Using 3G iPad overseas

Discussion in 'iPad' started by warsawmac, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. warsawmac macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2010
    I travel internationally a lot, and wonder of I will be able to use a 3G iPad overseas, assuming I will have bought a subscription to a national network... I presume it will be like a using a mobile phone overseas... but will it involve the same horrendous roaming fees? Perhaps a better option would be to buy a mini sim locally and use that for the period of stay (although I may only be there for a couple of days). And will a 3G iPad work in countries where the carriers have not yet officially introduced their own mini sims?

    Any reflections or ideas?

  2. sibruk macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    I reckon you will have problems finding a mobile provider offering mini SIMs on a pay-as-you-go tariff. Best to cut a regular SIM down yourself, probably.

    It can be tough enough finding PAYG SIMs with a data provision. I have a UK iPhone on contract and spend a few months in the US each year. I struggle to find a US network that will give me a data provision without a contract. However, I have just signed up for a Truphone Local Anywhere account and will be using their SIM (which does come with data) next time I'm in the US. You might want to look at that. Countries are limited a tad at the moment though!
  3. BaronStein macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2010
    I think that Apple is going to announce international 3G deals in june/july. This is what they've said on iPad keynote. But the system is unknown. It can be some type of roaming, which would not be good as it will be too expensive. or it can be exclusive to each country which is better but it might be harder to make so. We need to wait and see I think.

    The best bet is something like MiFi from verizon with a wifi only version of ipad for US, as it could be better to use such device as it can be used with any other wifi capable device and with the reliability of verizon(yeah i'm one of those who doesn't favor AT&T) Or, you can jailbreak an iphone so that wherever you go, you can tether your ipad. Even overseas with a data plan from that country's service provider.


    Personally, I don't think that the 3G iPad will be a very good device to use overseas. And most probably, they would go with some roaming plan, as this could prevent the people around the globe to buy iPad from US rather than their own countries(people tend to do that as they are cheaper in US, all of the Apple product lineup). I think so, because you cannot switch the micro sim on the ipad, and iphone is a good example of the possibility of a roaming plan as it is exclusive to only the service provider in the country that its sold that you cannot use other service providers in that country without jailbreaking it.
  4. Hands Sandon macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2008
    Edit- I've just read BaronStein's post and of course you can't access the sim without taking off the screen and I wouldn't do that unless you like looking at specs of dust constantly!

    These are the plans currently available from AT&T for the iPhone, so expect similar prices for the iPad. They're not pretty-

    $24.99/month: 20MB Data Global Plan gives you 20MB of usage within over 65 countries*
    $59.99/month: 50MB Data Global Plan gives you 50MB of usage within over 65 countries*
    $119.99/month: 100MB Data Global Plan gives you 100MB of usage within over 65 countries*
    $199.99/month: 200MB Data Global Plan gives you 200MB of usage within over 65 countries*
  5. Akira1980 macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2007
    San Diego
    I would just get WiFi for international use. You don't have to worry about roaming fees and there is plenty of wifi hotspots in most locations.
  6. rdstoll macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2008
    Has there been any update on our ability to buy international roaming plans for the iPad 3G? I've looked around and haven't seen any. Am planning to travel to Central America at the end of May and just want to get an idea of what I might need to do. I've usually just gotten one of the above AT&T plans for my iPhone when going over there.
  7. dnc1916 macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2010
    Dublin, Ireland
    SOrry guys where did you get your information about the sims not being accessible? I find this very hard to believe. If this was true it would mean there would need to be a different iPad manufactured for each different 3G provider in each different country and any time a new telco decided to support the iPad a new iPad with its own microsim would need to be manufactured?

    Please clarify as if this is true I need to cancel my preorder of a US 3G iPad immediately....
  8. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Doesn't the spec sheet say the 3G version comes with a SIM ejection tool? The pretty much makes the issue unambiguous.

  9. illutionz macrumors 65816

    Oct 2, 2007
    Rhode Island
    It would be very unlikely for the SIM card tray to be unaccessible... unless BaronStein and Hands Sandon has iPad 3G :eek:

    Looking at iPad 3G tech spec

    So it does have the SIM card tray but as far as Apple blocking the tray itself, that would be contradicting to their announcement that iPad 3G is unlocked and how microSIM is used by some of international model

    From Jobs' speech
  10. haddman macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2008
    Do they offer the micro sim cards??
  11. JonboyDC macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2004
    I'm expecting there to be at least one carrier in each major market offering data-only, no-contract plans. Whether those carriers will match AT&T's pricing (which is certainly the best pricing for a data-only product I've seen from any U.S. carrier) is the big question.

