iPad Data Plans
Compare the best iPad data plans
The UK has a wide array of SIM Only iPad data plans from many providers. Click on the links to the right to learn more about the types of plans offered.
For the highest data allowances, Three offers an iPad data plan for £15 a month with 10GB of free data. For occasional mobile data use, there are many cheap iPad SIM only plans without a contract, such as the iPad data plans offered by Orange where you pay 5p per MB for what you use.
EE is the first provider in the UK to offer high-speed 4G iPad SIM Cards, with all other providers to follow later on in 2014. 4G mobile data plans offer much faster data transfer speeds than 3G plans, often up to 10 times faster and comparable to home mobile fibre broadband.
What are the options when selecting an iPad data plan?
Generally there are several types of iPad data plans offered by providers in many countries, selecting the right one for you depends on how much you will use your network, and whether you want to risk paying more for going over your monthly allowance.The key factor in deciding which iPad data plan is best for you is how much internet data you will use and how often you'll use your iPad data plan when away from Wi-Fi. If you are planning to use your iPad data plan most days, a monthly contract is probably the best iPad data plan option. For occasional mobile data use, an inexpensive pre-paid iPad SIM only plan without a contract or high allowance is probably best.
What is an iPad micro-SIM card or nano-SIM card?
An iPad SIM card is a smaller version of a standard SIM card used both on the iPad and iPhone. The micro-sim card was created for the first iPads and iPhones, and an even smaller iPad nano-sim is now used across most iPads . All sim cards allow you to connect to 3G, 4G, or LTE networks at the same speeds, but an iPad micro-sim and nano-sim cards automatically configure your iPad after inserting the iPad SIM card without any further configuration settings needed.
Does the iPad Air use a nano or Micro SIM card?
The iPad 2 is currently the only iPad that uses a micro-SIM card along with (iPad 3 and older iPad models). All other iPads (iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPad Mini with Retina Display) use the nano-sim card.
How do prepaid iPad data plans compare?
A prepaid or pay as you go iPad data plan allows you to pre-pay a certain amount on your iPad SIM card and only pay for usage, either daily, monthly or even the amount of data you use (MB). These iPad data plans do not require you to commit to a contract.
The advantage of pre-paid, pay as you go iPad data plans is that you only pay for what you use, which is often cheaper if you are only planning on using your iPad mobile connection occasionally. Not having a contract comes at a cost -- while these data plans offer the most flexibility for occasional iPad users, they often are usually the most expensive for more frequent use. So if you plan to use your iPad 3G connection regularly it probably makes more sense to go for a monthly iPad data plan.
Note that providers in some countries (such as the US) don't yet offer pre-paid iPad data plans.
What are the benefits of a rolling monthly iPad data plan?
Rolling monthly iPad data plans require you to sign up for a contract but without long term commitments. You can cancel at any time without penalty and usually only pay for the remaining month.
These iPad data plans usually offer excellent rates, but also can charge you a significant amount for going over your monthly allowance. Be sure to check the fine print and turn off your cellular data connection when you're on Wi-Fi to avoid occurring these fees, otherwise a few hours surfing YouTube could end up being very costly.
Is buying iPad on contract cheaper?
Many providers will provide significant savings on a new iPad Air or iPad mini if you are willing to commit to a long term contract; you can typically save more than 50% off the price of a new iPad.
What is 4G LTE and is it available everywhere?
4G or LTE is a much faster network than 3G, providing over 10 times the download speed, often comparable to home fibre-broadband speeds when on the road. 4G iPad data plans are now available in most countries at the moment, with most providers rolling out the faster 4G networks by the end of 2014