cellular service questions

Discussion in 'iPad Travel Forum' started by timjoe, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. timjoe

    timjoe
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    hi to all,
    i plan to buy an ipad4 cellular soon for travel...my main concern is internet connection...but i don't fully understand the cellular data choices...when you buy the device, do you have to determine at that time which cellular service you want to use?...if so, does that mean a sim card for the service will be preiinstalled?...if not, where do you get the sim card?...are you then locked into that service or can you switch to another service at any time?...if so, can you switch to any of the three services, att, verizon and sprint?...also, i noticed on the apple site a rundown of data service charges...verizon seems to be by far the best monthly deal with substantially more data at minimally higher cost than the others...is there any disadvantage to getting the verizon cellular service?...in general, what is the critical information anyone needs before making what appears to be an important decision on data service? ...i looked in the ipad user guide for iOS6 but couldn't find the answers to any of my questions in it.
     
  2. KevinJS

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    The iPad belongs to you, and is yours to do with as you see fit. You can buy a data plan from whomever you please, and as many as you choose. There is nothing to stop you from having an AT&T plan in the US and a Rogers plan in Canada, if you so choose.

    iPads are not locked to a carrier in the same way as subsidized phones.

    Hope this helps.
     
    #2 KevinJS, Nov 24, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  3. timjoe

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    kevin, thanks...but i need more help...if you can buy a data plan from whomever, why do they ask you at the online apple store to select a data plan (choices are att, sprint, verizon) for your ipad4cellular before you get to the checkout?...is it because one of the two models is linked with att (model A1459) and the other model (A1460) is linked with sprint and verizon?...i attach the specs here to show the differences in the two models...the specs are significantly different but for a layman like me it's impossible to interpret them.


    • Model A1459*
      • GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
      • UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
      • LTE (Bands 4 and 17)
    • Model A1460*
      • CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1900, 2100 MHz)
      • GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
      • UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
      • LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5, 13, 25)
     
  4. KevinJS

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    I'm on shaky ground myself, but I believe the Verizon model contains proprietary hardware, so if you want Verizon, you need to specify that. Otherwise, you need the other model, which is also good for international use.

    In Canada there is only one model, so I've not done any research in this area.

    This only applies to cellular data. All models will work without a SIM on wifi networks.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
     
  5. Kaykaykay

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    In the U.S., iPads generally come with the SIM card inside the iPad. You pick the AT&T or Verizon model based on which carrier best serves the area(s) you frequent.

    If you're also considering travel, look at coverage maps for both providers in the U.S., findable easily via Google.

    Also, for overseas use:

    Apple - iPad - View countries with supported LTE networks.
     
  6. zstairlessone

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  7. Kaykaykay

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    That's not going to help much unless you just want to figure out which is GSM vs. CDMA. For general ref: AT&T is GSM and Verizon is CDMA. They're two diff systems that are not interchangeable.

    For more info:

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407896,00.asp

    I've stuck with GSM partly because where I travel most overseas uses GSM more. When I go, I just buy a local SIM card, and I'm good to go.
     
    #7 Kaykaykay, Nov 25, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  8. jwt873

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    Another thing to consider when selecting a provider is the physical coverage... In some areas one carrier will do better than others. Consider this for your home location and places you frequent (such as your favorite holiday spot).. ATT and Verizon have coverage maps online so you can get a rough idea of who's best.
     
  9. Mickey330

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    I've deleted a post you started today on this question. If you have more concerns about selecting an iPad carrier, please re-address them here, don't start another thread. Having duplicate threads not only fragments the conversation and confuses the issue - it's against our rules.

    Please keep any updates or follow-ups about this issue to this thread and don't start another. Thanks for your understanding.

    Marilyn
     
  10. timjoe

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    when i look at the specs for the att and verizon ipad4 models, both have the same specs for GSM...(GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) ...does that mean either model would work equally well in canada and overseas where GSM is widely available?...also, is GSM synonymous with 3G?


     

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