    But it's true that as of right now, I'm not aware that any non-U.S. carriers have announced the availability of a data plan like this.

    (I'll be in France at the end of June, and I'm really hoping there's something available by then.)
  12. radioactive macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2006
    See page 25:

    Remove the micro-SIM card:
    1 Insert the end of the SIM eject tool into the hole on the SIM tray. Press firmly and push the tool straight in until the tray pops out. If you don’t have a
    SIM eject tool, you can use the end of a paper clip.
    2 Pull out the SIM tray and remove the micro-SIM card from the tray.

    Attached Files:

  13. illutionz macrumors 65816

    Oct 2, 2007
    Rhode Island
    Thanks for the clarification. Had that manual open this afternoon yet didn't notice that page when skimming through it :D
  14. michaelruggeri macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2009
    I just went to the Apple Store to check this all out. The Apple tech person told me that the system is open. So you will not be moving micro chips around. Instead, you will cancel your AT&T plan before traveling and when you get to your travel destination, just click on settings and the iPad will tell you which national companies there offer a monthly plan. You can choose one, see what their rates are, and if your like the rates which are based on national rates and not huge AT&T international roaming rates and huge per minute charges, you can then just click on the monthly rate and company you like and you are in. No looking for stores to find microchips and swapping out chips.

    This looks great and is far better and easier than I thought it would be.

    Mike Ruggeri
  15. JonboyDC macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2004
    If this turns out to be accurate, it will be amazing. Maybe even revolutionary -- imagine having a phone that, at any given moment, could tell you which available carriers (that is, carriers whose technology is compatible with the phone) had the best rates and allowed you to switch to a contract-free plan with that carrier right from the phone. If they can do this with data, it shouldn't be that much of an extension to do it with phones.
  16. Elzlaik macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    I don't think this is accurate. The Apple Store rep I spoke to disagreed. Also, the iPad manual says: "iPad is unlocked, so you can choose your preferred carrier. Cellular data settings vary depending on the carrier. If you choose a carrier other than AT&T (U.S. only), contact them to set up an account and to obtain a compatible micro-SIM card." Which means you have to switch sims for different carriers.
  17. illutionz macrumors 65816

    Oct 2, 2007
    Rhode Island
    I really don't see what's the big deal of getting local sim card... I have around 7 SIM cards sitting inside my drawer... some probably disabled but some still works.

    I would say that you probably need to get microsim from local carrier and just pop the sim tray out and voila
  18. Elzlaik macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    Recently I've made friends with an Apple employee at the local genius bar. Now, I am not saying what he is telling me is accurate, I am only relaying what I have heard.

    The correspondence with Apple HQ he's seen says the 3G models in the US are locked and thus useless in Canada. He says it is only the international 3G iPads that will be unlocked. After he said that I rewatched the iPad keynote and noticed Steve Jobs doesn't mention unlocked during his speech about US iPads, he says 3G models will be unlocked while addressing the international release.

    Also I've been told not to hold my breath expecting 3G models at the end of May in Canada. He's heard there is a small delay.

    Once again, I am only relaying what I've heard, which is not what I wanted to hear as i was intent on crossing the border next week to pick up a 3G unit.
  19. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    I just read the transcript of the keynote and that's not what he says:

  20. rdstoll macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2008
    I saw someone post this image in another thread...looks like you will be able to sign up for int'l data right on the iPad.

  21. Elzlaik macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    Yes, that is an abbreviated paraphrasing of the speech I cited. As I said, I am merely bringing to light what rumour I heard today and strengthening it with some context from the keynote. By which I mean that Jobs goes on for quite some time about the 3G in America, seems to conclude with talk of the domestic, then switches to talk about international policy and only then addresses unlocking, ending with "So, internationally if carriers offer micro sims, they’ll likely just work." I know he said "All iPad 3G models are unlocked" but he says it while discussing the international release, not the domestic. I don't think Apple would do that, but I thought I would suggest how it could be in line with what I heard today.

    As I said ... rumour, only. My hope is to hear of other Canadians going across the border, bringing back 3G iPads, trimming down mini sims and it just working. Today I heard something and thought I would share it ... I mean this is MacRumors.

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