If I get AT&T 4G iPad, then cancel data service...

Tribefan

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 2, 2011
43
0
Charlotte, NC
If I get the 4G iPad from AT&T and then cancel the data service, would I still be able to access the AT&T WiFi hotspots they advertise you can use with the 4G model? Or is there some way that you can only use these AT&T hotspots when your iPad SIM card has active data service?

I was set on a black 64GB wifi only iPad, but if I could buy the 4G model, yet cancel the data service after the first month yet still get use out of the AT&T hotspots, I'd be interested in that idea. Thoughts?
 

Tribefan

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 2, 2011
43
0
Charlotte, NC
I was just wondering. I know nothing about the AT&T hotspots. All I've ever used are home wifi and open-to-the-public wifi. Never a carrier-specific wifi set up. Wasn't sure how it works and didn't find an answer to my specific question doing a search.
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Jul 2, 2007
8,307
1,016
Sunny Florida
To be honest I don't know. All I know is that when I'm near a AT&T hotspot, my iPhone or iPad just connect without even asking me. I imagine they "know" I'm a paying customer. I can't connect with my Android tablet. Then again it maybe just knows its an Apple device by the MAC address and let's them through. But I'd imagine that's a service they'd offer to paying customers only.
 

greytmom

macrumors 68040
Jun 23, 2010
3,429
608
Uh, why would you need to have the data plan to use the wireless hotspot? Those who buy wifi only iPads can use the hotspots.

Maybe I'm not understanding the question.
 

karsal

macrumors member
Mar 9, 2012
46
1
I'm pretty sure AT&T hotspots work on any device, I use it on my laptop all the time...it shouldn't matter.
 

Tribefan

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 2, 2011
43
0
Charlotte, NC
Uh, why would you need to have the data plan to use the wireless hotspot? Those who buy wifi only iPads can use the hotspots.

Maybe I'm not understanding the question.
I thought I heard somewhere that, in order to connect to the AT&T hotspots, you have to have some kind of "log in" or something to identify yourself as an AT&T customer. What I wasn't sure of was, if I bought a 4G iPad and therefore had whatever "log in" for the hotspots initially, would that "log in" become deactivated if I cancelled my data service after the first month. Again, the whole "log in" or whatever for the hotspots was just something I heard several days ago. I don't know if that's true, or if the phone/device just connected to it like any other open wifi network without having to "sign in" to the hotspot.
 

gloss

macrumors 601
May 9, 2006
4,811
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around/about
I thought I heard somewhere that, in order to connect to the AT&T hotspots, you have to have some kind of "log in" or something to identify yourself as an AT&T customer. What I wasn't sure of was, if I bought a 4G iPad and therefore had whatever "log in" for the hotspots initially, would that "log in" become deactivated if I cancelled my data service after the first month. Again, the whole "log in" or whatever for the hotspots was just something I heard several days ago. I don't know if that's true, or if the phone/device just connected to it like any other open wifi network without having to "sign in" to the hotspot.
If you have an AT&T iPhone you can just use your phone number and password to get on the WiFi.
 

greytmom

macrumors 68040
Jun 23, 2010
3,429
608
I thought I heard somewhere that, in order to connect to the AT&T hotspots, you have to have some kind of "log in" or something to identify yourself as an AT&T customer. What I wasn't sure of was, if I bought a 4G iPad and therefore had whatever "log in" for the hotspots initially, would that "log in" become deactivated if I cancelled my data service after the first month. Again, the whole "log in" or whatever for the hotspots was just something I heard several days ago. I don't know if that's true, or if the phone/device just connected to it like any other open wifi network without having to "sign in" to the hotspot.
I don't recall having to login, but it has been awhile. I'd call AT&T to be sure.
 

