Carrier Best US Cellular Network for iPad Air 2 (I live in the South)

Discussion in 'iPad' started by oklahoma258, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. oklahoma258, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014

    oklahoma258 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    #1
    I recently purchased a 64GB WiFi + Cellular iPad Air 2 (Gold). And it should be here in a couple of days. I am going to travel quite a bit with it from Georgia to Florida to Oklahoma (all around the South.) For you guys experience with it and the best bang for my buck, which Cellular LTE network should I go with? I have heard that AT&T locks the SIM in if you choose it? Is that true? I wouldn't mind that as long as AT&T is the best network... But I'm not too sure which one is the best for me. Any ideas? Is it still just a 30-day plan (that you can choose when to put it on) and not like an all year-contract plan? Thanks and I would appreciate any help.

    As you can tell my 1st Gen. iPad is too old and slow for me nowadays.
     
  2. rigormortis, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #2
    you could just walk into an AT&T store and pick up a free sim and activate in the store , that way your apple sim won't get locked. and keep the apple sim for later on

    before committing, to an entire month or whatever. why not try t-mobile? you get free 200 mb of data a month for life

    you already have the apple sim so you won't need to buy a tmo sim card

    try activating that on the apple sim. i think u should give them a chance. if it doesn't work out, its not like it costed you any money to try it out. with a paid plan tmo gives you music streaming on iPads just like phones

    if you don't have an apple sim, the tmobile sim card will set you back $15 , but you can get them cheaper on eBay or amazon


    the free deal should be activated using the iPad. if you go to a retail store and ask about it, they might tell you to buy a new iPad hahah

    if you don't like tmo coverage, swap the sim card out for an AT&T sim card

    i don't like the idea of AT&T burning my apple sim so i have to get a new apple sim at my expense. when AT&T gives them away at the AT&T stores

    in order to get a free AT&T sim you need to bring the actual device to the store and activate it in the store
    if you just walk in and ask for a sim card they won't do it. I've tried verizon and AT&T stores and both times they turned me down and refused to give me a sim card when i had no iPad with me
     
  3. rigormortis, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #3
    AT&T
    ====
    250 meg $14.99
    3 GB $30
    5 gb $50

    if you go over, they will charge you for it

    if you already have AT&T you can add your iPad for $10 each month

    T-mobile
    ===
    200 mb FREE
    if you go over 200 mb then its shut off for the month
    ** Recommended for find my iPhone **
    ==

    1 gb $20
    3 gb $30
    5 gb $40
    if you go over on paid plans the speed is throttled and you don't get charged

    if you already have voice service then you get a $10 discount on prepaid plans

    INCLDUDES music freedom + 27 streaming services will not go against your cap

    i do not work for them


    AT&T & verizon have plans where you can add a tablet for $10 or so a month

    t-mo u can add a iPad too

    t-mo had a deal where they will give you a separate line of data that matches your voice plan for $10 too
    but i don't know if that promo is still in effect


    i like to get prepaid and to keep the data separate.
     
  4. rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #4
    i did not mention verizon because there is red tape involved in bringing iPads to verizon. i heard stories where the sim card has to be activated in an official verizon device and then put in your iPad

    or

    they won't give you a sim card because they don't like your MEID # , but if you do get your hands on one from another party , like amazon or eBay it will activate fine

    there is no technical difference between AT&T , tmobile or verizon iPad air and air 2, its just verizon can be jerks

    if you are a traveler and like to travel the country, then a lot of people would recommend verizon
     
  5. felux macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    #5
    I am specifically responding to this since I activated a used iPad Air with Verizon yesterday. I believe they have better pricing for plans and do not charge for the hotspot like AT&T does. Not to mention coverage as I travel alot as well.

    I believe the trick to not getting hassled is to use a corporate Verizon store and not one of the authorized resellers. Use the store finder on their site. I was out with a no contract pre-pay plan, free sim and no activate charge since I was upgrading from my old iPad 3.
     
  6. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #6
    I travel a lot between Georgia and Florida. In my opinion speed wise ATT LTE is much faster than Verizon LTE (I have both carriers so know the difference).

    Verizon has slightly better coverage than ATT especially in southern/middle Georgia (I been driving a lot between Charlesteron to Columbia South Carolina. Into Augusta Georgia all the way back down to Orlando Florida Plus from Augusta to Atlanta a lot.

    But I have been extremely disappointed with Verizon LTE speeds. I upgraded from IPad 3 LTE thinking the Verizon "XLTE" in the new iPad Air 2 cellular would give me faster speeds. During peak times (5-8pm). I have been stable and averaging between 7mpbs-12mpbs with Verizon LTE. Not great. Only after 10pm do the speeds become better around 20-30mpbs. Yes I am aware that XLTE basically uses AWS bands when band 13 is congested. But I live and travel in Verizon XLTE areas a lot (Augusta Atlanta and Orlando).

    ATT is rock solid. I get min 12-15mpbs and usually hit 25 mpbs during peak times and 30-40mpbs during off peak times.
     
  7. oklahoma258 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    #7
    So should I take the apple SIM out of the iPad and take the iPad without a SIM card in it to AT&T? And they'll give me the SIM for free?
     
