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Moccasin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 21, 2011
996
206
Newcastle, UK
I travel a lot - I have an hour or so on the train to/from work - and am seriously contemplating an iPad (probably mini retina).

Until yesterday, I was intending to get the cellular version but now it seems I can upgrade my iPhone O2 tariff to 4G and get 5GB data for an extra £10/month. Given that a basic data sim for the iPad is about £10/mth, I would be getting more data with one sim for the same cost as 2 sims and save the additional £100 up front cost of the cellular iPad version. I wasn't previously bothered by 4G, as the signal won't cover much of my use patterns, but the extra data is useful as I sometimes go over my current 1GB limit and have to top up.

I've not done much tethering in the past as usually if I have my MBA with me, I'll be in a hotel or family member's home with wifi.

How have others got on with tethering in this way? Is BT tethering better than wifi? What's the battery drain? Using my iPhone on the train now drains the battery quite quickly - mainly due to patchy cellular signal (another reason for not spending on the cellular iPad - connection will be variable while on the train but good enough for reading or updating blog etc).

If I do go for wifi only, I then have to decide whether to keep the money, upgrade to the next model up (32GB) or go for the Air instead....
 

janitor1999

macrumors regular
Sep 9, 2008
103
0
You first need to check that O2 will allow you to tether on that tariff, a lot of mobile operators don't allow tethering or charge extra. I have the 3G ipad but usually tether as the ipad doesn't go mobile that often, so buying data would be a waste, think battery drain depends on having a good 3G signal, as I have tethered my ipad for an hour with minimal battery drain, but always with a good signal. If the signal is not good the phone will be searching for a signal, the battery will drain quicker.
 
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NATO

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2005
1,697
31
Northern Ireland
I've always thought hard about whether to bother with the cellular version of the iPad when I'm buying one and when I think it through I just can't justify the extra £100 expense, not to mention the additional data costs and hassle of maintaining two cellular accounts.

My own usage tends to be at home or work mainly where WiFi is prevalent. When I'm travelling somewhere I would tend to just tether to my 4G iPhone, which works for me as I'd likely just be using smaller amounts of data (Web browsing, email etc) rather than trying to download movies.

When it comes down to it, the WiFi version with more storage beats the Cellular version with less storage (for roughly the same price). Unless your use is primarily out and about where WiFi isn't that handy to find I'd stick to WiFi and save yourself some cash.

(If it helps - I did have to be very choosey over which network to go for as most don't offer tethering. I'm currently with EE on their 4G tariff and tethering is included automatically)
 
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Moccasin

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 21, 2011
996
206
Newcastle, UK
Thanks guys. Pretty sure that my current tariff allows tethering but will check that the 4G tariffs do as well. Their website suggests that they do - O2 have been prety good at offering visual voicemail and all the other add-ons.
 
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roop27

macrumors member
Mar 22, 2011
81
51
London, UK
Thanks guys. Pretty sure that my current tariff allows tethering but will check that the 4G tariffs do as well. Their website suggests that they do - O2 have been prety good at offering visual voicemail and all the other add-ons.

Hi mate. O2 do in fact offer tethering with 4G. You'd be better off probably going for the tethering option rather than cellular as your needs don't justify the extra costs. As for battery drain it does drain quite quickly. Depends on how long you use it. You could get a couple of hours easy with a full charge device.
 
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Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,198
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
Thanks guys. Pretty sure that my current tariff allows tethering but will check that the 4G tariffs do as well. Their website suggests that they do - O2 have been prety good at offering visual voicemail and all the other add-ons.

I can confirm that O2 will allow you to tether, but watch the charges if you don't tell them up front.

I was caught in a situation a year ago when I was forced to tether my phone to my MBA...I wound up with a £48 charge on top of my monthly bill...I was organising a funeral and just HAD to have access to the web...The place had no wifi etc. If you tell them and add it in you should be fine.
 
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