Why is 3G so expensive?

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Arthur3000, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. Arthur3000

    Arthur3000
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    I don't understand why 3G on an iPad is like £15 a month, but my phone contract has unlimited internet PLUS 2k minutes, 3k texts etc and is still £15 a month with a phone thrown in?

    Are they ripping us off?
     
  2. s2mikey

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    I wondered this too. I don't have a fancy cell phone or cell phone plan so when I was shopping for iPads I saw the pricing for 3G and that killed that deal for me. It would cost you like $50 bucks to watch a movie through Netflix or something like that. Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating but you get the idea. Why get 3G when you'd be too scared to actually use it due to costs incurred? And, I also heard that it isn't always as reliable as it should be.

    I'm still glad I avoided it and didn't pay for a 3G enabled device. Maybe next time around if they get the cost WAY down.
     
  3. MattIM

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    I have a 3G iPad. Yes, data plans are pretty expensive. BUT my use of my 3G is 'just in case'. Just in case I'm driving around Indiana, Michigan, or Ohio-->I have GPS and I have a way to find myself if I get lost, or I need a gas station, or a restaurant. There are many companies that offer free wifi, so I don't often use 3g, but when I need it, I'm glad I have it. Here in the United States, I subscribe to 250mg of data services which is $14.95/month. I would not consider using 3G to stream a movie or a TV show-->that is expensive.
     
  4. Kaykaykay

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    I pay $30 US for unlimited 3G on iPad on a grandfathered AT&T plan. I consider it a bargain and will keep it unless AT&T cuts me off. That's still cheaper than my grandfathered unlimited 3G plan on iPhone, which is discounted through a corporate deal.

    I use unlimited off contract in Asia, and it's even cheaper.
     
  5. robster2644

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    Why don't you just get a $15 unlimited data plan plus phone and buy a SIMM cutter and put in the iPad. Makes sense to me

    Sent from my iPhone using iPF
     
  6. Kaykaykay

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    Carriers are supposed to be able to tell the device you're using through its IMEI number. You could try and see if you could get away with it, but I wouldn't. From what I've read, if they find you've switched outside terms of contract, they will bill you for the difference and/or cut you off.
     
  7. RAC

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    Isn't having two mobile accounts (phone & iPad) part of the problem? If your phone has a cheaper data plan you could tether the iPad to it via WiFi.

    Another option, I have a WiFi only iPad and tether to a pre-paid WiFi/3G router, paid for by my company as it happens, but still reasonably economical.

    Both of these suggestions should conceal the iPad's IMEI number from the service provider:eek:.
     
  8. twerppoet

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    Carriers offer unlimited plans for phones because they know only a few of their customers will actually use them. Like an all-you-can-eat buffet, they make enough money on nine customers to more than make up for the tenth who went back for fifths.

    Tablets are more like computers in the way they consume data; or at least that is the perception. Carriers are afraid they will end up with a congested network, and lose customers because of it. And of course, they will charge what people are willing to pay. The only thing that cows greed is competition (or regulation, an evil to be avoided if possible). That's why markets with lots of carriers are getting better deals than those of us with only one or two choices.

    This is also why they don't like people who tether without paying the extra fees. From their point of view it's like the guy who shows up at the buffet with carryout containers; or buys one meal and shares it with his friend. If they catch him, he''ll get an extra bill, and a big 'not welcome' picture posted behind the counter.

    The deal is one person gets to consume one meal. The deal is that all data is consumed on the device(s) on the plan.

    With unlimited plans, it is hard to argue with their viewpoint.

    With limited plans though, the customer can argue that they paid for 2GB, and they should darn well get 2GB, no matter how they choose to consume it. Unfortunately the cell phone providers are proving resistant to the concept of giving you an extra plate, or doggy bags. :D
     
  9. Kaykaykay

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    Some carriers have threatened to cut people off just because they've seen their usage surge; they don't even cite an IMEI number in such cases. They've essentially warned people to stop tethering or they will be cut off. Basically, the carriers have people, including lawyers, looking for customers who are using outside terms of agreement. You can chance it, of course.

    Some carriers allow tethering; some charge for it.

    I just use what I pay for, according to terms I've agreed to. I'm not interested in tethering.
     
    #9 Kaykaykay, Dec 1, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  10. jsh1120

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    Don't mean to turn this thread into a political discussion, but the reason that the US has so little competition is because there is little regulation of carriers compared to Europe. By mandating GSM networks, the EU assures that consumers can purchase a phone and move an account easily from one carrier to another. The result is true competition among multiple carriers. In contrast, the US suffers from a subsidized phone purchase business model that not only locks a consumer into a two year contract (much more costly in the long run) but also limits the carriers with which a phone may be used.

    The notion that an unregulated market is a "free" market is not an idea that even Adam Smith would have endorsed.
     

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