  8. minicard macrumors regular

    minicard

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Location:
    Oregon
    #8
    Would like to know the answer as well. Just got my Air2 from BB. If I bring it to ATT, will they remove my Apple sim and install their own?
     
  9. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #9
    You can simply activate AT&T on the Apple SIM if that's what you want. You can always get another Apple SIM for a few dollars if you reconsider later.
    It varies. Sometimes they give you one without questions, sometimes only under the condition that you add the iPad to a postpaid mobile share plan (which earns the salesperson a commission). I think the regular fee is supposed to be $10.

    If you don't consume a lot of data, I'd also recommend to try T-Mobile's free 200MB. Their coverage can be spotty in rural areas and smaller towns, but if you happen to be in an area that is covered by their LTE, it's pretty good. They also have competitively priced passes for bigger data volumes. AT&T has very good coverage these days in my experience, about on par with Verizon.
     
  10. oklahoma258 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    #10
    How does one go about getting another Apple SIM card? I might just buy an extra.
     
  11. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #11
    You can buy them at an Apple Store. Price is $4.99.
     
  12. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #12
    When I took my Air 2 in to the ATT store to get a sim and activate they took the Apple sim out and replaced it with their sim and set it up. I simply put my hand out and said I wanted the Apple sim back. The guy kind of smiled and handed it back. What could he say? No! It was easy-peasy.

    Don't buy another Apple sim. All the carriers will give you one for free if you activate in store. You could try both Verzion and ATT for a month each but as was posted above Verzion gets a bit pissy sometimres.
     
  13. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #13
    If u have ATT mobiles share. ATT is still giving $100 credit after 30 days b
     
  14. Xenomorph macrumors 65816

    Xenomorph

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    St. Louis
    #14
    I'd recommend T-Mobile.

    They give you 200MB LTE a month. I think it simply gets throttled after that, but you still have a connection. Basically, free Cellular data "for life". $0. Seriously.

    I don't believe Sprint offers anything like that. I know AT&T doesn't.

    Besides picking T-Mobile to get free data, you are still free to switch to AT&T or Sprint after that, so what do you have to lose?
     
  15. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #15
    Yes, but only if you make a 2-year commitment ...

    If only ATT didn't lock the Apple SIM. You could use T-Mobile's free 200MB as a baseline, and activate ATT on a case-by-case basis when needed (for better coverage or bigger volume) without even switching the SIM. Sigh. :rolleyes:
     
  16. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #16
    No. It does not require 2 year commitment.

    Google "ATT iPad sim" (on computer or tablet). Don't do it on iPhone or smartphone.

    It will send u to this webpage and u can add byod with zero activation fees to mobile share. I already have Verizon unlimited iPad sim. But i will order iPad sim for att to my brother mobile share. Keep line active for 2 months to make sure I get the $100 credit.

    Than cancel the add a tablet line. $10/mo x 2 months. $20. $100 statement credit. Bam. Just netted a $80 profit from ATT.

    ATT credits u pretty quickly. I could do 1 month but will do 2
    Months to make sure credit comes in.

    This doesn't require 2 year commitment
     

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  17. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #17
    I know there was a limited time promotion like that in early 2014. But I don't think it's active anymore and can't find it with your search term. Do you have a link?

    Today, to my knowledge you need a 2-year comittment. See:

    http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/byop.html
    "Pricing subject to change. Requires a new 2-yr wireless agreement with data (min $14.99/mo.) or Mobile Share (min $30/mo.) plan. You will receive a $100 bill credit if you activate your own tablet."
     
  18. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #18
    Agree you have nothing to lose by going T-Mobile 200mb free route with 128kpbs throttled speeds afterwards. You can't be beat free.

    Internet speed is all relative to what we are used to.

    I know with my ATT throttled 500kpbs on my phone after 5gb. It's still usable (for phone web surfing).

    You will consume 200mb extremely quickly if you have anything running in the back ground (my wife chewed up 150mb of data in less than one day on Disney cruise (iMessage takes up data especially sending video iMessages)

    128kpbs would be usable for basic web browsing on a tablet.
     
  19. Plutonius, Dec 11, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014

    Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #19
    Just get a free AT&T SIM card and you can switch between AT&T and T-Mobile just by swapping SIM cards (activate AT&T on the AT&T SIM card and not on the SIM card that came with your Air 2)..

    It's not an issue for the Air2 or Mini3 since the IMEI numbers are in the Verizon database.

    Verizon refuses to add Air1 or Mini2 IMEI numbers to their database so it is an issue with them.
     
  20. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #20
    Nope, here is the desktop browser link: It is a no contract BYOP.

    http://www.att.com/tablets/att/sim-for-apple-ipad-wi-fi-cellular-device.html#fbid=YxgwRa0HnfE

    $100 credit after one month.
     
  21. rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #21
    It's not an issue for the Air2 or Mini3 since the IMEI numbers are in the Verizon database.

    Verizon refuses to add Air1 or Mini2 IMEI numbers to their database so it is an issue with them.[/QUOTE]

    thank you for providing up to date information
     
  22. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #22
    Well, if you try it, let us know if it works. From past discussions here, consensus seemed to be that it requires a 2-year agreement now. See e.g. this thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1806700
     

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