Att or Verizon

Discussion in 'iPad' started by harleymhs, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. harleymhs macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2009
    Im looking to pick up an Ipad this weekend.. I want the 3G but not sure which carrier to go with.. I live in the NYC area and verizon and att are both decent where I live ! I heard Att data service is faster than Verizon's. Can anyone with an Ipad confirm this.. thanks! I have an iphone 4 with att and the speed isnt so great!
  2. JustMapIt, Nov 3, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011

    JustMapIt macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2010
    South of Atlanta
    I can't see any substantive difference between the two carriers. From the individual consumer perspective they both stink. My recommendation is to go with the carrier that offers the best deal AND the best coverage where you live/work. AT&T may offer higher data rates in your town, but reliability and accessibility trump data speed. Blazing 4G ain't worth much to you if you can't get a reliable signal where you need it.

    Have you thought about just buying a wi-fi only version of the iPad and setting up a hotspot plan with a carrier off of an iPhone or other smart phone? I find that for how I work that is a much better option since I can use the hotspot feature with any wi-fi enabled device like a laptop.
  3. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    There's an old adage in the airline biz that flyers always hate the last carrier they flew. That seems to be true of cell phone carriers, as well.

    The biggest single advantage of AT&T is their use of GSM technology which makes it possible to use virtually any of their devices (including the iPad) in Europe (and much of the rest of the world) by simply changing a SIM card. But if you don't travel outside the USA, that's a wash.

    For years AT&T had a very bad reputation in NYC, San Francisco, and some other cities. That appears to have changed significantly in the last couple of years. If you're interested in more than anecdotal information, though, you might want to check a site like "RootMetrics" which rates coverage and performance based on thousands of samples of user data.

    In terms of performance, 4G/LTE networks are far, far better than 3G. (On average download speeds are 8-10 times faster than 3G). And on that score Verizon is far better in terms of current coverage and actual performance than AT&T. AT&T is just beginning to roll out its 4G/LTE network; Verizon already covers almost 200 metro areas.

    The problem is that you cannot access either Verizon's or AT&T's 4G network with a 3G iPad. To take advantage of 4G/LTE networks you have to purchase a mobile hotspot from one of the carriers and (likely) sign up for a two year contract (not month to month as the iPad coverage provides) at about $50 per month (for up to 5Gigs of downloads). You can then connect your iPad via wifi to the hotspot.

    I travel a lot and have to connect my laptop as well as my iPad in areas where good wifi coverage is spotty. So for me the Verizon 4G/LTE hotspot is a good alternative. I recently took a week long trip to Kalamazoo, Michigan and used the Verizon hotspot. It was about 15 times faster than the "free" wifi in my hotel. And over the course of 7 days, I used almost 3Gigs of downloads. That trip alone would have run $40 on a 3G iPad and the performance would have been a fraction of what I got on the hotspot. Plus it covered both my iPad and my laptop.

    Of course, if you don't plan to use the cell network much, ymmv.
  4. harleymhs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2009
    I have to aggree with you about the 3g and 4g hotspot! I just pre ordered the Verizon Motorola Razr 4g.. So I will pick up a wi fi Ipad 2 and add the mobile hotspot to my new 4G Razr.. Better speed and save 130.00 on the Ipad! Thanks!
  5. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    That's an excellent solution for many folks. I started my tech life with a 300 baud acoustical modem and each advance in performance quickly becomes addictive. I now find that putting up with 3G speed is a PITA compared to the 4G/LTE performance.

    The new Razr looks like a very interesting phone. I'm eligible for an upgrade and have been considering the Razr, the forthcoming Galaxy Nexus, or an iPhone 4S. Unfortunately, whatever I choose will mean giving up my grandfathered unlimited data plan on my current Android phone. At the same time, since getting the iPad I've found that my use of the internet on my phone has declined tremendously so it may not be a major issue.

    One point you might be careful to watch for. The initial tests of the 4G/LTE phones from Verizon indicated that while they were significantly faster than their 3G counterparts, they weren't as fast as the dedicated 4G hotspots. (About 60% as fast as I recall. I think Laptop Mag did the testing but I'm not sure.) It will be interesting to see how the RAZR and the Galaxy Nexus compare.

    One thing for certain though, each will be much much faster than the 3G equipped iPads.
  6. harleymhs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2009
    Is the NEW Galaxy Nexus a Verizon phone? I know the Razr is .. I pre ordered it.. Both look like GREAT phones.. I currently have an Iphone 4 and I thinks its time to jump ship! The Razr looks HOT! Got to love that NEW Gorilla glass!
  7. dittman macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2007
    I have a Verizon LTE hotspot so when I bought my iPad 2 I got the AT&T 3G version. There are a couple of places I go that don't have good Verizon 3G or 4G coverage but do have okay AT&T 3G coverage, so this way I'll be able to connect.
  8. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    I have no inside info but the "web consensus" is that the Galaxy Nexus will be introduced on Verizon in late November or early December. I believe they've held its announcement off for a week or so to allow a greater hoopla window for the RAZR that will apparently be in Verizon stores in a couple of weeks.

    I happened to be in a Verizon store yesterday and took a look at the various 4G phones they already have and compared to my now ancient Droid they're spectacular. But before I plunk down several hundred bucks and another two year commitment to Verizon I want to get a good look at both the RAZR and the Galaxy Nexus.

    It also gave me a chance to see the iPhone 4S in person for the first time. Very nice but the retina display looks rather pale in comparison to the super AMOLED screens of some of the Android phones now available. In the past the major advantage of the iPhone was the smoother operation made possible by the limited multi-tasking the iPhone allows. But my impression is that the much more powerful chips in the new Android devices largely cancel that advantage. Or at least so it appeared in the phones I played with.

    As far as the iPhone 4S is concerned, its only appeal to me is the simpler/tighter integration with the iPad. It's a very nice phone but giving up 4G/LTE performance is a dealbreaker as far as I'm concerned. If I'm going to do that, I might as well stick with my current phone.

    P.S. Apologies for contributing to the threadjack here. Just kinda following the thread.


    Belt and suspenders is always a good way to hold your pants up as long as you don't mind buying both. :)
  9. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    It's all about where you live and which carrier has the best coverage. They are both good. I know I use each of them. I'm fortunate, as in my area they are near equals in coverage.

    Been with AT&T 12 years, and Verizon 3. I use both for the choices of phones, as I always have several to evaluate and enjoy. Customer service is nearly equal with a slight edge to AT&T for being more consistent, helpful and courteous.
  10. scorpio1973 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 5, 2009
    I have an AT&T iPhone 4S (been with AT&T since the 3GS), but I opted for the Verizon iPad 2.

    At the time, it was more readily available. Both carriers have good signal strength in my area and the places I go. And, since I wasn't going to be taking it with me out of the country, I wasn't worried about that limitation. Also, I have found the Verizon plans to be a better deal. I pay $20 for 1GB of data and that is perfect for me. AT&T's lowest price option only gives you 250MB. For $5 more a month, I get 750MB more. The data speeds are fine for what I do on my iPad 2. Overall, I am very happy with my purchase.
  11. yeah macrumors 6502a


    Jul 12, 2011
    There is no 4G iPad (yet :apple:). AT&T is usually faster than Verizon, but Verizon does have more signal strength.
  12. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I'd go with the AT&T version because it's GSM unlocked and can be used overseas with a local carrier.

    Seems like you found your solution though.
  13. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    I'd say that makes more sense. I could never understand why people would want to buy a 3G iPad when they already have a smartphone...
  14. screce macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2011
    people alwasy want more than they can afford in reality.

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