iPad Cellular Data Without Plan

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Resist, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. Resist macrumors 68030

    Jan 15, 2008
    Just noticed my new wifi+3G iPad was showing the AT&T signal bars in the upper left corner, checked the settings and Cellular Data was on. I don't have a contract with my iPad, so I'm curious why it would show the AT&T signal. I'm not noticing a change in anything when I turn Cellular Data off, other than the AT&T bars go away and iPad comes up.
  2. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I think the iPad is just telling you that you are in range of ATT service.

    I have the same thing .... no 3G service but because the option is on it displays the signal readout.

    If you go into settings and turn off WiFi, you will find out real quick that you are not working on 3G when you try to browse a new page.
  3. bafonso macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2010
    3g is ON and connected to the wifi network but you will need to pay to actually transfer data through it.

    I'm appalled at the lack of options in US for iPad data options. In europe, every country has 3 or more companies from which to buy a 15euro/1gig or month microSim for the iPad.
  4. Resist thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jan 15, 2008
    Believe me, so are we! Especially since much of this technology was designed in the US.
  5. PoisonScorpion macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2009
    Unfortunately it's technology right now. As I understand it, Verizon and Sprint use different technologies that the iPad doesn't support. T-Mobile and AT&T are the ones left. T-Mobile's 3G uses a different frequency that isn't supported by iPad. A bunch of conditions limit us to AT&T. Other countries have more than one option.
  6. Matthew Yohe macrumors 68020

    Oct 12, 2006
    Right, because many companies use GSM in europe. Not the case here. We don't have a bunch of carriers that use SIMs, just AT&T and T-Mobile.
  7. bafonso macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2010
    I actually live in US and understand the reasons. It's just a shame US is behind technology wise as far as cell networks go. The mere fact that "less dropped calls" is a selling point in US is ludicrous to the rest of the world :)

    I'm very happy iPad wasn't released for t-mobile 3G in US, otherwise it would have been a pain to travel with it!
  8. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    I am presently working in Malaysia; cue one 3G USB dongle, one take out SIM, two toss dongle, three cut down SIM, four load SIM into iPad, five enjoy iPad in the jungle :cool:

    Most emerging nations are just going directly to digital :cool:

  9. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    One of the problems with being a wealthy and technologically "advanced" country (and being so darn big overall) is that it's hard to get any standardization. Many European countries were thrown into the 21st Century pretty rapidly and haven't been encumbered by legacy infrastructure or hugely competitive markets, so it's not that we're behind, it's that they're ahead.
  10. Resist thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jan 15, 2008
    But does having this on use anymore power? I'm trying to figure out of I should turn it off to save battery power, but if it doesn't use anything extra then I might keep it on.
  11. dave420 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2010
    Maintaining a constant 3G connection does take power, and even more power if the connection is weak. If you aren't going to use the 3G service then you should probably turn it off.
  12. Resist thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jan 15, 2008
    As I already stated in the above posts, I don't have 3G service for my iPad. I'm just trying to find out if having the 3G Cellular setting turned on (without the service), can shorten my battery life.
  13. pvmacguy macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2009
    This is simple just turn it off! Your not using it so why have it enabled? Of course it's going to use more power since the cellular chip is activate and connected to a near cell site. Just because you don't have a plan doesn't meen your not connect to a tower and receiving a signal. Turn it off, be happy and enjoy using your iPad.
  14. Resist thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jan 15, 2008
    I had it enabled because that was the default setting was. And I wasn't getting a definative answer as to whether or not having it on uses more power or not. And since I don't have a cell plan, some had said it doesn't use more power.

    I have since turned this setting off. It would be nice though if Apple had said something in their documentation about turning this off to save battery power.

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