Best mobile internet provider

Discussion in 'iPad Carriers' started by oatesy, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. oatesy
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    oatesy iPF Novice

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    Ive just got the iPad 3 with 4g, my question is which provider has the best deal to go with on PAYG. I don't really use the Internet as I'm usually using wifi but I would like that option to use mobile Internet.
  2. Lunar
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    Most of the Uk PAYG deals are very similiar.

    If you think you may ever need to use your 3G at your home location, then find out who gives the best signal ? as it may be useful if your main Net connection ever goes down, so you always have a backup.

    We live in a poor area signal wise, my son who is on o2 cannot get a signal on his phone here, but T-Mobile does give me a 2 bar signal both on my iPhone and iPads, and being a T-Mobile customer you also have the big plus that you can also use the Orange network too and if I switch to that I get full signal bars.
    So that is something you need to consider, though coverage is pretty good across most of the uk for most networks now, there are still a few poor receptions area's.

    We are retired so spend a lot of time at home when not on our holidays or away on shortbreaks so PAYG is ideal for us, the micro sims are generally free, though you usually have to add a fiver or a tenna on them at time of purchase when you pick one up at the relevant phone shop, and thereafter you just buy online the amount of time you require as you go along. T-Mobile offer 24hrs for £2 though currently have an offer which gives 3 days for the price of 2, and £7 for a week and £15 for a month use.

    Don't expect any of them to be super fast, as they can be a little slow in the UK, though it can depend on proximity to signal source, but it's better than nothing.
    T-Mobile/Orange will later in the year be bringing out their own version of 3.5g which they are claiming will be 50% faster than standard 3G.
    Sadly, it's very unlikely that the current iPad3's 4G will ever work in the UK as our proposed frequencies are different to those used in the USA, though we can assume future Gen iPads will likely be compatible, so for the next 1 or 2 years I think we can forget about 4G here in the UK.

    So, I would find out what network is best in the locations you will be spending most time with your iPad, and have a look at the different PAYG deals but IME there is little between any of them. I've found T-Mobile to work in most places and you do have that option to connect to Orange too so increases the chances of always managing to connect... but as their so cheap anyway, if ones turns out to be rubbish it does'nt cost much to switch.
    Another option of course, if you currently use a modern smart phone, is to check if your phone supports 'Tethering' with the capability to set itself up as a 'Hotspot', so you can connect to the internet via your phone, that way if your phones on a monthly contract it wont cost you any more to connect your iPad to it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2012
  3. oatesy
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    oatesy iPF Novice

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    Thanks for your reply, I think t-mobile is going to be my option. :)
  4. Lunar
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    T-Mobile/Orange are currently running tests in the Bristol area on their so called 3.5G service. 4G won't happen in the UK for quite some time, and when it does, the current iPad 3 is not compatible with the frequencies that have been allocated for our 4G service in the UK when it does arrive. Though I'm sure future iPads will likely be multi-band.

    T-Mobile say this 3.5g service will be rolled out across their whole network later in the year, with promises of an increase in speed over their current standard 3g of aprox 50%.
    This of course should work on all standard 3G devices, in effect they are tuning and squeezing more out of their current frequencies. I for one certainly hope that is the case, and is likely the best we can hope for, even if only as a interim measure until 4G is sorted out properly, which is still a long way off at the moment.
  5. TechnologyWriter
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    TechnologyWriter iPF Noob

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    Are you in the UK?
  6. TechnologyWriter
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    TechnologyWriter iPF Noob

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    And do you plan to travel with your iPad, or stay domestic?
  7. Poisonivy
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    Poisonivy Super Moderator Staff Member

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    3mobile is excellent,try them.

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