The money you need to spend in order to take advantage of the capabilities of an iPad doesn’t stop being spent the moment you purchase the iPad, especially if you get the 3G version. These iPad costs can actually become worrying if you want to use your iPad abroad. That’s why you should pay attention to some details about roaming costs that will help you keeps the costs of using an iPad abroad under control.
In the European Union there are actually rules and regulations that prevent carriers from shocking their customers with bills. So, in the EU, if you use roaming on an iPad, the carrier of choice needs to block your connection the moment your bill reaches €50. In the US there is no such threshold in place. What’s known from the very start is that in order to use the 3G capabilities of your iPad even when you travel you will have to be ok with paying quite a few extra dollars. For example, if you are an AT&T customer you will have to pay $200 per month for 200MB of international roaming. In addition, if during the 30 days that the data is active you don’t use it all, you simply lose every MB left. By contrast, if you use your 3G iPad in the US you will have to pay only $15 for 250MB of data.
The situation is not more fortunate in most European countries. For instance, in the UK Orange charges around $4.50 for each megabyte you spend in a European country other than the UK and $9.50 per megabyte for the rest of countries that you can visit. Only in Germany the pricing seems more reasonable because O2, one of the carriers that operate in the mentioned European country, charges only $1 per megabyte if you use your iPad 3G in other European countries than Germany.
Considering that such high costs are involved by using your iPad 3G worldwide, you should consider keeping inactive all the iPad services that use 3G especially if you often travel. That means you will have to disable the 3G radio, place the iPad in airplane mode and start getting accustomed to using only Wi-Fi enabled services. The other possibility you have to reduce the costs of using your iPad’s 3G in any country around the world involves getting a different microSIM and a data plan in each country you visit. Fortunately the iPad is flexible enough to let you change the microSIM as often as you like, so all it’s left to do is track down a data plan that is compatible with the time period you plan to stay in that specific country.
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