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  • Using Your New iPad on a 4G or LTE Network Will Eat Through Your Data and Your Wallet



    CNET published an awesome analysis of exactly how fast the new iPad could potentially blow through your data plan when operating on 4G LTE networks.

    Current iPad data plans for AT&T and Verizon look like this:


    *Photo courtesy of CNET*

    Not cheap, and definitely not unlimited. Thankfully Verizon and AT&T provide data calculators to help customers decide what data plan best suits their needs. While these estimates are ballpark figures and feature a great deal of missing settings (AT&T doesnít have 4G or LTE settings, and Verizon only offers ďmobile broadband for computersĒ estimates) the figures are as close to real-world as prospective buyers can get without buying and trying.

    However, both calculators donít attempt to hide the fact 4G and LTE connections eat through data-caps like Kobayashi. A single hour of HD video streaming on a 4G connection will eat through nearly 2GB of data according to Verizon, which means 2.5 hours eats up 5GB of 4G data. Watching Arrested Development episodes via Netflix on a road-trip? Negative.

    AT&Tís calculators inflates their results, but this is likely due to the fact the calculator lumps in 3G speeds with 4G numbers. AT&Tís calculator allows users to customize a number of sliders indicating how often they do certain things via their mobile device. However, the tools wonít be very indicative of actual iPad use.

    Judging by CNETís findings using Verizon's and AT&Tís data calculators, there is almost no reason to utilize 4G speeds on a device capable of displaying 1080p and high-def video. Where the smaller screen sizes of mobile phones limit the bandwidth needed to display HD video, the new iPadís increased resolution allows users to devour data. If a user spends $50 a month for 5GB iPad data plan, theyíve essentially paid $50 to watch a single streaming HD movie on their device when in a 4G area.

    Of course, customers could only use their 4G LTE iPad on Wi-Fi home networks and hot-spots. But, then again that defeats the purpose of having true 4G mobile Internet. Even worse, the ability to use the iPad as a 4G hot-spot becomes even less economical.

    Unlimited data plans need to come back, and fast.
    Source: CNET
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Using Your New iPad on a 4G or LTE Network Will Eat Through Your Data and Your Wallet started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 47 Comments
    1. Parana6's Avatar
      Parana6 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CCNPJediHacker View Post
      You Americans really make me laugh, in the UK we just call them idiots, in the USA you tell them to have a nice day haha. Also in the UK we get free tethering so there is no point at all to ever get a 4g iPad. Will just wait for a 4g phone and then tether. There is no LTE in the UK yet anyways and none planned until late 2013;(
      We are dumb but my gas still cheap than yours lol
    1. CCNPJediHacker's Avatar
      CCNPJediHacker -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parana6 View Post
      We are dumb but my gas still cheap than yours lol
      Hahaha, and forever it shall be. £1.40 a litre now, we will be all riding pushbikes everywhere soon) I wasn't calling Americans dumb, I just love the way you guys reflect hostility with graciousness. Kind of a compliment really)
    1. trialnterror's Avatar
      trialnterror -
      This is bull doodoo theses wireless carriers are going in reverse than forward! I have the grandfathered in unlimited iPad plan and on the Internet I've found were AT&T will transfer the plan to the new iPad! Could you guys (modmyi) confirm this or us grandfathered people?
    1. n00neimp0rtant's Avatar
      n00neimp0rtant -
      I really hope T-Mobile pulls through on their promises for iPhone users to see 3G/4G data soon. My unlimited data plan is $5 a month. Unlimited data. $5 a month.
    1. Parana6's Avatar
      Parana6 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CCNPJediHacker View Post
      Hahaha, and forever it shall be. £1.40 a litre now, we will be all riding pushbikes everywhere soon) I wasn't calling Americans dumb, I just love the way you guys reflect hostility with graciousness. Kind of a compliment really)
      We still on the mercer of the big corps. Until the people put a stop on it. I hope tmobile puts its act together so I can change from AT&T to tmo
    1. luvmytj's Avatar
      luvmytj -
      Quote Originally Posted by trialnterror View Post
      This is bull doodoo theses wireless carriers are going in reverse than forward! I have the grandfathered in unlimited iPad plan and on the Internet I've found were AT&T will transfer the plan to the new iPad! Could you guys (modmyi) confirm this or us grandfathered people?
      Fortunately I still have my unlimited plan grandfathered in on my iPad for data.
      I have used my one sim in two different 3G iPads and it works fine so I suspect it will work in a new one also.
    1. kddo14's Avatar
      kddo14 -
      Quote Originally Posted by iLoveWindows&iPhone View Post
      Man, us dumb Americans...Why did we ever leave this magical homeland you speak of.....oh wait...there was a reason...right? I'm American, so I'm to dumb to know what it was.

      Oh, and he wasn't trying to call him an idiot. He was agreeing with his post, in a intelligent way....obviously to intelligent for you to understand.
      indeed, i believe we left because we were rightly facing persecution for our idiotic and oppressive religious beliefs.

      but thank god those founding fathers had a **** ton of dough and were able to create a nation which has been consistently controlled by their wealthy progeny, keeping folks like you and me in an oppressive system that only works for them! yeah boi **** the uk hurrrrr!
    1. Pepsolman's Avatar
      Pepsolman -
      Her u go guyz. You can haz calql8tr to see how much yu can burn! Burn burn burn! Spend spend spend! Die die die!
    1. idkanymore's Avatar
      idkanymore -
      How does having a faster connection automatically mean you using so much more data? It's like getting a new car and all of a sudden you're going to be driving double the miles? You'll be doing the same things you always did, just on a faster connection.
    1. Donnutt's Avatar
      Donnutt -
      Quote Originally Posted by Pepsolman View Post
      Her u go guyz. You can haz calql8tr to see how much yu can burn! Burn burn burn! Spend spend spend! Die die die!
      What the hell? Can you please type in English? No idea what you just said.
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      Hmm...what about using Straight Talk (now that they let you bring your own device), Boost Mobile, T-Mobile (I do not know how well the new iPad plays with their 4G network though) or one of the many other prepaid services that offer unlimited data plans?

