Going overseas: mobile hotspot vs built in network

Discussion in 'iPad' started by wayland1985, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. wayland1985 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #1
    Hello,
    I decided to buy my first iPad on a whim. I'm still not sure I'm going to keep it, but I figured I'd give it a shot for 14 days (I don't know if I can justify the price, given that I have a great MBP and a nice iPhone)...

    Anyways, the main reason I picked one up is because I am going on a trip in May to Portugal. I figured this would be nice to have to watch movies on the plane ride over. But now I'm thinking having Internet access would be nice too.

    Im not sure if anybody knows what would be more cost-effective: returning this iPad for an AT&T model and using their international roaming, or buying a 3G or 4g hotspot?

    Any ideas?

    Thanks!
     
  2. steve-p macrumors 68000

    steve-p

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Newbury, UK
    #2
    You don't say where you are but I'm assuming USA as you talk about AT&T. I heard that AT&T charge nearly $20 per megabyte for international data roaming. Sure it's nice to have 24/7 Internet access, but not necessarily that nice. Won't you have WiFi where you are staying?

    It's curious why international roaming costs are so high for US customers. A US AT&T customer in Europe pays $20 per MB. Yet when I visit the US my roaming costs are £120 ($190) for data capped at 200 MB per month, i.e. 95c per MB. Quite a difference between $20 and 95c. 200MB of data at $20 would buy a few iPads.
     
  3. wayland1985 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #3
    Sorry! Yes, I'm in the US. We're visiting my wifes family in a rural area. No wifi where we are going.... They don't have a computer.
     
  4. steve-p macrumors 68000

    steve-p

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Newbury, UK
    #4
    Really? Are you sure they have electricity lol
     
  5. wayland1985 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #5
    Lol. Yes, there's at least that. They're old farmers, and don't have use for computers I guess.

    The last time we got buy with a portable DVD player and my iphone for entertainment, but I got the iPad this time to see if it would be better.

    I'd also like to keep tabs on my email while away. So I figured a wireless connection would be nice to have.
     
  6. steve-p macrumors 68000

    steve-p

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    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Newbury, UK
    #6
  7. Bobby.e macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Location:
    Kansas
    #7
    why not just get a local sim card there and put it in the ipad?
     
  8. b.c., Apr 4, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012

    b.c. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    #8
    agreed - this is probably your most cost effective route, assuming there are cheap prepaid data plans in Portugal. I'm sure that'll be way cheaper than any international roaming from AT&T

    on a recent trip to Asia with local microSIM cards could get unlimited 3G data on my iPad for less than $2.50/day. Only downside is that those carriers didn't seem to support data sharing so I couldn't get the new iPad's Personal Hotspot feature to work. So in your case do some research before your trip into the local wireless carriers in Portugal for no-contract iPad data plans.

    on other trips I've used one of those pocket wi-fi (aka Mi-Fi) devices with local SIM card, those are pretty cost effective too, although you'd have to rent or buy the hardware, and it's an extra thing to carry. but battery life is very short compared to the iPad - for example the EMobile pocket wifi device I used only seemed to get 3 or 4hrs of battery life
     
  9. b.c. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    #9
    we here in Canada have it worse! Rogers regular data roaming rate overseas in Asia or Europe is $30/MB. not to mention $0.75/text message.

    Rogers thinks they're doing you a big favour when they offer their "great deals" on special international data roaming packages, e.g. $15/2MB/1day (yes, that's a whopping TWO megabytes), all the way up to the incredibly sweet $225/75MB/1week data roaming pass
     
  10. wayland1985 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #10
    I didn't know the iPad was unlocked. I'll have my wife check out the websites and see what options there are (they're all in portuguese).
     
  11. Bobby.e macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Location:
    Kansas
    #11
    Yup. The iPad has always been unlocked.
     

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