Can I use both ATT and Verizon 3G on either iPad LTE?

iSingandiDance

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Original poster
Apr 24, 2010
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I just watched the conference and this is confusing me to no end.

I owned an iPad 2 3G AT&T since Verizon was pretty crappy in my area. Would it be advisable to purchase the new iPad 4G with AT&T as well? Or would the 3G radio in either iPad 4G be compatible with both networks?

The way I'm thinking the new iPad works with both AT&T and Verizon 3G towers irrespective of which model you choose, and only the bands for 4G are different.

Can someone please confirm. Thanks.
 

zenit

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Sep 2, 2010
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straight from Apple's page:

AT&T or Verizon.
If you decide on an iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G, be sure to select the model that corresponds with the carrier you’d like to use for 4G LTE service. The iPad model you purchase is specially configured to work with either AT&T or Verizon — not both. So while you don’t have to activate service right away, you should choose your iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G according to the carrier you prefer.

http://www.apple.com/ipad/4g/
 

iSingandiDance

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Original poster
Apr 24, 2010
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straight from Apple's page:

AT&T or Verizon.
If you decide on an iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G, be sure to select the model that corresponds with the carrier you’d like to use for 4G LTE service. The iPad model you purchase is specially configured to work with either AT&T or Verizon — not both. So while you don’t have to activate service right away, you should choose your iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G according to the carrier you prefer.

http://www.apple.com/ipad/4g/
This says nothing about 3G or whether both carriers' 3G will work with either 4G iPad.
 

DeusInvictus7

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Aug 13, 2008
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Kitchener, Ontario
I thought that was pretty dumb, but I guess AT&T and Verizon use different bands for LTE right now...so it makes sense a bit.

Here in Canada, we have 3 carriers with LTE, and they all are the same (AT&T version). So here we can buy one iPad, and hop carriers if we want to.

But to answer the 3G question, every 4G iPad will have all the 3G bands. It's only the LTE radio that is different in the two in the US.
 

iSingandiDance

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Original poster
Apr 24, 2010
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But to answer the 3G question, every 4G iPad will have all the 3G bands. It's only the LTE radio that is different in the two in the US.
Awesome.

So my choice for the new iPad wouldn't necessarily be predicated on the provider I chose with the iPad 2, but moreso with the provider that offers the best 4G/LTE coverage in my area or in the areas that I plan to travel to...okay.

Back to the 3G though. So it's safe to assume there will be an option to choose both AT&T and Verizon whenever I turn the 3G service on for both AT&T and Verizon 4G iPads.

That's makes my decision for next Friday a little bit less frustrating. :confused:
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
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Back to the 3G though. So it's safe to assume there will be an option to choose both AT&T and Verizon whenever I turn the 3G service on for both AT&T and Verizon 4G iPads.
I seriously doubt that is the case. Remember, Verizon and AT&T use different 3G standards -- most significantly, Verizon doesn't use SIM cards. I assume the Verizon model will come with a SIM card slot, but there's no guarantee that we can stick in an AT&T SIM in there and have it work, and if you have the AT&T model, I doubt we can call Verizon and have them activate it with their network.
 

vincenz

macrumors 601
Oct 20, 2008
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Both versions have the same 3G bands installed inside, but for all you know, apple could disable the corresponding one for the carrier to avoid this kind of confusion.

So theoretically you can have the AT&T 4G model, but the CDMA 3G (verizon) is disabled so there'd be no problems for the user.
 

iSingandiDance

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Original poster
Apr 24, 2010
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So, if Verizon does have the better 4G coverage, but their 3G coverage in my area is lacking, I have to go with AT&T, even though they may not have a decent amount of 4G coverage until the next few years. And I'll miss out on all of the awesome 4G speeds on the Verizon network when I'm traveling to or through a Verizon-4G covered area. :confused:

I think I might just go with the wifi only version. Saves some headache and potential heartache and disappointment.
 

bidwalj

macrumors 65816
Feb 16, 2007
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So, if Verizon does have the better 4G coverage, but their 3G coverage in my area is lacking, I have to go with AT&T, even though they may not have a decent amount of 4G coverage until the next few years. And I'll miss out on all of the awesome 4G speeds on the Verizon network when I'm traveling to or through a Verizon-4G covered area. :confused:

I think I might just go with the wifi only version. Saves some headache and potential heartache and disappointment.
if you have 4g in your area, i wouldn't even worry about what verizon's 3g is like. you will only be using their lte, not their 3g. yes if 4g isn't there, you fall back onto their 3g, but that will only happen if you travel outside of your area.

verizon knows their 3g is slow and thats why they been so aggressive with their lte rollout. not only did they have a head start, but they are also have more spectrum going forward and converting their 3g quicker to lte than att.
 

iSingandiDance

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Original poster
Apr 24, 2010
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if you have 4g in your area, i wouldn't even worry about what verizon's 3g is like. you will only be using their lte, not their 3g. yes if 4g isn't there, you fall back onto their 3g, but that will only happen if you travel outside of your area.

verizon knows their 3g is slow and thats why they been so aggressive with their lte rollout. not only did they have a head start, but they are also have more spectrum going forward and converting their 3g quicker to lte than att.
It all makes sense now.