      Now really, what Apple is most likely to find is that most people will buy WiFi only and use one of the many mobile hotspot devices instead. This works out cheaper per month in many cases (unless you go with one of the above options) AND is more flexible, as you can connect multiple devices no matter which carrier you have.
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parana6 View Post
      We are dumb but my gas still cheap than yours lol
      OT, but I had to respond: Actually, your gas is NOT cheaper. Our trade deficit is HUGE and that makes your gas more expensive (it's a comprehensive, 'big picture' kind of thing -- go google it); military and 'foreign aid' costs every where we get oil from; refining oil creates pollutants and contributes to health problems (google RICHMOND CALIFORNIA FLARING for starters) and we do much more in more populated areas than 'they' do. That's just off the top of my head without doing any real research into the matter. So, yeah, 'ha ha'... you got the first part of your sentence correct: we are dumb. And no 'buts' about it.
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      Quote Originally Posted by iLoveWindows&iPhone View Post
      Man, us dumb Americans...Why did we ever leave this magical homeland you speak of.....oh wait...there was a reason...right? I'm American, so I'm to dumb to know what it was.

      Oh, and he wasn't trying to call him an idiot. He was agreeing with his post, in a intelligent way....obviously to intelligent for you to understand.
      Wow. In the future, it may be best for you to use somewhat proper grammar and spelling when correcting someone.
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      Quote Originally Posted by idkanymore View Post
      How does having a faster connection automatically mean you using so much more data? Just because you have a faster connection doesnt mean youll use more data. Streaming movies on 3G ate a ton of data too. It's like getting a new car and all of a sudden you're going to be driving double the miles? You'll be doing the same things you always did, just on a faster connection. Just don't stream 1080p just because you have 4G and it's the same as before
      You're (note the contraction of YOU ARE, not the plural possessive YOUR) right, this article presents an oversimplified point-of-view.

      I nearly bought the first iPad with 3G, then I figured I'd just tether off my iPhone. That works most of the time when I need it however, there are many times when I'm between jailbreaks, or got a bad signal, or when MyWi is just acting up and it would be much easier to just have it built in to the iPad. Faster connection doesn't mean that everyone is going to start streaming BluRay ISOs to their iPad. That's ridiculous. Over time, people will use those faster connections for higher-bandwidth applications, but the immediate 6-12 months should be considered using applications in use today. There just isn't much HD available for streaming. But having an alternative connection to AT&T (I have AT&T on my iPhone and Verizon on my pre-ordered iPad) gives me another option for email, browsing, my SD slingbox or anything else I would do IF there's no wifi AND I really want to do something immediate. But, yeah, I can't see people sitting in their home (with wifi) or at the mall or Starbucks (with wifi) and deciding to use half their data for the month on LTE instead.

      And if they do, they deserve the big bill they're going to get.
    1. powa's Avatar
      powa -
      I actually LOLed at the photo
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Numbers like this make no sense. If I am browsing the web, I am using the same amount of data to load a web page with a 3G connection as I am loading it with a 4G connection. The only possible argument I can see is that you are loading more pages per equal length of time because you can. In real world use, I am not sure it is going to work this way. In other words, I don;t see most people increasing their data use significantly just because they have a faster connection. The difference isn't like jumping from EDGE to 3G, as edge you would wait minutes to load a page, thus causing most people to essentially give up and stop browsing.
    1. buggsy2's Avatar
      buggsy2 -
      If you got the AT&T new iPad no worries, they have very little LTE coverage...
    1. hogcia's Avatar
      hogcia -
      250mb for $15.00 is a dam joke!
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by idkanymore View Post
      How does having a faster connection automatically mean you using so much more data? Just because you have a faster connection doesnt mean youll use more data. Streaming movies on 3G ate a ton of data too. It's like getting a new car and all of a sudden you're going to be driving double the miles? You'll be doing the same things you always did, just on a faster connection. Just don't stream 1080p just because you have 4G and it's the same as before
      What you have to consider is, for example, is if it takes 5 minutes to do one thing, and now it takes half that time, then you may move on to other things and end up using twice as much in the same time span as before. So if one has an allotted time to use their device, they would be able to do more in that amount of time compared to previously.

      Contrasting with a new car, one would likely still be driving the same routes (and hence distances) as before, and considering limitations imposed by posted speed-limits and traffic flow, driving speed will not be impacted greatly by the fact the car is new (aside from being temped to open up the throttle of that new engine.)
    1. subywrex's Avatar
      subywrex -
      the answer is Yes and No.. yes your data usage will go up in cases where you are streaming content. Most applications such as spotify, and netflix will allow you a higher quality depending on your connection speed. So Yes if you are watching a movie via netflix you will most definitely use more data, however, when browsing the web, its highly unlikely that you will notice a change. Sure you can load a page in half the time, but just cause you can load it faster doesnt mean you can read it faster and move on to the next page..lol