Verizon Offers The Best Data Plan For Your iPad: Our Look At All Wireless Plans For Tablets


Photo: Robert Scoble

The tablet market is finally growing beyond the iPad.We have our first true competitor to the iPad with the Xoom, with several more on the way as the year goes on.

If you decide to go with a tablet that has a 3G (or 4G) connection, make sure you pick the best plan. Each major carrier has different plans, and some will vary from tablet to tablet. 

We broke down each carrier’s current offering to help you decide.

verizon guy

As of this Friday, Verizon will offer 3G service to the three biggest tablets on the market: iPad 2, Xoom, and Galaxy Tab. We’ve used Verizon 3G on the Xoom and the connection was speedy and stable. If you can get it on your tablet, Verizon is one of your best bets.

You can view the pricing breakdown here, but here’s what you need to know for your tablet. These prices are good for all 3G tablets, including the iPad 2:

  • $20/month for 1GB
  • $35/month for 3 GB
  • $50/month for 5 GB
  • $80/month for 10 GB

If you go over the cap, you’ll be charged $10 for an extra GB.

Chances are slim you’ll need more than 3 GB, unless you plan on streaming a lot of video. For most people, the 3 GB for $35 per month will be the best bet.

Verizon will offer 4G service on the Xoom later this spring, but there hasn’t been an official announcement on pricing. To give you an idea what you can expect, here’s what Verizon charges for 4G service on USB modems right now:

  • $50/month for 5 GB
  • $80/month for 10 GB


AT&T HQ in SAn Antonio

Photo: AP Images

AT&T just introduced new a new option for tablet data plans. You can now decide to prepay each month or be billed at the end of the month for your data usage.Both plans are the same cost the same. The only difference is that the “postpaid” option will be added to your monthly bill while the “prepaid” option will be charged to your credit card at the beginning of the month.

Here are the prices:

  • $14.99/month for 250 MB
  • $25/month for 2 GB

If you choose the postpaid option, you’ll be charged $10 for an additional GB ig you go over the cap. Prepaid users on the 2 GB plan will have the option to purchase an additional 2 GB for $25 if they go over the cap.

The 2 GB plan is obviously the better choice here. Chances are pretty good that you’ll eat through 250 MB on your tablet. The real question is whether to go with the postpaid or prepaid plan. We think postpaid is the best, especially if you’re already an AT&T customer. You’ll only be charged an additional $10 for going over your cap instead of being cut off like you would with the prepaid plan.

For those of you who already have a tablet data plan from AT&T and plan on upgrading to the iPad 2, the carrier has announced it will grandfather your current data rates into your new contract.


sprint flatiron

Sprint only offers the Galaxy Tab (for now), but it does have reasonable data plans for it.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • $29.99/month for 2 GB
  • $59.99/month for 5 GB

We suggest going with the 2 GB plan, even though it’s a bit more expensive than the same plan on AT&T. The good news is that Sprint will cut the Tab’s price to $299.99 if you sign a two-year contract.


TMobile MyTouch Commercial

Photo: T-Mobile’s YouTube Channel

T-Mobile has two tablets available right now: the Galaxy Tab and Dell Streak 7. Both have the same data plan.Here’s what they look like:

  • $24.99/month for 200 MB
  • $39.99/month for 5 GB

If you choose the 200 MB plan, you’ll be charged $0.10 for each additional MB over the cap. There’s no overage charge for the 5 GB plan, but T-Mobile says it may reduce your connection speed if you go over.

Just like with AT&T, you’ll most likely burn through 200 MB pretty quickly, so go with the 5 GB plan. It’s also a nice bonus that T-Mobile won’t punish your wallet if you go over the cap.

Our Pick: Verizon

verizon ipad

Verizon has the most options for your tablet. Whether you’re a heavy or light user, you’ll find one that suits you.

And with 4G coming soon to the Xoom and presumably other tablets, Verizon wins hands down.

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