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iPad 3G

I haven't yet used much of the AT&T $15.00 iPad data plan and I'm beginning to think that the AT&T executive who opined that few iPad customers will use cellular plans might be right.

The good thing about the plan is that I can turn it on whenever I need it. The two bad things about it are that it is slow and that AT&T will automatically renew it if I don't remember to cancel it before its expiration date.

Well, there is nothing to be done about slow, is there? It is a little embarassing to be living in a 3rd world internet access country. Can you imagine how tourists from countries that have real high speed wireless access feel when they first access the Internet here? Oh, my, these poor Americans - they have to live with this always?

Yes, we do.

I could cancel the data plan now. I have the option of canceling it completely, which throws away any unused part, or just canceling the automatic renewal. Yeah, I know: why would anyone throw away unused data? According to Ins and Outs of the 3G AT&T iPad Data Plans, there are no pro-rated refunds, so that seems silly.

Wait, why am I canceling? I might need this now and then right? I have burned through a whopping 13MB of data so far; I might need it again, might I not?

Yeah, sure. But if I do, I'll buy another $15.00 plan then. That need might not come up for months, so why give AT&T money for something I may not need? I am sure every iPad 3G owner has been thinking exactly the same thoughts. Even if I am traveling, there is usually a McDonalds or Starbucks or something with free wireless access nearby - surely I can wait a few minutes to check my email? Heck, if all I need is mail, I can do that in my cell phone! I can wait.

So why not just choose the other cancel option now? Cancel the renewal, keep the plan?

There is a small annoyance there. After 60 days, they wipe out your account, which means I would have to go through the signup process again. That was not horribly difficult or time consuming, but there was a bit of data entry and a small wait, so my plan is to delay the cancellation until the last minute, just in case I do reactivate.

That does seem unlikely. Too many McDonalds and Starbucks. Sure, I can see the need coming up once in a great while, but overall I think that AT&T executive was right: few of us will use this very often. It is good to have available, but unlikely that I will need it.



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Thu Oct 7 12:31:56 2010: 9031   DavidGillam

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I originally tried to stay off any 3g data plan for my iPad--I had the same thoughts of using free wifi almost everywhere. I soon discovered that more times than not, I was in situations where no wifi (free or otherwise) was available.

Often, this happens when at a customer site. The customer has a security policy forbidding outsiders (me) using its network. In order to help the customer, I need access to the Internet--skype, email, web documentation, etc. Without a 3g data plan, I would be less effective at my job.

So I started off with the $15 option, and quickly ran through that on one outing--skype group chats tend to eat a lot of bandwidth. I upgraded to unlimited before AT&T discontinued that option.

I may have worked reasonably with the $15 plan, paid every 2 weeks, but I could see easily how I would routinely need 3 such renewals in a month, so $30 flat fee is more economical in my case.

Cheers - Dave






Thu Oct 7 12:40:35 2010: 9033   TonyLawrence

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Ayup, YMMV. I have done fine with the $15.00 plan and have been able to skip several weeks in between turning it off and turning it on again - but if they offered the $30 for $20, I'd just do that as it would be easier.



Thu Oct 7 12:48:36 2010: 9034   Donal

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I recommend easing up on the Big Mac, Fries and Free Wifi lunches and eating proper food without the computer turned on.. Far more healthy!!

Good to have you back blogging Tony. We all missed you of late.



Thu Oct 7 12:50:44 2010: 9035   TonyLawrence

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That got resent accidentally, but I will be back full force in about a week.

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