a wholly different animal than cellphones, unfortunately. You think they wouldn't be, but they are. Depending on the model of Verizon iPad, it might be possible to get a data SIM card from an AT&T or T-Mobile MVNO to work in the thing, but it's a matter of just trying, and it just may not be very fast. Aio used to have a $15/250MB limited data plan for tablets IIRC, but their site is down until AT&T finishes with the Cricket acquisition and AIO/Cricket merger... whether it'll be there upon relaunch? Your guess is as good as mine. T-Mobile was doing a free 200MB for life of tablet on network deal, even BYOT, so that might be worth investigating as well.

Odds are, if you're not getting good AT&T or Sprint coverage... good luck. I don't think you're going to be able to take it anywhere else. Your best bet might just be some sort of cheap mobile hotspot (don't really know of any on Big Red outside of their own expensive options which you already have), rely on existing WiFi, or just learn to plan ahead and pre-download what you need so you don't need mobile data in the first place.

chasesfish

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Re: iPad cell services
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2014, 05:35:21 AM »
I got the 200mb free with T-Mobile - it was just a throw in they included when I changed my phones over to them.  I think I had to pay $5 or $10 for the T-Mobile SIM card.  It works with an iPad2 or newer that's pre-programmed to verzion

Weedy Acres

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Re: iPad cell services
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 07:33:02 PM »
Bumping to see if there is any more advice...

naturelover

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Re: iPad cell services
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2014, 08:03:28 PM »
Can't necessarily recommend a "best" option, but here's my experience: I have the first gen iPad mini that I bought in early 2013 in lieu of a smartphone. Mine is Verizon, and I get the 1GB service for $20/month. I couple this with a prepaid T-Mobile "dumb" phone and together they serve my needs well. I love the size of the iPad mini. Most of my web use is done with it. I'm really happy with it except sometimes I wish I had a smaller smartphone for the convenience. But then I remember that I can sit and read for hours on the mini. Wouldn't do that on a phone. I haven't had any problems with service coverage, and have used it in different parts of the U.S.

I got the 200mb free with T-Mobile - it was just a throw in they included when I changed my phones over to them.  I think I had to pay $5 or $10 for the T-Mobile SIM card.  It works with an iPad2 or newer that's pre-programmed to verzion

I'm thinking about trying to change out my SIM for the free 200mb since my cell use is pretty limited. I've read that there were some service problems with T-Mobile, but it may have been when they first rolled it out. Have you had a good experience with that service?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: iPad cell services
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2014, 08:16:52 PM »
No tablet on T-Mobile experience, but their coverage in my area is spotty. Great in the city proper, but data coverage drops to non-existent pretty fast in the suburbs.

Weedy Acres

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Re: iPad cell services
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2014, 04:10:59 PM »
OK, I chatted with Verizon and found that if I have my ipad on its own contract, it's $30/month, which is the extra I'm paying now to have it on the family plan (I'm not paying an extra $10 to add the device, so I was wrong in my OP).  I had assumed that there would be some sort of base fee if I went solo. 

I suppose $30/month for 2 GB isn't the end of the world.  I've never gone over that, as I don't stream videos or listen to music when I'm out of wifi range.  It's strictly email, sometimes GPS, and sometimes internet browsing. 

I am trying to figure out what to do with the other 5 devices on our plan, though...(that's another thread).

geekette

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Re: iPad cell services
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2014, 04:16:57 PM »
I got the 200mb free with T-Mobile - it was just a throw in they included when I changed my phones over to them.  I think I had to pay $5 or $10 for the T-Mobile SIM card.  It works with an iPad2 or newer that's pre-programmed to verzion

My experience is quite different - first generation iPad, originally with AT&T.  You don't have to be a T-Mo customer either.  We rarely use it, but it has come in handy when our home internet went down, taking our VoIP phone with it.  I could use the iPad to chat with the cable company.

Service out in the boonies?  Nope.

marblejane

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Re: iPad cell services
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2014, 02:12:25 PM »
Another thing to consider- with the Verizon iPad data plan, you can turn it on and off as you please. What I have done in the past is to only turn on the cellular data for a month, then turn off the plan, and try to stretch out the remaining data for as long as possible.

gecko10x

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Re: iPad cell services
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2014, 02:40:21 PM »
Since no one has suggested this, Verizon may not offer it, but AT&T offers a number of different plans that you can turn on and off at will. Article - was unable to quickly find reference to these on AT&T's site.

If Verizon doesn't offer similar, maybe consider switching to an AT&T iPad.

theSchmett

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Re: iPad cell services
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2014, 05:33:40 PM »
I've heard freedompop can be good for careful users in the right location. Haven't used it myself. Worth checking up on. Because free\cheap.

Badass by 41

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Re: iPad cell services
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2014, 11:11:08 AM »
I've heard freedompop can be good for careful users in the right location. Haven't used it myself. Worth checking up on. Because free\cheap.

This is what I now do with my Verizon 3G "New iPad".  WiFi to the FreedomPop hotspot.  I use it primarily in the car  for GPS and Yelp, so I rarely go over the 500MB free limit.