Plans and Internet Access for Your iPad mini

Your iPad mini model will help you know what online plan is best. Older-model iPad models with 3G cellular from AT&T work with Wi-Fi, AT&T EDGE, and AT&T 3G. Verizon's iPad 3G version works with Verizon Wireless's so-called CDMA EV-DO Rev network. Data plans vary and are subject to change.

  • The AT&T plan for pay-per-use ranges from $5 for a 250MB day pass to $50 for a 30-day, 5GB pass.

  • The Sprint plan starts at $5. Verizon Wireless has a 1GB monthly plan for $20, with additional plans from there.

  • The T-Mobile plan offers 200MB of free 4G LTE data every month for a long as you own your tablet (even if you aren't a T-Mobile customer).

Cellular customers prepay for cellular access using a credit card. A one- or two-year contract commitment isn't required. With the third-generation or later models that offer the cellular option, you pay more up front and whenever you need cellular service. But when a 4G network such as LTE (Long Term Evolution) is available, you can surf fast.

Cellular-ready iPads also work on GSM/UMTS network technologies that perform outside the U.S., though you may have to pop in a SIM card to get it going abroad without Wi-Fi. You may see different network flavors, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA. To see how much you're using the network, tap Setting and then tap Cellular Data. Look at Cellular Data Usage for the current period.

You can also see the following:

  • How much cellular data you used while roaming.

  • How much cellular data you used for specific apps.

If an app is using a lot of data and you can live without that app for a while — at least when Wi-Fi is out of reach — tap the switch to turn it off. (Gray will show instead of green.) Tap the Reset Statistics button at the bottom of the Usage pane (you may have to scroll down to see it) on the day you start your monthly data plan.

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