Netbook data plans are quite a bit more with an average monthly price around $60 for 5GB of monthly usage or $35 for 200MB per month. It doesn't take much math to figure out the iPad 3G pricing is a better deal and on top of that requires no contract.
According to my sources, AT&T was able to outbid every other GSM carrier with a $14.99 or $29.99 plan that gives customers 250MB or unlimited data, respectively. I asked AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel if his company outbid T-Mobile and Sprint. He refused to comment, noting only that "we're very happy that Apple selected AT&T to be the main carrier partner on the iPad.
Technology strategist Michael Gartenberg thinks it isn't coming any time soon, however, noting that even Verizon has acknowledged that its existing CDMA network architecture is obsolete. "Once Verizon moves to LTE, which is a next-generation wireless tech, it would make a lot more sense for Apple to partner."