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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Verizon or at&t iPad?

Verizon or at&t iPad?
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driven
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Mar 9, 2012, 08:23 AM
 
I normally like at&t due to the fact that they are on an international standard (GSM family) which makes it easier for me to do international roaming, and the talk & surf at the same time thing. (Which doesn't affect an iPad because you can't talk).

However, I'm considering a Verizon "new iPad". My concerns are below.

Pros:
- Far better LTE coverage than at&t
- Free "hot spotting", which isn't even offered by at&t yet.
- Better price model

Concerns:
- When not on 4G LTE, it's going to drop back to 3G EVDO, which is FAR slower than at&t's HSPA+
- Probably won't be as good at international roaming, again due to it's 3G being EVDO.
- at&t seems to charge "activation fees" on it's other tablets. Not sure I trust them to not do this with an iPad at some point in the future. (I like to turn on and off my data plans depending on my needs)

Any thoughts?
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mduell
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Mar 9, 2012, 10:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
Concerns:
- When not on 4G LTE, it's going to drop back to 3G EVDO, which is FAR slower than at&t's HSPA+
While HSPA+ is faster in theory, the performance of AT&T's network is dismal. See the screenshot in the OS 5.1 thread of an AT&T iPhone with "5 bars" of "4G" downloading at <0.25Mbps. EV-DO Rev A is up to 3Mbps and VZW's network is far better.

Originally Posted by driven View Post
- Probably won't be as good at international roaming, again due to it's 3G being EVDO.
The VZW iPad has a GSM radio to use when roaming internationally since almost no other countries have EV-DO networks:
Wi-Fi + 4G for Verizon model: LTE (700 MHz)3; CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz); UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
     
osiris
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Mar 9, 2012, 10:51 AM
 
I'd go with the Verizon one.
No way would I pay for ATT's so called 4G service only to get <2Mbps on a good day. I lost my trust with them on that one, so I don't trust their LTE -yet. I'd rather risk the Verizon network.
Perhaps some existing Verizon customers could confirm the speeds?

As for the international roaming - you should have no problem with either choice, they're both overpriced.
You may be better off getting a portable hotspot device in Europe or wherever you're traveling to rather than pay the roaming. Just my two cents.
"Faster, faster! 'Till the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death." - HST
     
andi*pandi
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Mar 9, 2012, 11:34 AM
 
att has a lower price point on the monthly fees... $15/250MB. Since most of the time I'm in a wifi zone this could be nice for travel etc. Not for downloading movies obviously.

I also like that apple says you can sign up as needed, so only pay for the month you'll be on vacation or such.

The ipad as hotspot could be good if the kids had ipod touches or something (they wish) but what I'd really want is an iphone to hotspot to the ipad... I think... obviously I have a lot to learn about this.
     
amazing
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Mar 9, 2012, 12:13 PM
 
Both ATT and VZ hype their networks, and the reality is far different.

Meaning that if you can wait until user reports and actual usage reviews filter in, you're better off waiting to see what the reality behind the hype manifests as. And perhaps you'll even be able to find out about conditions in your particular city. Doesn't do you a bit of good if LTE is good in Boston, but dismal where you are.

For example, if you're going international, the UK doesn't have an LTE network (probably until 2013, when there'll be another new iPad) and other European countries don't seem to have compatible LTE networks...

Edit: about 4G in the UK
http://www.macworld.co.uk/ipad-iphon...newsid=3342873

For Belgium, see first comment below this article:
http://www.macworld.com/article/1657..._new_ipad.html
( Last edited by amazing; Mar 9, 2012 at 12:34 PM. )
     
SierraDragon
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Mar 9, 2012, 02:22 PM
 
At&T does NOT allow implementation of the iPad3 hotspot capability. Verizon does.

That is a deal breaker for me.

-Allen
     
amazing
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Mar 9, 2012, 02:40 PM
 
Here's what I mean by hype: These reviews show that ATT beats VZ by a long shot (note click on the side-by-side phones) for both Yerba Buena and NYC.

