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With the Apple's new iPad set to launch on Verizon and AT&T's 4G LTE networks, you're probably wondering which carrier will best suit your web surfing needs without bruising your wallet. Luckily for you, that's what we're here for. We've poured over the numbers and present our findings below.
It's worth noting that none of these plans are structured as long-term contracts, but are instead offered on a month-to-month basis.
Big Red is advertising three 4G LTE data plans for the new iPad. The first, a 2GB a month plan, will run you $30. Verizon's 5GB plan will cost you $50 a month, while its high-end 10GB plan rings in at $80 a month. The biggest benefit to Verizon's iPad plans is that they allow users to take advantage of the new iPad's hotspot feature, without piling on an additional fee.
Verizon typically charges users an additional $20 a month to activate a device's hotspot feature. But with the new iPad at least, that fee is nonexistent. Go over your data limit on any of the aforementioned plans, however, and you'll have to fork over an additional $10 per 1GB of data used.
|Verizon 4G LTE||Price||Overage Fees||Cost per GB used|
|2GB||$30/ month||$10/ 1GB||$15/ 1GB|
|5GB||$50/ month||$10/ 1GB||$5/ 1GB|
|10GB||$80/ month||$10/ 1GB||$8/ 1GB|
AT&T's data plans are a bit less inviting than Verizon's due to their pricing and fee structures. AT&T's least expensive plan is it 250MB plan, which costs customers $14.99 a month. AT&T's overage fee for the 250MB plan is also $14.99 for each additional 250MB of data used. So in essence you'll be paying $59.96 for 1GB of data. 250MB is barely enough data to check email on a regular basis so overages with that plan are likely.
In addition to the 250MB plan, AT&T offers a 3GB plan for $30 a month. That's 1GB worth of data versus AT&T's similarly priced 2GB a month plan. Go over that 3GB limit and you'll be hit with a $10 fee for each additional gigabyte used. AT&T's top-of-the-line data plan offers 5GB of data at a cost of $50 a month, the same price as Verizon's 5GB a month plan. Like AT&T's 3GB plan, the 5GB plan also includes a $10 overage fee for each additional gigabyte used.
But the biggest issue with AT&T's plans is that they don't include a free hotspot feature like Verizon's do. AT&T has already gone on record stating that their version of the new iPad will not support Wi-Fi tethering at launch. That may change over time, but as of this moment, it's a strike against the AT&T.
On its other devices, the company currently requires users to purchase the $50 a month 5GB data plan in order to even use Wi-Fi tethering. If AT&T hopes to compete with Verizon it needs to offer free tethering at any plan level on the new iPad.
|AT&T 4G LTE||Price||Overage Fees||Cost Per GB used|
|250MB||$14.99/ month||$14.99/ 250MB||$59.96|
|3GB||$30/ month||$10/ 1GB||$10/ 1GB|
|5GB||$50/ month||$10/ 1GB||$10/ 1GB|
Based on pricing and incentives alone, it looks like Verizon is the carrier to turn to for your new iPad needs. That said, we have yet to test how the tablets function on either telecoms' network. But when we do, we'll publish the results.