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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jan 03, 2013
    iPad cellular plan vs WiFi with smartphone
    I am looking into purchasing an iPad, finally. My question is about experience with data plans. I am wondering if there are advantages to one of the cellular data plans available on the iPad vs using WiFi through hotspot feature on smartphone with Tmobile.

    I don't know that I will use much data on an iPad, so hotspot would be less expensive. I think I can add the hotspot feature for $14.99/month.

    Any experience with this option?


  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 7+, Numerous iPods, High Sierra
    If you purchase an iPad your only choices are either the Verizon or AT&T models. As far as I'm aware, there is currently no way to use it on T-Mobile's network. The AT&T data plans have recently changed so you might wish to look into them before deciding. I have an iPad 3 Verizon LTE model and their plans offer a free hot spot. It's $20 per month for 1 GB, $30 per month for 2 GB and so on.

  3. #3

    IvanLasston's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 26, 2010
    Rocky Mountain High, Colorado
    1.8 GHz i7 MBA 11" OSX 10.8.2
    For me - I have a 4G hotspot - so that any device I get can connect to 4G cellular through Wifi. My wife does not have the hotspot enabled on her phone, nor does she have a hotspot. I don't know about your plan cellphone plan - but usually Cellular carriers are pretty strict about turning data and hotspot on and off. I bought my wife a iPad 4 with Cellular because as chscag said they offer a free hotspot - as well as the ability to turn on and off the data at will. So for the most part we don't turn on Cellular data because where my wife goes there is free Wifi. Also - if she travels with me she uses my 4G MiFi. It is when she goes alone that she would turn it on.

    So with all that lead in - I would say - if you are going to be using the hotspot function on your phone a lot - and your plan allows you the flexibility - to turn it off when not needed - it is probably cheaper to go that route since you have t-mobile.

    Now the Cellular iPads do have an actual GPS built in (vs triangulation via Wifi with the Wifi iPads) so that may be something to consider. And as I said - I like the flexibility to only enable data when needed was a big plus for me.

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