Thinking about returning AT&T iPad for Verizon

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Adelphos33, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Adelphos33, Mar 13, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012

    Adelphos33 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    I have an AT&T iPad arriving on Friday. I have used AT&T for years, have been happy with them (with the exception of the drop calls phenomenon in the early iPhone 4 era). Out of habit I preordered the iPad for AT&T last week.

    However, after reading up on it, it seems like Verizon has an advantage for this current iPad.

    - LTE: Verizon's LTE network is more extensive
    - Hotspot: This seems key... Wi-fi hotspot at no additional charge.

    The only advantage AT&T seems to have is a lower $/MB price at certain tiers. Also, AT&T has free wifi in various locations.

    I live in NYC, and AT&T LTE is apparently fast here, but AT&T LTE is limited to major cities. For example, it's not available in Denver, where I travel quite a bit.

    I have a few questions about the Verizon iPad, which I can't seem to figure out:

    1) When traveling internationally, can I "deactivate" Verizon roaming and just buy a data sim card? With the previous unlocked iPads, this is possible, but I haven't seen a confirmation of this for the Verizon iPad.

    2) What international frequencies are available on the Verizon iPad? Presumably you can't use the HSPA+ GSM that is available in the US (even if you buy an AT&T sim card and put it in the Verizon iPad). What about similar frquencies abroad?

    3) Do any of you have a Verizon LTE phone? How often is LTE unavailable?

    I am seriously considering going to the Verizon store at 8 AM on Friday and returning the AT&T iPad when I take delivery...
  2. bidwalj macrumors 65816

    Feb 16, 2007
    The Verizon iPad is unlocked just like the AT&T one and has all of the gsm bands. It will work overseas just like the AT&T version. The only difference between the two are lte bands and the verizon one supports CDMA.

    In the sf bay area, I have a Verizon 4g lte mifi and haven't dropped back to CDMA in any of the areas. The lte network had good coverage wherever they have it already. Verizon plans to convert to full lte by next year so they will have a solid buildout
  3. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    The hotspot functionality makes little difference to me. The iPad is a device I'd want to have a hotspot service to (from another device) not a device I'd need to have hotspot service come from to something else.

    Anyway, neither the AT&T nor the Verizon iPad LTE will work in most European countries from what I've read. They will use different bands over there so you'd be on 3G. I went with AT&T because at least of LTE isn't available it will fall back to a far faster service than what you will experience if you fall back on the Verizon iPad. The again, you may find that you need to fall back far less on the Verizon iPad because of the better network.

    It will be awesome one day when Apple can release one model for both carriers.
  4. Adelphos33 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    I actually am curious about this - why wasn't it as simple as adding Verizon basebands to the AT&T model?
  5. Digidesign macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2002
    I doubt either carrier would want a model that can work on both platforms since they want the user locked in to their network by all means. If Apple wanted to they could have included all basebands in one model, but most likely they are respecting the wishes of the carriers.
  6. aka777, Mar 13, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012

    aka777 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    It would basically require additional chipsets, that would eat into the battery life and increase the size and price. It's simply easier to offer individual models for now.
  7. SeniorGato1 macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2010
    only long term benefit of keeping att is data bundling. In the future, it may be cheaper to have both your att iphone and att ipad consuming 1 bucket of data.

    of course this is not available yet, but on both verizon's and ATT's roadmap.

    I have a 4G verizon android phone and it's faster than my comcast along with good reliability.
  8. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I prefer AT&T because in non-LTE areas I'll get HSPA, which wipes the floor with Verizon and Sprint...
  9. koigirl macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    Okay, I've thought and thought about this. I ordered the ATT version because it offered more data (3g for $30) - this was before VZW publicized 1g for $20 or free tethering- and because I read on a tech blog on the 7th when I was trying to decide that there would be a $35 activation fee from VZW if/when I wanted to turn the service on or for reactivation. I have seen this question asked but not answered on these forums: is it true VZW charges activation fee to start or restart data plan? That's a big one for me as I won't necessarily need data plan on an ongoing basis. Also, I don't really care to use tethering from iPad. The most compelling reason for me to return my AT&T version for VZW would be much more widespread LTE network of Verizon. I may exchange mine.

    It seems like both AT&T and VZW would have gotten their s___ together before launch and clearly spelled out in full data plan options!:mad::mad:
  10. aka777 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    Definitely a YMMV situation.

    Looking at speed tests on Howard forums, in the day-to-day real world scenarios, VZ still comes out ahead. AT&T 3G data grinds to a halt during peak hour and drops to Edge 2G speeds often outside Metro areas.
  11. jackwins macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2008
    I had Verizon LTE service about 6 months ago and I switched to AT&T. Speaking from experience I like the AT&T LTE better because the VZ LTE was very spotty, and thats supposedly in full LTE coverage areas. Not to mention the VZ LTE speed was not too impressive. The fastest download was 3-4MBs. With a 1-2MBs upload speed.

