Apple iPad 3G Data Plan FAQs

Apple iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G hits stores today. AT&T offers two 2G connectivity plans for iPad 3G with unlimited access at AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots across US.

  • 250 MB data for $14.99 per month
  • Unlimited data for $29.00 per month

Here are some frequently asked questions about using and managing AT&T data plan for iPad.

What is the Cost of International Roaming for iPad 3G connectivity?

AT&T offers four international roaming data plans for iPad 3G for 30 days.

  • 20MB data for $25
  • 50MB data for $60
  • 100MB data for $120
  • 200MB data for $200

One nice feature is you can choose the date you want the plan to start.

Can I Buy AT&T 3G International Roaming for iPad Separately?

No, to buy international roaming data plan for iPad from AT&T, you need to be on a domestic plan. This would mean that if you are on a month long trip to another country, you end up paying money for not using any domestic  data.

Can I Use My iPhone SIM Card With iPad?

No. iPad has a new micro-SIM card and your iPhone SIM card will not fit into your iPad. However, tinkerers have used T-Mobile’s 2G EDGE network successfully on iPad.

I have lost my Micro-SIM Card, How to Get a New Micro-SIM Card?

Apple iPad with 3G comes with a micro-SIM card. If you have lost the SIM card, you can get a replacement Micro-SIM for Apple iPad for 15$ from AT&T.

Is Internet Access Free from AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots if I have iPad 3G?

Internet access is free Wi-Fi at AT&T hotspots only if you are under one the two AT&T data plans. If you do not have any of the data plan, the internet access is not free.

Can I Use My Unlimited Data Plan from iPhone with my iPad 3G?

No, you can not use the data plan for iPhone on iPad. Apple iPad data plan is different from the iPhone plan. You need to buy the service, if you need. Also, you can not use your iPhone to tether iPad to use iPhone’s network.

Do You Benefit from Using Apple iPad 3G in Wi-Fi mode instead of 3G mode?

Yes, you may benefit at least in two ways. If you are on 250MB plan, you save data usage. In addition, iPad in Wi-Fi mode uses less power than an iPad in 3G mode. Therefore,  if you have access to both 3G network and Wi-Fi, go for Wi-Fi.

How Fast is the 3G connectivity on iPad 3G?

Apple iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G can theoretically offer data speed up to 7.2 Mbps over 3G network. A recent PC World study found that AT&T topped the 3G carriers in the US  with 1.4MB average download on iPhone. Assuming there is no major improvements from AT&T, one can expect similar speed on iPad as well.

Can I Roll Over Unused Data to Next Month?

No. You can not have the unused data. The 250MB data plan comes with 30 day expiry date

Is there a activation fee to have 3G connectivity plan on iPad 3G?

No, there is no activation fee (no contract fee and no termination fee).

What will Happen if Use My 250MB Data with in a Month (30 Days)?

As you get closer to 250MB data usage, you get three warnings. At each warnings, You have the option renewing or changing the data plan. If you chose to ignore the warnings and use 250MB data, your plan will expire. If you do not change anything AT&T will automatically renew the 250MB plan after the 30day period.

What will Happen if I Don’t Change the Current Data Plan?

If you do not cancel or change the current plan, AT&T will automatically renew the current plan after the 30 day period.

Can I Buy a 3G SIM Card From a Apple Authorized Carrier in UK and Use 3G Connectivity, if I Don’t Want to Buy Roaming Plan from AT&T in US?

Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg was asked the same question and the answer is Yes, you can. Mossberg asked the question to Apple and got to know the answer. Also says, in some cases you may need to have your iPad connected to iTunes recently  for this to work.

Can I Use 3G SIM Card From a Carrier, Which is Not a Apple Partner?

Yes, Apple iPad 3G is unlocked, so you can use it. The only issue is the iPad 3G SIM card size is smaller, so you may have to manually re-size a 3G SIM card. Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg found the answer from Apple and says that

You can even a SIM from a non-partner carrier, though in the case, you’d have to manually enter the carrier settings on the iPad.

This feature may come in handy, especially when you are travelling and you can avoid buying expensive roaming data plans.


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