Where I live Verizon will roll out their 4G towers sometime within the next 6 months. So, I'd just have to go without 3G until then (really, I don't ever use it), but still reap the benefits of Verizon LTE when I travel home or take road trips (where I most likely will use it).

Thanks for clearing that all up. :)
 

eclipseblur954

macrumors regular
Mar 19, 2011
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Straight from apple:
Wi-Fi + 4G for AT&T model: LTE (700, 2100 MHz)3; UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
Wi-Fi + 4G for Verizon model: LTE (700 MHz)3; CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz); UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

As you can see, both models have the same GSM/HSPA (3g) chips. so either device would work on either spectrum (for 3g)
 

hottnikkz

macrumors newbie
Sep 16, 2009
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Straight from apple:
Wi-Fi + 4G for AT&T model: LTE (700, 2100 MHz)3; UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
Wi-Fi + 4G for Verizon model: LTE (700 MHz)3; CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz); UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

As you can see, both models have the same GSM/HSPA (3g) chips. so either device would work on either spectrum (for 3g)
Not entirely accurate. Either device should TECHNICALLY work on ATT's 3G no problem but only the verizon one would fall back to Verizon's 3G. ATT's model doesn't have the radio's activated for CDMA/EVDO.

This is all of course a moot point if for some reason they are carrier locked in the US (really hoping not and no evidence to say so but I'm mentioning in just in case).
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
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I wouldn't really sweat the 3G/4G speed difference. I mean 4G speed would be nice, but it's not like 3G speed was inadequate.
 

TB07-NJ

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Jul 7, 2008
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Straight from apple:
Wi-Fi + 4G for AT&T model: LTE (700, 2100 MHz)3; UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
Wi-Fi + 4G for Verizon model: LTE (700 MHz)3; CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz); UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

As you can see, both models have the same GSM/HSPA (3g) chips. so either device would work on either spectrum (for 3g)
"Technically" it is compatible, but just like the Verizon iPhone and I believe the Verizon Galaxy Nexus which also has AT&T data bands it more than likely won't work in the USA, only outside the USA on GSM. VZW will have it locked down for ATT/T-MO towers.
 

eclipseblur954

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Mar 19, 2011
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Not entirely accurate. Either device should TECHNICALLY work on ATT's 3G no problem but only the verizon one would fall back to Verizon's 3G. ATT's model doesn't have the radio's activated for CDMA/EVDO.

This is all of course a moot point if for some reason they are carrier locked in the US (really hoping not and no evidence to say so but I'm mentioning in just in case).
You are correct sir, didn't even think of that

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"Technically" it is compatible, but just like the Verizon iPhone and I believe the Verizon Galaxy Nexus which also has AT&T data bands it more than likely won't work in the USA, only outside the USA on GSM. VZW will have it locked down for ATT/T-MO towers.
The iPad is not subsidized like the iPhone is

No iPad ever comes carrier locked
 

TB07-NJ

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Jul 7, 2008
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You are correct sir, didn't even think of that

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The iPad is not subsidized like the iPhone is

No iPad ever comes carrier locked
Make that "NO GSM IPAD (ie. AT&T) model) COMES CARRIER LOCKED." Which is absolutely true, however no iPad has ever had both GSM and CDMA radios in it as the Verizon version does. This is a different situation. AT&T GSM model is unlocked and can be used on ANY GSM carrier but the VZW model is sold as a "CDMA device with worldwide capabilities" and will only be able to be used on VZW in the US and will only support GSM only outside the US.

I hope you're right because that was what I wanted but if I was a betting man I would bet heavily against the VZW model working on AT&T or T-Mo GSM even though it has the GSM radios.

I actually ordered the VZW model for just that dual (AT&T / VZW) purpose but I anticipate returning it for the ATT model when it doesn't work.
 

gmanist1000

macrumors 68030
Sep 22, 2009
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3G will work for ANY carrier outside the United States.

3G will ONLY work with the carrier you choose inside the US.

4G will ONLY work with the carrier you choose, inside the US.
 

TB07-NJ

macrumors 68020
Jul 7, 2008
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FORMERLY NJ now FL
Not entirely accurate. Either device should TECHNICALLY work on ATT's 3G no problem but only the verizon one would fall back to Verizon's 3G. ATT's model doesn't have the radio's activated for CDMA/EVDO.