The question is, what are the tests gonna look like when ATT is overwhelmed by 4G iPads?

AT&T vs. Verizon LTE smackdown! Tests from Yerba Buena today | 9to5Mac | Apple Intelligence

LTE iPad pricing now live from Verizon and AT&T, current iOS devices on HSPA+ registering as “4G” | 9to5Mac | Apple Intelligence

this one has some interesting speed tests for Irvine, CA at the bottom of the article
AT&T vs. Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Smackdown | TechnoBuffalo
     
driven  (op)
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Mar 9, 2012, 02:47 PM
 
[QUOTE=mduell;4154218]While HSPA+ is faster in theory, the performance of AT&T's network is dismal. See the screenshot in the OS 5.1 thread of an AT&T iPhone with "5 bars" of "4G" downloading at <0.25Mbps. EV-DO Rev A is up to 3Mbps and VZW's network is far better.

Probably location based. At my Atlanta location I consistently get 5 or 6MBPS on my at&t iPhone 4S. On my Verizon iPhone I get less than 1MBPS. I've never gotten faster than that anywhere on that device.
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driven  (op)
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Mar 9, 2012, 02:49 PM
 
Thanks! Since the VZW device does roam on HSDPA when out of the US, that sounds like the way to go. I might check their roaming prices in comparison with at&t, but that's the way I'm leaning.

Now I just need to decide how many gee-bees I need.
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amazing
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Mar 9, 2012, 03:03 PM
 
What about getting a wifi iPad 3 (saving $$) and then getting a personal 4G hotspot? (don't thing they work overseas)

It's a complicated question, so you'll have to read up on it, including things like battery life, coverage, cost, etc.

Here's where to start:
Clear Spot 4G Review - Watch CNET's Video Review - page 2

Guess what? No long-term contract! Unlimited usage for $50/month! 8 devices can connect! Caveat: be sure to check the coverage map.
     
driven  (op)
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Mar 9, 2012, 03:11 PM
 
I have a wi-fi device now and a personal hotspot. I've had too many limitations. Besides, I'd like the LTE.

(I actually had a 3G iPad 1, and I have a wi-fi iPad 2 ... I miss the ubiquitous connectivity.)
My personal hotspot is spotty and occasionally slow.

Disclaimer: I have not viewed this video yet. I'll do so soon.
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Nergol
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Mar 9, 2012, 05:03 PM
 
So does the Verizon iPad have a SIM slot? Could I use it overseas with another carrier?
     
turtle777
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Mar 9, 2012, 05:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Nergol View Post
So does the Verizon iPad have a SIM slot? Could I use it overseas with another carrier?
Yes. Yes.

-t
     
::maroma::
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Mar 9, 2012, 07:32 PM
 
I live in Portland, OR and Verizon has their LTE network up and running here, but AT&T does not. And for the life of me I cannot find any info on when or if they're going to bring it here. I ordered an AT&T LTE iPad 3 because I'm grandfathered in to the truly unlimited data plan for the iPad (I have an iPad 1 and signed up for 3G access when they were still offering unlimited). I've read that AT&T will still honor that when you transfer your plan to the new iPad.

I'm still up in the air about whether I'll exchange my iPad 3 to a Verizon one or keep the AT&T. Love the idea of LTE, but also love the unlimited plan I currently have. I just wish AT&T would be more open about their plans to roll out LTE. And apparently Puerto Rico is a more worthy place for AT&T's LTE than Portland (no offense Puerto Rico!)
     
turtle777
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Mar 9, 2012, 07:35 PM
 
Portland Rico. Great place to live

-t
     
Cold Warrior
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Mar 9, 2012, 07:51 PM
 
I ordered the vzw iPad. Free hotspot, a good lte footprint, and solid evdo everywhere else.
     
::maroma::
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Mar 10, 2012, 02:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Portland Rico. Great place to live

-t
Yeah I pretty much wish I lived there right about now.
     
   
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