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wifi, 3G and the new ATT data plans

barokzi

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Hi all
I received a wifi iPad recently as a gift and had decided to exchange it for the 3G version.

However, with AT&T dropping the 'unlimited' data plan, i am now thinking twice.

I need some insights fro 3G owners as to how you actually need or use the 3G capabilities of your iPads.

I initially had no idea what to use the iPad for... i never owned an iPhone nor have an iPod touch (my wife does have one and I seldom play with her device... not that crazy about it), but with the iPad i am very interested in putting it to good use.

Around the house there's no problem with connectivity. However, I imagine using it mainly for internet browsing, taking it on long drives and out of town, netflix and youtube streaming, news & weather reading.

I am not sure I want to fork over $200 to upgrade to the 3G device and find that I am still not satisfied since AT&T now only has the $15 250MB and the $25 2GB data plans.

How much internet browsing / streaming is 2gb worth (say... x hours per day) ?

thanks for any help.
 
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wkramer

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If you order a 3G from Apple before midnight tonight you can still get the unlimited data plan once it is in your hands.
 

Teacher's Pet

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Get the 3G. I highly reccomend it even with the change in data plans. I have a 3G and that's part of what makes it such a convenience for me. If I had gone with just wifi I would be regretting it, and would be buying another iPad, I'm so glad I didn't decide against it. I didn't realize how convenient the 3G would be until I started using it.
 

Seadog

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There is nothing wrong with the 3G plans unless you spend a large amount of time on it. The $25 plan will suit most of us and save a few dollars. Considering what else you get with the 3G model, and the wifi access from AT&T, it is a really good bargain for most of us.
 

Bogy

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I bought my new iPad today. I got the 64g wi/fi. I had considered the 3g, but this past week the news about the change in plans bugged me. But in talking with the sales rep at the Apple store the idea of spending the extra money on the 3g got the final nail in the coffin. I had not seen this anywhere, and a week ago when I was talking with a salesperson in another Apple Store this had not been mentioned, even when I shared the information that I lived in an area without ATT coverage, and would only be using the 3g while traveling. The guy today told me it was the same deal as with any ATT phone, they wouldn't allow me to obtain service, even while traveling, since I my address was in an area they didn't serve. So, decision made.
 
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barokzi

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If you order a 3G from Apple before midnight tonight you can still get the unlimited data plan once it is in your hands.

I did place the order yesterday while at the Apple Store.

...I have a 3G and that's part of what makes it such a convenience for me. If I had gone with just wifi I would be regretting it, and would be buying another iPad, I'm so glad I didn't decide against it. I didn't realize how convenient the 3G would be until I started using it.

... and that's really the reason why I wanted 3G... if I need to find wifi access first before i can use the device at my leisure, I was worried that it defeats (though not totaly) the purpose of having the iPad (and that's what the iPad really is ... a convenience/leisure device). Having a internet-enabled phone (the one that's not the iPhone :D) i really find it convenient and "liberating" (?).


There is nothing wrong with the 3G plans unless you spend a large amount of time on it. The $25 plan will suit most of us and save a few dollars. Considering what else you get with the 3G model, and the wifi access from AT&T, it is a really good bargain for most of us.


I guess what I really need to know is will the $25 plan be enough? So, for y'all 3G owners out here... has anyone of you maxed out your data plan yet? how much browsing and streaming have you done ?

I imagine i'll be web-browsing maybe about an hour or 2 per day, maybe just a tad more when i'm on netflix instant view (or youtube?). I ride the train about an hour each way everyday to and from work.

Thanks for all the input so far.
 
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Ominx

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My 3G usage since signing up for the Unlimited plan on 6/3/10. So essentially 3 days.

I purposely logged my usage over the past 3 days so I hope this is detailed enough ;)

Daily browsing for approx 3 hours/day on news/tech sites
Pandora for 2 hours
Email attachments downloads of 2MB
'FrameChannel' app use for 30 mins
Youtube for approx 20 mins
Facebook / Twitter viewing pics 1 hr
Sports scores (Sports Tap) on auto update for 20 mins
Checked weather maps 6-10 times
OpenTable used for 10 mins.
Check Google Maps for traffic for 10 mins.
Updated 3 apps from the App Store (unknown files size)

Total Usage in 3 days according to the 'Usage' menu in the 'Settings' app:
Sent 22.9 MB
Received 475 MB

Bottom line... the iPad is not an iPhone. Data usage is way way way more and I now feel bad for those without an Unlimited plan.
 

lummers13

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I went over to this website on Clicker and they did some tests (I'll come back and post the link, I just can't since I'm under 3 posts lol)
They did tests and figured out that:
- It's about 17 hours of YouTube
- About 13-14 hours of Netflix streaming
- About 10 hours of ABC streaming

And I agree with Ominx, I feel bad for those who will miss out on the unlimited plan
 

epb

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According to AT&T, 98% of their customers use less than 2GB/month. Someone quoted in the New York Times nailed it: the real issue isn't the limit, it's the idea of a limit; Americans don't like to hear that they can't have all they want.

I'd love to see a breakdown of the numbers for people that went with the $15 plan and people that went with the $30 plan. I bet we'd see that 90% of the people with unlimited plans could have easily gone with the $15, based on usage. And I'd bet the percentage of people that went with the cheaper plan was pretty small to begin with.
 

Teacher's Pet

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Me personally I use my iPad constantly, take it in walmart in case I need to look up product reviews, in places when running errands for work and I might have to wait a lil while, etc... One reason is because my girlfriend and I communicate throughout our day with IM because it's so much quicker and easier than SMS texting, which we used to use constantly. I've even downloaded an album from iTunes while in the truck.

But I use wifi at home and at the office, that's about it unless I'm somewhere and need to load a webpage that's slow on 3G so I switch to their wifi network, which has happened once or twice .

My point is, based on my useage so far, the 25 plan will be way more than enough. I'll hang on to the unlimited plan as long as I can based on principle, but if I lose it, I'll still be just fine.

I can see where streaming media for long periods of time would require a lot of broadband, but I don't watch movies on the go because everyone gets bent out of shape when I drive around with my iPad mounted on the windshield in front of me .
 
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cherhall

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I used over 3 gig the first month so I definitely don't care for the new plans and will be holding on to my unlimited plan. And that is on the Edge network! If I were in a 3G area where video was feasible, I'm sure it would have been much more than 3 gig. But I also live in an area with no broadband options, so thus no wifi at home.
 

harv2000

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Not spam, honest, just an alternative

I use a Verizon Mifi unit myself, and am stuck under contract for that setup for a number of months yet. Once I get out from under that contract, the following is where I intend to go.

MiFi 2200 Hotspot for 3Gstore's No-Contract $49.95/mo Verizon Plan [VZW49-MIFI-A] - $89.99 : 3Gstore.com, Mobile Broadband Made Easy. CradlePoint Routers, MiFi, Antennas, Amplifiers and Verizon & Sprint EVDO Modems.

Verizon Mifi on the Verizon network, with no contract, leased Mifi box that can be purchased if desired and a monthly 5Gig plan for $49/month. This is more money and still has a limit, but you can also serve as a walking hotspot for any wireless device you own (i.e. a laptop).

This is especially applicable if you aren't eligible for an AT&T plan.
 
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barokzi

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... the real issue isn't the limit, it's the idea of a limit; Americans don't like to hear that they can't have all they want...

I agree with this, I'm probably one of those, since I'm more worried about having one of those days where I overindulge and go over the limit and pay dearly for it... it happens.. for some people more often than the rest...
and so the wanting for an unlimited plan...

(it's like an insurance policy :)).
 

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