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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:03 AM   #1
illiniry
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Is the 250MB 3G data plan for $14.99 a decent amount of data for a whole month?

I've been using the Data Usage feature of my iphone to measure how much I use on a monthly basis and I haven't quite figured out if 250MB is really enough, it seems like it is.

What kind of typical activity on the internet would require a lot of downloading, thus making 250MB not enough?
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:07 AM   #2
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My cable provider was here yesterday testing my router and told me that last month I downloaded about 100gb and this week I've downloaded almost 30gb.

...mostly files...but websites and email would be far far smaller. The ONLY thing I'd be worried about is apps, I'd download apps from WiFi.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:09 AM   #3
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The low tier plan is for a few books and magazines and a newpaper everyday and briefly on the internet. Otherwise, choose the high tier plan.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:41 AM   #4
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heavy iphone user

I'm a HEAVY iphone users, and I don't really know how the iphone tracks data, if it is ALL data, or just the 3G data. I am connected to WIFI at home/work locations.

But, that said, using a LOT of apps, lots of email and a fair amount of slinging on 3G, I always use LESS than 250MB a month.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 10:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tivoboy View Post
I'm a HEAVY iphone users, and I don't really know how the iphone tracks data, if it is ALL data, or just the 3G data. I am connected to WIFI at home/work locations.

But, that said, using a LOT of apps, lots of email and a fair amount of slinging on 3G, I always use LESS than 250MB a month.
This is an excellent question actually. I'm assuming it tracks TOTAL data, not just 3G so if you are a heavy iphone user and you use less than 250MB a month, the cheaper plan would probably work just fine, especially if you're on wi-fi anyway a good portion of the time.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 11:04 AM   #6
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FWIW I have averaged over 300MB/mo since November and I am a heavy iphone user. I just use the internet a lot, I don't really download too much stuff from itunes or anything. I also don't really play that many games, I'm assuming games would take up a huge chunk of data.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 11:09 AM   #7
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I consider myself a moderate data consumer on my iPhone, and I've used a total of 750mb over cellular data since July. That's an average of ~107mb/month. Therefore, I think I will be happy with the 250mb plan. Also, it appears that they give you the option to upgrade to the unlimited plan if you hit your 250mb limit.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 11:33 AM   #8
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Does it matter? You can upgrade mid-month should you need to.

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No-contract 3G service.
AT&T 3G Data Plans for iPad

In the United States, 3G service is available through a breakthrough deal with AT&T. You choose the amount of data per month you want to buy — 250MB or unlimited. If you choose the 250MB plan, you’ll receive onscreen messages as you get close to your monthly data limit so you can decide whether to turn off 3G or upgrade to the unlimited plan. Best of all, there’s no contract. So if you have a business trip or vacation approaching, just sign up for the month you’ll be traveling and cancel when you get back. You don’t need to visit a store to get 3G service. You can sign up, check your data usage, manage your account, or cancel your service — all from your iPad.
http://www.apple.com/ipad/3g/
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 11:37 AM   #9
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As long as your not watching movies/tv shows on the internet you most likely won't go over 250mb and seeing as the iPad doesn't have flash you won't be watching many movies/tv shows on the net you should be fine.

I really wish it had flash the device would be so much better
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 12:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illiniry View Post
This is an excellent question actually. I'm assuming it tracks TOTAL data, not just 3G so if you are a heavy iphone user and you use less than 250MB a month, the cheaper plan would probably work just fine, especially if you're on wi-fi anyway a good portion of the time.
Actually the iPhone only tracks 3G data.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 12:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rdowns View Post
Does it matter? You can upgrade mid-month should you need to.



http://www.apple.com/ipad/3g/
You can't upgrade. Basically what happens is

Let's say you buy Internet May 1st, with the $14.99 plan. Now, you have 30 days to use 250MB of data.

Let's say you run out of data on May 9th. Guess what? You now need to set up a new month of data starting from May 9th. Meaning, you start May 9th for another $14.99 for 250MB or $29.99 for unlimited for 30 days. That's hardly an upgrade.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 12:15 PM   #12
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I would say that as long as you are not downloading lots of songs or movies or large files, the 250 plan is basically unlimited email(without big attachments) and web browsing. I've used 1.7 GB of 3g data on my 3gs, which I got the day it came out and am on constantly, so 250 MB a month should be plenty.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 12:19 PM   #13
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I'm really impressed with the way they are handling 3G data on the iPad. You really can't go wrong:

1) I will use WIFI whenever I'm at home or in free hot spots.

2) I will start with the 250MB/mo plan at $15 and see how it goes the first month. Thankfully, they have implemented a data usage meter so you can keep track of how much you use.

3) Furthermore, you can upgrade at any time so if you use more than normal one month, just upgrade to the Unlimited plan until your usage goes back down. There's no contract and you can change plans, so you have nothing to lose!

