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Using the iPad internationally (non-3G model)

Using the iPad internationally (non-3G model)

Old May 24, 10, 12:45 pm
  #1  
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Using the iPad internationally (non-3G model)

"My name is Nomadz and I'm an early adopter"... yes, it feels a bit like being at an AA meeting sometimes because you make all the mistakes that other people later to the party get to avoid.

I didn't buy the 3G model. Instead, I bought the first generation iPad without SIM support. I told myself I wouldn't do it... that I'd wait... but I happened to be passing an Apple store and on a whim and a prayer asked them if they had any iPads in stock. 'We've got 64GB model left'. The rest is history.

Still, I'm not lamenting the decision, as there is a silver lining to this. At least, that's my post-purchase rationalisation.

Because I travel a lot, I need the flexibility to swap SIMS and use whatever contract I can. This has led me to purchasing an external 3G modem. I bought the Zoom model here in the UK and it works pretty well. Basically, I can plug any USB SIM into it and it will make the connection available to my iPad. As a bonus, it also makes the connection available to any other WiFi capable device - including my laptop, my iPhone and my colleagues' devices. Now, when I go to another country - I just pop in a different USB dongle (or swap the SIM, if applicable) and I don't have to change any of the settings on my iPad, iPhone or laptop - since the WiFi connection settings are the same.

It works pretty well so far.
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Old May 24, 10, 9:16 pm
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Well thanks for sharing but I don't see myself getting an iPad soon as my netbook and my windows mobile are enough for me.
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Old May 25, 10, 4:06 am
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Worth checking out all the same...

I used to use Windows mobile, too ( 4 years). I bought every new device that HTC put out until I bought the iPhone 3GS. I also have a laptop and a netbook (mine's from Compaq). Even so, I think the iPad fills a nice niche between the two. For instance, my netbook takes an eternity to start up and it contains a hard drive. Whereas my iPad is instant-on and solid-state (in fact, I dropped it recently and gave it a severe ding but it still works just fine... wouldn't want to do that with my netbook!) The iPad is a really good form-factor for reading newspapers, magazines, periodicals... and for watching movies and television - especially, since you can turn it into either landscape or portrait mode and lock in the best orientation for the content. If you consume a lot of printed and AV materials, it does a better job than my Netbook. As for replacing a laptop, no it doesn't. But, then again, it depends upon what you actually do with your laptop. 90% of the time, I'm just surfing the web, responding to emails, reading RSS feeds and consuming printed/AV stuff. It's a really useful and reliable device. Not without it's problems but, then again, this is first generation.
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Old May 25, 10, 10:07 am
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This is a good suggestion, and probably more practical for anyone travelling internationally than a MiFi - many operators now only sell their "mobile broadband" pay as you go services with a USB stick - not SIM only. Having a device that you can just drop the USB stick into is potentially very useful.
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Old May 25, 10, 10:55 am
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Nomadz, I followed the same logic when I bought my non 3G iPad. I figured that if I felt the need, I'd pick up some kind of 3G WiFi device. Then I could use it with my MacBook also. Yeah, an extra piece to carry, but one less bill for data each month.
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Old May 25, 10, 12:04 pm
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.. but no GPS on the non-3g model.
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Old May 25, 10, 1:47 pm
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I bought a WiFi and a WiFi+3G. I'm finding that I really enjoy not having to tether my iPhone to the iPad when I want to get online. I have used about 3gigs of cellular data in the past 14 days on the iPad. So I may be atypical. The double data bill is the only issue I have. If only AT&T would come out with a reduced rate iPhone + iPad plan everything would be perfect. Still at $60 for both devices, is in line with what they would charge for a DataConnect USB stick with a 5GB limit.
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Old May 26, 10, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by garethmorgan View Post
.. but no GPS on the non-3g model.
But would you really use it as a navigation device?
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Old May 28, 10, 12:37 am
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Originally Posted by MAN Pax View Post
But would you really use it as a navigation device?
No but it is great when you are looking for a toilet or a restaurant.
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Old May 28, 10, 1:11 am
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Actually I used it quite a bit as a navigation device when I was in Paris and it was very cool to see when I had been walking the wrong way to try to find a restaurant on a small st. Very cool to be able to zoom so I could actually read the st names! Downside is when the map would mysteriously disappear - only to reappear five minutes later for no apparent reason^
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Old May 30, 10, 1:38 pm
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What is that USB model?

It's not just a 3G USB key?

Sounds more like a Mifi device if it provides 3G to Wifi connectivity.

How much did it cost?
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Old Jul 3, 10, 4:21 pm
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
What is that USB model?

It's not just a 3G USB key?

Sounds more like a Mifi device if it provides 3G to Wifi connectivity.

How much did it cost?
Here's more info on the Zoom device, if you are interested: http://www.nomadz.net/forum/content....s-a-better-way

The 3G model would be very convenient but - as far as I can tell - it's not very practical to use around the world. For one, it uses a different type of SIM (micro-SIM?) than what you can purchase for pay-as-you-go in most countries, so you wouldn't be able to swap in-and-out local SIMs as you travel. This is why the external WiFi modem seems to be the only solution for the time being.

I imagine that over time there will be iPads sold without contracts and that more telcos will provide iPad compatible SIMS but, until then....
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Old Jul 3, 10, 4:36 pm
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there are reports that you can cut some plastic from a regular SIM and it works in the iPad.

Now that iPhone 4 is using microsims and also selling very well, microsims should become more common worldwide.
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Old Jul 3, 10, 6:47 pm
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???

All iPads are sold without a contract and unlocked. Every telco company has micro sim cards available.
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Old Jul 5, 10, 8:40 am
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
there are reports that you can cut some plastic from a regular SIM and it works in the iPad.

Now that iPhone 4 is using microsims and also selling very well, microsims should become more common worldwide.
This should help: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/14101041-post8.html
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