After the introduction of the iPad I’ve started saving a bit of money every month, deliberately skipping the first generation. And last year I was able to get myself the iPad (second generation). I was afraid I would get a gadget that might disappoint. That it wouldn’t live up to my expectations, or that I couldn’t really replace my laptop with it. Nah, we’re good. And then some. But prior to purchase I had a few concerns, mainly the ‘mobile’ part. So I decided to chip in the extra 100 bucks and get the 3G model.
I still believe the 3G is a bit of a gimmick, I don’t use it that much, and the first few months I didn’t even use it. Thankfully I was patient enough and found a tiny bit of a loophole to keep the cost down, and use my 3G when I need to. It completed my iPad. I have started taking it with me almost everywhere I go, not having to worry if there’s an open wi-fi spot nearby. And if I need access to my data it’s available through one app or another. And all the apps work, sync, and well they simply work.
A few things that I noticed while browsing around is that it’s clear telecom providers all over the world are afraid of being unable to handle the current and future traffic. Tiered Internet plans are slowly developing. Network throttling is in the news every once in a while. And some even charge extra if you want to use programs like Skype. Of course, everybody knows this is a ridiculous development. But, I completely understand them. They have to adapt to a new world. Kinda how the music industry realized the iPod and iTunes is going to make them filthy rich(er).
Personally I am with T-Mobile in the Netherlands. I got an old i-150 account which gives me 2 Mbit downstream and 1 Mbit upstream with no throttling and no traffic limit. And the loophole I was talking about: I got this account for my iPhone4, so I requested a duo-sim card. And put that in the iPad. There’s just one downside. If I turn on 3G on the iPad it’s the last device to register with the network, so I won’t be able to get calls. But that’s not really a problem for me.
In the USA it seems the main three providers are AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. And in the Netherlands we have T-Mobile, KPN, Vodafone, and a handful of others, in the UK I believe they have o2 (like these Mobile iPad plans), Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange. It used to be a bit more limited, but I think a lot of providers have iPhone plans, and probably a few more have plans for the iPad (data only). I think it’s worth to just go and check to see which is available for your country, start cheap, keep an eye on traffic, and go from there.
For the future I predict that the current Internet Service Providers (ISP) will become what you could call “traffic handlers” or something in the form of a Content Distribution Network (CDN) and that the current Telecom Providers will become the new ISPs. Internet Speed will probably become a thing of the past, or at the least get replaced with terms like “connection speeds”. LTE and 802.11 a/c are just the beginning. Let me try to explain.
Apple Inc. is a great company that’s capable of understanding and implementing new and innovating technologies into their products and services in a way that it takes away the tech out of the hands of the consumer. As a consumer you don’t care that your iPhone4s might have 12 different bands, you just want it to work. You don’t care that your MacBook Pro has a special Retina display, or how large the image files are from you expensive Canon 5D camera. You care that they take a second to load on the computer without a hassle, and that they look amazingly sharp on the screen. And that your family members anywhere in the world on Facebook or wherever can view these images. The days of spending 3 minutes on dail-up to get the ‘computer’ hooked up to ‘the Internet’ and having to waste time on slow programs to resize and compromise in quality, and then another 30 minutes uploading it ‘via the email’, those days are over. OVER!
So I had doubts about investing in a gadget with new tech, a great display, a very well done operating system, or even the 3G so I can at least use some apps. Glad I gave it a shot, only to realize my doubts were silly and I should have just jumped in. It’s an awesome device, with a huge community with great apps and support, and I have all my ‘stuff’ with me, ready to be shared with others, and having a lot of fun doing so. Be it at home or at a friends place.
I don’t think it matters really which package you have right now. If it is 3G or LTE/4G. Or if you have only 200MB to waste a week, or a few gigs a month. If it’s 25 or 50 dollars. Take what you think you will be using, revisit your spending after six months and adjust. And try out a few telecom providers. Or use my loophole trick if your current sim is a microsim and you can get a duo-sim without a monthly fee. Oh, or .. if you can, see if it is free to tether your iPad via the data-connection on your phone. Enough options!
Get your iPad mobile, if not this version I do recommend it for a future version. Unless of course you never leave the house 🙂