I imagine 250MB will be enough for me most of the time, but I will certainly upgrade to Unlimited for those times when I need more (trips, etc). It really all depends on how much I use this thing outside of my home, and I won't know that until I actually get to use it.

The only question I have is what happens if you get to 250MB without checking the data meter? Will data access stop working automatically? Will you automatically be charged extra if you go over 250MB? Will it charge you by the megabyte after you go over, or will it upgrade you automatically to the unlimited plan for that month?

I'd prefer to have the option, but I'd rather it just cut off my data access if I reach the limit and give me a message. I don't want to always have to worry about checking my data meter to prevent overcharges.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 12:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Travisimo View Post
I'm really impressed with the way they are handling 3G data on the iPad. You really can't go wrong:

1) I will use WIFI whenever I'm at home or in free hot spots.

2) I will start with the 250MB/mo plan at $15 and see how it goes the first month. Thankfully, they have implemented a data usage meter so you can keep track of how much you use.

3) Furthermore, you can upgrade at any time so if you use more than normal one month, just upgrade to the Unlimited plan until your usage goes back down. There's no contract and you can change plans, so you have nothing to lose!

I imagine 250MB will be enough for me most of the time, but I will certainly upgrade to Unlimited for those times when I need more (trips, etc). It really all depends on how much I use this thing outside of my home, and I won't know that until I actually get to use it.

The only question I have is what happens if you get to 250MB without checking the data meter? Will data access stop working automatically? Will you automatically be charged extra if you go over 250MB? Will it charge you by the megabyte after you go over, or will it upgrade you automatically to the unlimited plan for that month?

I'd prefer to have the option, but I'd rather it just cut off my data access if I reach the limit and give me a message. I don't want to always have to worry about checking my data meter to prevent overcharges.
The way I understand it, it's a recurring charge. No upgrades.

Hence, you run out of 250MB data, it lets you know, and automatically bills you for another 250MB of data for $14.99 unless you do something before you run out.

So technically in a month, you can rack up a $14.99 charge everyday if you hit 250MB everyday.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 12:21 PM   #15
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It kind of seems like a rip off in my opinion. You can make a pretty significant jump in data for just $15. I guess you can be by wifi alot and everything, but i can see paying half of unlimited data for only 250 mb. But, i doubt you would go over that if your near wifi alot, i only check the internet and email and stuff on the go. I just think it should be $5-10 for the amount of data your getting.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 12:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by tivoboy View Post
I'm a HEAVY iphone users, and I don't really know how the iphone tracks data, if it is ALL data, or just the 3G data. I am connected to WIFI at home/work locations.

But, that said, using a LOT of apps, lots of email and a fair amount of slinging on 3G, I always use LESS than 250MB a month.
There's no way you're a heavy iPhone user if you use that little a month, unless you never leave your house.

I consider myself a heavy iPhone user and I usually hit about 1GB. That's through YouTube viewing, a lot of web browsing and some audio streaming here and there.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 01:25 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by melman101 View Post
The way I understand it, it's a recurring charge. No upgrades.

Hence, you run out of 250MB data, it lets you know, and automatically bills you for another 250MB of data for $14.99 unless you do something before you run out.

So technically in a month, you can rack up a $14.99 charge everyday if you hit 250MB everyday.
Then you understand it wrong. There's a front-page article on this site debunking your assumptions.

And it's 250MB of 3G downloads. WiFi isn't tracked, nor is it limited. This should be absolutely not in question, because WiFi isn't something you subscribe to (maybe certain networks, but not as a feature of the iPad).

To the OP, if all you're doing is web browsing and email, chances are 250MB will be fine, unless you visit a lot of media-rich sites and do so often. You can upgrade it if it's not, during the month, so no reason not to stick with the lower plan at first and see if it works.

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Old Mar 12, 2010, 01:27 PM   #18
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Everyone's usage is going to vary, but purchasing the 3G version is a better choice IMO, in case you ever do want to use data...
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 01:29 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by illiniry View Post
This is an excellent question actually. I'm assuming it tracks TOTAL data, not just 3G so if you are a heavy iphone user and you use less than 250MB a month, the cheaper plan would probably work just fine, especially if you're on wi-fi anyway a good portion of the time.
I don't know about on the phone, but on AT&T's website I can see how much I use and it is around 200mb a month. That is with streaming some video/music, twitter/facebook updates/notifications and browsing the web. I use my iPhone a lot, but pretty much everywhere I go I can connect to the wifi
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 01:30 PM   #20
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Then you understand it wrong. There's a front-page article on this site debunking your assumptions.

And it's 250MB of 3G downloads. WiFi isn't tracked, nor is it limited. This should be absolutely not in question, because WiFi isn't something you subscribe to (maybe certain networks, but not as a feature of the iPad).

To the OP, if all you're doing is web browsing and email, chances are 250MB will be fine, unless you visit a lot of media-rich sites and do so often. You can upgrade it if it's not, during the month, so no reason not to stick with the lower plan at first and see if it works.

jW
Umm no. Read the screenshot on Apple's website.



