Tablet Data Plan

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by Somedudeintn, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. Somedudeintn

    Somedudeintn Line Up and Wait

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    Hey everyone, I've currently got an older wifi only iPad mini I use for foreflight. I'm considering picking up a newer iPad mini (current one is getting older and lacks storage space) and was curious if anyone knew of a good cheap data plan. I feel like I've heard of one plan where you would get 200mb free every month and just pay for the extra.

    I would mostly download charts over wifi and use data to get weather, a briefing, file, etc.

    What "cheap" plans are you all using?
     
  2. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have an ATT plan for minimal data. It's fine until you need to refresh foreflight on the road or whatever and you bump over the data limit, but it's not that big of an issue. You get a couple of text message warnings.
     
  3. Van Johnston

    Van Johnston Line Up and Wait

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    AT&T go phone has a pay as you go plan that gives you 1 GB for $25. Expires after 90 days. That's plenty for me for flying and checking email and light surfing (POA, etc) when out of wifi range. Only hiccup was I could not activate it with the SIM card that came with my Ipad; I had to go to AT&T store to get SIM card, but they gave it to me for free. Then I came home and activated over wifi.
     
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  4. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser!

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    On my Verizon family plan it's only $10/mo to have my iPad sharing my plan data. It's really nice having data available anywhere....couldn't imagine not having it.
     
  5. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    My iPad costs $10+/month to add to my AT&T phone data plan.
     
  6. Qotile

    Qotile Pre-Flight

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    The t-mobile plan is the 200mb free one. Download charts when on wifi and use cellular for weather and filing.
     
  7. asicer

    asicer Line Up and Wait

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    There are actually 2 plans with 200MB free every month as you describe.

    The first is T-Mobile's Free Data For Life (FDFL). Description here.

    The second is Freedompop's 3-in-1 Global SIM. Although it's marketed towards phone users, it works as well on a tablet if not better. However, you do have to jump through a few hoops and be proficient at reading fine print to get to the most out of it. The upside is that you can do the "friend" thing and get it to 700MB/month. I suggest starting here for research (skip down to the middle of the page for the "Community Wiki" section).

    If you're real intent is for just on-demand data rather than a monthly plan, here is a good comparison table.
     
  8. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou En-Route

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    Wayne, if you have a cell phone that allows you to create a hot spot, you don't need an iPad with a data plan. You can just connect to them Ynterwebs via your cell. (assuming you have an expensive unlimited plan like 98% of the population :) )
     
  9. MickYoumans

    MickYoumans Line Up and Wait

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    I have an iPhone with Verizon. I just use the personal hotspot feature on my iPhone to provide internet access to my iPad when I'm not around a Wi-Fi source. At one time I considered adding my iPad to my plan for an extra $10, but since the hotspot feature works so well and is extremely easy to setup, I didn't see the need.
     
  10. Somedudeintn

    Somedudeintn Line Up and Wait

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    Good point. Right now I've got 3G on att but NO mobile hotspot sharing :(

    My contract is up in a month and I will be looking at alternatives. I'll have to keep the hotspot piece in mind.
     
  11. Shawn

    Shawn Pattern Altitude

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    There are both stand alone plans and as other mentioned you can add them to your cell plan and share the data. I was spending $20/ month but now it is tied into my Verizon Cell Phone plan for $10 and data is shared amongst all devices.
     
  12. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou En-Route

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    Definitely review the alternatives carefully.
    The carriers cannot legally deny you the hotspot functionality anymore (due to a not-so-recent court ruling - somebody look it up, I am too lazy) but that works only for phones on plans.
    If you don't have a plan and pay as-you-go, they can deny you a hotspot with a cherry on top. Gorgeous dark red plumb cherry. So red and so dark, it is past purple and almost close to black. The most delicious cherry you've ever had. Or not. :D
    Lawyers f***ed up big time. (who's surprised?)
     
  13. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I tried getting by with hot spot. It's a PITA after awhile. Native data on my iPad is so much better. Definitely worth $10/mo.
     
  14. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Not always. The best example would be if you're a T-Mobile user and have a new enough phone to have Band 12 support. None of the iPads support Band 12 except the 9.7" Pro, and it's where TMo is building out their network now. It's also the only "low band" spectrum TMobile has.

    Apple is hideously behind on cellular chipsets. I wonder if they lost a bunch of RF engineers or if it's just the standard Tim Cook suckage or both.

    Only mattered for me for the year and a half long TMobile "experiment". Once TMo stopped paying their data bill to Viaero for northeastern Colorado, and Viaero cut off Tmo user's data service, I bailed and went back to Verizon.
     
  15. saha

    saha Filing Flight Plan

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    If you decide on a non-Apple device I can't recommend Google Fi enough. They switch between three different carriers to maximize coverage and speed on the fly and charge a very reasonable rate for data. Also fantastic for overseas data. You can also hotspot from your Fi device for the same rate.
     
  16. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    The three worst carriers, unfortunately. It was a good idea, but their pricing didn't end up any better than you can get from a carrier with orders of magnitude more RF spectrum available to them.

    The spectrum squatters like Dish / Ergen, are making sure smaller carriers can't get spectrum. And FCC doesn't make them DO anything useful with it... they just collect money now instead of managing the spectrum.

    Spectrum auctions always were, and still are, a bad way to manage spectrum.
     
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