ZBoater

macrumors G3
Jul 2, 2007
8,307
1,016
Sunny Florida
AT&T hotspots are not free. From their website:

AT&T Wi-Fi Basic is free to customers who subscribe to AT&T High Speed Internet, Fast Access DSL, and to wireless customers with qualifying data plans. Wi-Fi Basic also is available to LaptopConnect customers with qualifying DataConnect service plans. There is no need to activate AT&T Wi-Fi Basic.

http://www.att.com/gen/general?pid=5949
 

Tribefan

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 2, 2011
43
0
Charlotte, NC
If you have an AT&T iPhone you can just use your phone number and password to get on the WiFi.
Ok, (hopefully) last dumb question on this: I have an AT&T iPhone, but I was never told of any password to enter along with my phone number to access any AT&T hotspots. Is this something I would need to configure with AT&T Customer Service or something?
 

greytmom

macrumors 68040
Jun 23, 2010
3,429
608
Ok, (hopefully) last dumb question on this: I have an AT&T iPhone, but I was never told of any password to enter along with my phone number to access any AT&T hotspots. Is this something I would need to configure with AT&T Customer Service or something?
Do you login online to check your bill?
 

dagamer34

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2007
1,359
101
Houston, TX
Ok, (hopefully) last dumb question on this: I have an AT&T iPhone, but I was never told of any password to enter along with my phone number to access any AT&T hotspots. Is this something I would need to configure with AT&T Customer Service or something?
AT&T iPhones configure themselves automatically to join AT&T WiFi hotspots without your input.
 

boltjames

macrumors 601
May 2, 2010
4,278
2,504
I don't understand the rampant cheapskateism related to ownership of a $829 frivolous, unnecessary purchase. "This $15 case is overpriced!" "Can you believe that someone is selling their The New iPad for $100 more than list price on Craigslist!?" "Can I borrow someone's bus pass so I don't have to pay $2.00 to take the subway to wait in line for 10 hours to drop $600 on a pane of glass?"

People....people....people.....if you can't afford an iPad, please don't buy one. If you can't afford $15 a month, you can't afford the $829 either.

BJ
 

Tribefan

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 2, 2011
43
0
Charlotte, NC
For me, at least, I can afford the data plan. However, I'd really only want the 4G model for the GPS and the possible AT&T hotspots. So I'd be choosing not to pay for the data plan. Not that I couldn't pay for it.
 

beret9987

macrumors regular
Jun 14, 2005
125
0
San Francisco, CA
Depends. All the McDonalds and Starbucks hotspots are AT&T Wi-Fi, and are free to use. Granted they're REALLY slow but it gets the job done. You don't need service specifically to get access to wi-fi hotspots. I always use to hop onto the "attwifi" SSID with my Sprint iPhone with no problems.
 

Michael CM1

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2008
5,676
272
I have a Verizon iPhone and am able to use AT&T hotspots all over the place. I don't know how a hotspot could determine your cell provider based on a WiFi signal without some other data being passed. In the first days of iPhone hotspots for AT&T users, you had to enter a username and password. None of that now. Some screen pops up and you have to agree to some terms.

I would love to know if someone has encountered a problem with this.

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Uh, why would you need to have the data plan to use the wireless hotspot? Those who buy wifi only iPads can use the hotspots.

Maybe I'm not understanding the question.
1) You decide not to buy the 4G service that month
2) You're in an area with old, crappy EDGE service
3) You have burned through your data cap
4) You want to download an app over 50MB or update your OS, which can only be done via WiFi
5) You want to watch a movie from Netflix but don't want to use all your data in the process.
 

poppap

macrumors member
Nov 1, 2007
75
0
From my understanding, when an iOS device join AT&T hotspot it automatically send the device phone number to authenticate. I would assume that it then check with their billings to see if the account has active data plan... If yes, you can use Internet through the hotspot right away without doing anything. If not, you'll be redirected to AT&T hotspot login/purchase page when opening the browser.

For the case of Starbucks' AT&T wifi, you'll be redirected to the page where you accept the terms of free wifi if you don't have active data plan...