"When you select an option below, it will start when the current plan runs out of data or reaches the end date, whichever comes first."
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 01:59 PM   #21
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Umm no. Read the screenshot on Apple's website.



"When you select an option below, it will start when the current plan runs out of data or reaches the end date, whichever comes first."
Here's is my interpretation of the above screen:

I currently have 3G active on my iPad and I have about 100mb of data left.

You need to tell me what to do when you either use up your 100mb of data or Wednesday (5 days from now) arrives...whichever comes first. So it is possible to get asked the following question tonight, tomorrow....but no later than Wednesday.

Q. Would you like to:
1) Add another 250mb of data for another 30 days, or
2) Switch your monthly plan to unlimited, or
3) Deactivate your service

Edit:

You can answer this question right now but it will not execute until you run out of data or until 5 days from now, whichever comes first.

Seems to me it is entirely possible to spend $14.99 every Friday if you are not smart enough to choose the unlimited plan.

Last edited by kensteele; Mar 12, 2010 at 02:05 PM.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 02:04 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by kensteele View Post
Here's is my interpretation of the above screen:

I currently have 3G active on my iPad and I have about 100mb of data left.

You need to tell me what to do when you either use up your 100mb of data or Wednesday (5 days from now) arrives...whichever comes first. So it is possible to get asked the following question tonight, tomorrow....but no later than Wednesday.

Q. Would you like to:
1) Add another 250mb of data for another 30 days, or
2) Switch your monthly plan to unlimited, or
3) Deactivate your service
Which is exactly what I said. So 100mb of data, or 5 days from now. I either pay $14.99 for another 250, or I pay $29.99 for unlimited.

What I'm saying is that I don't sign up for 250MB for a month for $14.99, then I run out. I can't "UPGRADE" to unlimited for an additional $15 dollars. What I have to do is open a new month up for $14.99 or $29.99 additionally.

Also, as for the recurring piece that I mentioned.

Take a look at this screenshot:



I see at the top it says "Recurring Domestic Plan Options". Hence, you run out of 250MB, you will automatically get billed for another 250MB unless you switch it or cancel before then.
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Last edited by melman101; Mar 12, 2010 at 02:09 PM.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 02:12 PM   #23
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What I'm saying is that I don't sign up for 250MB for a month for $14.99, then I run out. I can't "UPGRADE" to unlimited for an additional $15 dollars. What I have to do is open a new month up for $14.99 or $29.99 additionally.
Correct. But I would say it when you run out of data or time "....what I have to do at that point is choose to spend $14.99 for the next 30 days starting today. And then I'll get asked again when my data hits zero or 30 days elapse. Or you can spend $29.99 and won't ask the question until 30 days from now. Choose now."

Honestly this is my guess and I don't know how the billing system would work. Seems fair to me if you have 100mb remaining and 5 days to use it and you use it all up that very night and you have the unlimited checked, you should be able to pay the difference ($29.99 - $14.99) for the next five days of unlimited use. At the end of five days, your service will continue unlimited (because that is what you have checked) until you choose one of the other two options.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 02:15 PM   #24
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Correct. But I would say it when you run out of data or time "....what I have to do at that point is choose to spend $14.99 for the next 30 days starting today. And then I'll get asked again when my data hits zero or 30 days elapse. Or you can spend $29.99 and won't ask the question until 30 days from now. Choose now."

Honestly this is my guess and I don't know how the billing system would work. Seems fair to me if you have 100mb remaining and 5 days to use it and you use it all up that very night and you have the unlimited checked, you should be able to pay the difference ($29.99 - $14.99) for the next five days of unlimited use. At the end of five days, your service will continue unlimited (because that is what you have checked) until you choose one of the other two options.
Look at the screenshot above. It says "Recurring". That means, you will automatically get billed no matter what.

The only way you can stop it from happening is canceling your plan or switching the plan before this happens.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 02:15 PM   #25
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Take a look at this screenshot:



I see at the top it says "Recurring Domestic Plan Options". Hence, you run out of 250MB, you will automatically get billed for another 250MB unless you switch it or cancel before then.

That's the way it would appear but I'm not sure we understand how the billing system would work, re: giving credits to your bill for overlapping times. After all, the button did say "one month." And I wouldn't call it getting billed automatically because I believe the customer has requested ahead of time to get billed for next time. The customer asked for this in the last screen. You need to un-ask (by using the cancel button) in the previous screen and that "auto" billing will not take place the next time.

Thinking off the top of my head. We're not even sure if ATT is aware of this "glitch."

Technically if I see the word "recurring" for one month timeframes, I would not expect to see any more than 12 charges to my credit card in one year period. Not several dozen if I was on the monthly limited plan and I used the heck out of the data service. That wouldn't look too good on the credit card, could lead to a dispute. Let see what the overage charges turn out to be.

*Sorry I keep editing my post.

Last edited by kensteele; Mar 12, 2010 at 02:21 PM.
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