Shared iPhone / iPad data only, or cheap iPhone 3GS data only plans?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by phonepad, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. phonepad macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2012
    Hi everyone,

    Summary: I have an inherited iPhone 3GS with no data or voice plan, no contract (ex-AT&T phone, was upgraded to new 4S), fresh install, and an iPad 2. I would like to use around 500mb - 2GB of data a month on both devices combined. I would like to use the iPhone 3GS as an emergency 911 phone. I live in America, in Southern California. What's my best plan?

    Background: I inherited the iPhone 3GS from my wife, bought the iPad new. I'm a programmer, so I don't mind setting up complicated installs, but I've never had a cell phone, so I don't know how plans work and what is available. My only phone number / phone line is Skype (and Google voice) and I'm perfectly happy with that. I'd like to be able to make Skype calls over 3G on the iPhone 3GS. I live in Southern California, and I find AT&T 3G coverage to be quite good in the areas I frequent, so I am happy enough with that (though would consider anything, and would love to ditch AT&T due to hilariously poor customer service).

    Thank you for your help. I did do extensive searches on this topic over the last few months, but I just can't figure out the current lay of the land. I really thought this would be something I could figure out on my own, but getting current, accurate information has been frustrating.


    Plans: I would like basic email and the occasional Skype call from my iPhone 3GS and iPad 2. I could get by with 500mb a month total on both devices. What is my best option for a plan? Is there any way I can get a combined plan? I don't mind paying $25 for the 2GB from ATT, but I don't want to pay $50 or $55 to have data on both devices.

    Sharing: Can I tether iPad to iPhone or vice-versa?

    911: I want to be able to call 911 from the iPhone. Is that a given, or do I need to do anything special? I don't want to call 911 to test it...

    Voice: Is there some kind of super-cheap, pay-as-you-go iPhone-compatible voice plan these days? Yes, I have googled, but results for the iPhone 3GS are either very out of date or say it is not possible. This isn't necessary, but would be nice.

    SIMS: Do the iPhone 3GS and the iPad have compatible SIMS? If so, is that useful in any way to me?

    So basically, I just want a very minimal, limited, à la carte data plan for each device. Seems like that should be doable for $25 a month or so, but I'm not seeing it. Thanks!
  2. phonepad thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2012
    Now that ATT/Apple have unlocked my iPhone 3GS, I still have this question. Is there any US carrier I can use to get:

    - a cheap data-only plan for the iPhone 3GS
    - a shared data-only plan for the iPad 2 and iPhone 3GS?

    I probably use 200mb a month on both devices. Ideally I would pre-pay or pay-as-I-go for data only. I would pay, say, $25 for 200mb if it never expired and I could use it on either device.
  3. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    I would pay $2 for 2 cheeseburgers and a fry or preferably $1.50 or $3.95 for an all you can eat buffet:D
    There is no data only plan for an iPhone.
    You can get data for the iPad and share its data plan with the iPhone.
    Did you look at any carriers websites like AT&T etc?
  4. phonepad thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2012
    Since an unlocked iPhone 3GS looks like any old GSM phone to carriers, would that mean there is no data only plan for GSM phones?

    How can I shared the data plan with the iPad? I would love to do that, thanks. Would that mean getting a sim adapter and swapping SIMs between iPad and iPhone, or do you mean tethering?

    I have looked at carrier sites but I can't find good info on their data-only plans (probably because, as you suggested, they don't really exist). For example, this page says T-Mobile offers a $.150 per day data-only plan for GSM phones, which sounds great... But I can't find any mention of it on T-Mobile's site.
  5. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    No data only with any smartphone in the US as far as I know.
    With the iPad you can share its data with tethering I believe.
    Look at AT&T site for the available iPad plans.
  6. ERIC273 macrumors 6502

    Mar 31, 2009
    per your other question.. I am pretty sure if you dial 911 it'll go through, active or not.

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