This is all of course a moot point if for some reason they are carrier locked in the US (really hoping not and no evidence to say so but I'm mentioning in just in case).
All Verizon LTE devices need a 4G SIM card even though they are CDMA. In order to use AT&T (IF it worked in the US which I highly doubt it will) you would have to swap out the VZW SIM for an AT&T SIM.
 

eclipseblur954

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Mar 19, 2011
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Make that "NO GSM IPAD (ie. AT&T) model) COMES CARRIER LOCKED." Which is absolutely true, however no iPad has ever had both GSM and CDMA radios in it as the Verizon version does. This is a different situation. AT&T GSM model is unlocked and can be used on ANY GSM carrier but the VZW model is sold as a "CDMA device with worldwide capabilities" and will only be able to be used on VZW in the US and will only support GSM only outside the US.

I hope you're right because that was what I wanted but if I was a betting man I would bet heavily against the VZW model working on AT&T or T-Mo GSM even though it has the GSM radios.

I actually ordered the VZW model for just that dual (AT&T / VZW) purpose but I anticipate returning it for the ATT model when it doesn't work.
I highly doubt they would carrier lock the iPad, its not subsidized or on contract so there's no reason.
Do you have a source for where it says the ATT model will be unlocked, but the VZW one will only be compatible with GSM outside of the US? I haven't heard of being able to have a device locked in only a specific country. Its either its fully GSM unlocked, or GSM locked to a specific carrier, theres no half way point.

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All Verizon LTE devices need a 4G SIM card even though they are CDMA. In order to use AT&T (IF it worked in the US which I highly doubt it will) you would have to swap out the VZW SIM for an AT&T SIM.
4g verizon = LTE not CDMA (although i'm sure it still connects to CDMA for 3g)

And in theory it would catch ATT 3g, just not ATT LTE on the verizon model
 

TB07-NJ

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3G will work for ANY carrier outside the United States.

3G will ONLY work with the carrier you choose inside the US.

4G will ONLY work with the carrier you choose, inside the US.
You Almost got it, add:

2G (Edge) will work with T-Mobile US or any US GSM MVNO only on the AT&T GSM iPad

3G will work with a LOT of carriers OUTSIDE the US on BOTH models. Many carriers use AT&T 3G bands which are on both iPads.
 

iMaven

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Jan 21, 2011
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All Verizon LTE devices need a 4G SIM card even though they are CDMA. In order to use AT&T (IF it worked in the US which I highly doubt it will) you would have to swap out the VZW SIM for an AT&T SIM.
So I could swap out my Verizon SIM with my AT&T unlimited 3G data SIM? :confused:
 

TB07-NJ

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Jul 7, 2008
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I highly doubt they would carrier lock the iPad, its not subsidized or on contract so there's no reason.
Do you have a source for where it says the ATT model will be unlocked, but the VZW one will only be compatible with GSM outside of the US? I haven't heard of being able to have a device locked in only a specific country. Its either its fully GSM unlocked, or GSM locked to a specific carrier, theres no half way point.[



4g verizon = LTE not CDMA (although i'm sure it still connects to CDMA for 3g)

And in theory it would catch ATT 3g, just not ATT LTE on the verizon model

Absolutely right WRT LTE. 2G/3G only.

The Verizon iPhone 4S will only do GSM outside the US. Nothing to do with locking. They can easily delete specific carriers or signal types during provisioning of the SIM or programming of the radio. Same with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus.

My information came from a VZW engineer who lives 2 doors down from me. He also could be wrong be he sure seemed like he know what he was talking about. I guess we'll find out next week for sure. ;)

I ordered a VZW model with the intent of using it on AT&T 3G (no AT&T LTE here yet) with an AT&T SIM but he said it won't work.

It seems to me that if the GSM side of the CDMA VZW iPad were unlocked for USA use many many people (as I probably mistakenly did) would buy the Verizon version so they could have pretty much the best of both worlds. Better 3G than Verizon on AT&T bands and better coverage on LTE using the Verizon bands.
 

vertigo235

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Jun 6, 2009
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Absolutely right WRT LTE. 2G/3G only.

The Verizon iPhone 4S will only do GSM outside the US. Nothing to do with locking. They can easily delete specific carriers or signal types during provisioning of the SIM or programming of the radio. Same with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus.

My information came from a VZW engineer who lives 2 doors down from me. He also could be wrong be he sure seemed like he know what he was talking about. I guess we'll find out next week for sure. ;)

I ordered a VZW model with the intent of using it on AT&T 3G (no AT&T LTE here yet) with an AT&T SIM but he said it won't work.

It seems to me that if the GSM side of the CDMA VZW iPad were unlocked for USA use many many people (as I probably mistakenly did) would buy the Verizon version so they could have pretty much the best of both worlds. Better 3G than Verizon on AT&T bands and better coverage on LTE using the Verizon bands.


This is what I was going to do, but the indication that I can probably keep my unlimited data made me stick w AT&T

I look forward to seeing if this works for you.