    With AT&T my fasted download speed was between 10-12MBs. I am content with AT&T up to now.
  12. fullmanfullninj macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2009
    Wow, that's strange. When I worked at Best Buy Mobile and we tested out VZW's LTE phones, download speeds would be 15mbps+ with a very reasonably low ping.

    Of course, it all depends on where you are. Here in Southern California, LTE is pretty strong almost everywhere you go, with a few exceptions. In some areas ATT is going to be much better, in other areas, VZW.

    However I found it interesting that a previous poster mentioned that when LTE is not available, ATT's iPad will jump down to HSPA+, which is noticeably faster than VZW's 3G (right?)...interesting. Something for everyone to consider if you plan on traveling.

    In terms of just 4G LTE coverage, VZW has ATT beat...just because VZW has been rolling out LTE for much longer than ATT has. But the dropping down to HSPA+ when 4G isn't available on ATT is tempting too...if you live in an area where ATT LTE is available, I'd recommend getting the ATT one so if you travel around, you can go down to HSPA+ instead of 3G.

    I will ask my former Verizon rep if this is true. This is a good question...I hadn't considered this before. I do not believe they will charge you activation each time, but I may be wrong.
  13. aka777 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    Something was wrong there, as I've seen people with 71MBit/s DL in NYC of all places and 21 MBit/s UL speeds on VZ LTE.

    AT&T's LTE will be fast for now as no one is on it, however, keep in mind that they simply do not own the same 4G spectrum and bandwidth as VZ does. More bandwidth in a market means significantly faster speeds and less congestion.
  14. Peanut207 macrumors 6502


    Mar 2, 2010
    Exactly! ;) I would stay with AT&T. Much quicker than Verizon.
  15. jackwins macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2008
    WOW!!! 71MB/s down is incredible, isnt the peak for LTE is 72MB/s?

    I do know LTE speeds vary based on a number of factors. I will be content with 10MB/s down.
  16. PLin macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2003
    I usually buy the AT&T version, but I pre-ordered the Verizon one this time. Verizon has LTE in a lot more cities, and the hotspot feature may come in handy sometime, since I don't want to give up the unlimited plan on my iPhone.

    However, the first thing I'm going to do when the iPad arrives is to install an AT&T SIM card to see if I can use AT&T 3G if I'm in a city where Verizon doesn't offer LTE. Technically, the Verizon iPad supports HSPA+ on the 850MHz frequency, so there's no reason why it shouldn't work on AT&T's 3G network, which is a lot faster than Verizon's 3G CDMA network.
  17. aka777 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
  18. AgentElliot007 macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2010
    I've had an AT&T iPad 2 and I can't wait to get my Verizon LTE iPad. When you have good service from AT&T, it's faster on 3G, but it's rare to get that great service. More often than not it's negligibly faster than my Verizon iPhone, with occasional bursts of higher speeds in areas with good coverage and minimal congestion. But Verizon LTE is everywhere in my area and it's building out at a much faster pace than AT&T at that, and in the few places that won't have LTE until next year, Verizon's 3G isn't much worse than AT&T in those areas. Plus, I'd just prefer to deal with Verizon over AT&T any day of the week. People have plenty of negative things to say about Big Red, but they've been nothing but good to me.
  19. orlandocano macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2010
  20. aka777, Mar 13, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012

    aka777 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    Pretty much sums it up to the tee.

    When you acquire at least 4 bars of signal and the network is not congested, AT&T HSPA+ 3G is without a doubt faster. However, when factoring the various scenarios a wireless user faces, many find VZ's nationwide 3G and consistent performance a better overall experience. I still laugh whenever I see E (2g) on my AT&T service.

    VZ's customer service is ranked #1 versus AT&T who comes in dead last and couldn't care less about what the customer thinks.

    In terms of LTE 4G, VZ's roll-out is lightyears ahead of AT&T. By the time AT&T matches VZ's current LTE footprint, the majority of VZ's 3G network will be LTE.
  21. rkdiddy macrumors 65816


    Mar 19, 2008
    OC Baby!
  22. catalyst6 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2007
    That's obviously incorrect. That never happened with iPad 2.
  23. rkdiddy macrumors 65816


    Mar 19, 2008
    OC Baby!
    Looked on Verizon's website and pulled this off the iPad FAQ section:

    This would be the same as AT&T, basically you can activate and deactivate without an activation fee.
  24. Gator Bob macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2011
    FWIW, Consumer Reports rates Verizon the best U.S. carrier and AT&T the worst. Also, we've traveled across the US in our RV and found Verizon consistently reliable. It always delivers some kind of signal, ranging from uber-fast 4G to fairly slow 3G.
  25. AttilaTheHun macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2010
    if you just need it for the US yes go for it you are right,
    I bought the AT&T but going to use the WIFI only,
    the GSM is not just AT&T any micro sim around the world will work so its a good selling point,
    because next year I will buy the new iPad that will come out

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