Mobile Hotspot Included in Verizon’s iPad 4G LTE Data Plan

Update Below: Verizon Wireless Clarifies and Confirms.

As expected, Apple’s new iPad 3rd generation tablet is available with sweet and speedy 4G LTE from Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Tim Cook also announced that customers will be able to use the tablet as a mobile hotspot as well — that’s even better.

(Read: New iPad Supports 4G LTE for AT&T and Verizon)

Pricing for the 4G data plans (which remain month-to-month with no contract required) is the same as pricing for 3G on both carriers. So if you buy the Verizon Wireless model you can do 1GB/month for $20, 2GB @ $30, 5GB @ $50, and 10GB @ $80. This is the same as pricing for other tablets on the carrier except the iPad gets the special 1GB tier.

What I didn’t see when I went looking for this is how much extra mobile hotspot costs. On Verizon, adding this feature on phones adds an extra $20/month but also an extra 2GB of data, meaning you can get up to 12GB in a month if you’re willing to pay $100.

iPad 4G Plans from AT&T and Verizon

However, a Verizon Wireless spokesperson informed me that for tablets (including the new iPad), the mobile hotspot feature is included in the data plan’s price. iPad owners won’t have to pay extra to activate mobile hotspot, even with the 1GB plan.

Advertisement

Update — Verizon Wireless spokesperson Brenda Raney specifically said:

The tablet data plans include the mobile hotspot just as they do today. Data plans begin at 2GB for $30 and go to 10 GB for $80 and includes the mobile hot spot. The iPads have one additional option of 1GB for $20.

When I asked about the extra $20/2GB fee she further clarified that this is for smartphones only.

Another Verizon spokesperson confirmed to 9to5mac.com:

The new iPad on the Verizon Wireless network will have the mobile hotspot feature. Our 4G LTE tablets have the mobile hotspot feature and it is included in the tablet data plans so for example, customers who sign up for the $30 for 2GB plan will also have access to the mobile hotspot feature.

Mobile hotspot is confirmed.

(Read: New iPad: AT&T 4G LTE vs. Verizon 4G LTE)

This is great news for people who do a lot of traveling or working away from an office or the home. It also means that if you plan on having both a smartphone and a tablet, you shouldn’t get the mobile hotspot feature for your phone. Since you can go month to month with the iPad, you won’t have to lock yourself into a 2-year contract to get this benefit. Only buy the data plan when you think you’ll need it.

I also asked AT&T the same question but haven’t yet heard back. Currently, customers have to have a 5GB/month plan ($50) to even get the mobile hotspot feature. I’ll update you when they answer.

Update 2: AT&T’s Customer Care Twitter account says that the mobile hotspot feature will not be available for AT&T iPad 3rd gen. (also via 9to5Mac)

Given that Verizon’s customer service Twitter didn’t really know if the hotspot feature would be available or not, it could be that AT&T’s Twitter employee might be confused. however, i’ve reached out to AT&T multiple tims and haven’t yet received an answer. The silence is telling.

  

Comments

  1. OpenThreads says

    Mobile Hotspot included with the Verizon plan?   That’s such great news, it’s hard to believe.  Are there any confirmations of this out there?

    • mikeschr says

       It’s included with my Galaxy Tab, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t be included with the iPad.

  2. Guy says

    I confirmed with an Apple rep that the mobile hotspot is included – no extra charges.  One note – the data plan table listed is incorrect.  AT&T offers 3GB for $30.

      • Guy says

        The table currently shown in this article is the original one posted on the Apple website at the time of the announcement for the new iPad. It is correct except for the amount of data included with the AT&T plan. The apple.com site now includes the corrected table, which now shows that 3GB of data is included for $30 for AT&T plans. I bought the Verizon version since I thought the costs for 2GB were the same. However, I might have purchased the AT&T one since you get 1GB more data/month for the same price of $30. This would be important when using the 4G LTE network. That said, AT&T offers limited 4G LTE service at the current time. Verizon serves many many more cities though AT&T is expected to catch up within 18 months. I would suggest that if you plan to use the iPad in rural areas with weak data coverage, Verizon may offer better service, since AT&T sometimes drops all the way back to Edge service, with is very slow.

        • K. T. Bradford says

           Guy, you’re correct. I’m updating the image now. But yes, i pulled that from Apple.com right before I made this post, so that’s the information that was available at that time. Sorry for the mixup!

        • Tim Davies says

          I chose the ATT version because, living in baltimore, I have LTE from both. But both SUCK as far as being very spotty is what is supposed to be a very well covered city. HSPA+ is what I’m after (using my unlimited 3G SIM)

    • Guy says

      I asked Apple the question about $35 activation fees.  The support person last night indicated that neither carrier charges an activation fee to activate your new iPad data plan.  You can just sign up directly on your device using your credit card and incur no activation fees.  

      • R Rosenblatt says

        Thanks..thats what I thought, but I had read on some other blogs about the fee.  As always, we will find out when we actually use the device.

        • Guy says

          My understanding is that an activation fee for Verizon applied to the original WiFi-only iPad, when bundled with a MiFi device that Verizon sells.  For the iPad2 (and the new iPad, according to Apple), no activation fees apply.  There seems to be misinformation about this all over the place on many blogs, as you noted, but this is what the company spokespersons are saying.  Looking forward to getting my new iPad on 3/16 with Verizon data.  I guess, we’ll see what we get when we have the device, but for now my understanding is that there will be the ability to setup tethering for no additional charge and there will be no activation fees.  

  3. Cmiller2 says

    I was told by Verizon if I wanted to use my new Ipad as a hotspot I would have to give up my unlimited data plan.  I am not willing to do that.

    • Jason says

      That’s BS.  You can go to your “My Verizon” site on VerizonWireless.com site, go to “change features,” and add the $20 Mobile Hotspot option.  That runs $20 for 2gb of data, with a $20 overage for every 1gb and only affects tethered data – you keep your unlimited plan for the phone data.

      Under the tiered plans, it’s $50 ($30+20) for the lowest tether plan.  Same price, but you pay $10 per 1gb overage and you start with a pool of 4gb shared between your phone and tether.

      • mikeschr says

         Jason, you’re talking about phones.  None of that applies to tablets.  Cmilier2 still has the problem with the grandfathered plan.

  4. Fred Rahmanian says

    I have an iPad 1 with grand fathered ATT unlimited plan. Will I have to give that up if I get a iPad 3. I don’t really care if it means I have to use 3g since ATT doesn’t have much of an LTE coverage anyway. Also will I get the hotspot feature with this plan? 

  5. Lwm Msu10 says

    I just spoke with AT&T as well and the representative said that the only extra charge that may occur is extra data from using it up on another device.  No extra charge for using it as a mobile hotspot.  Ordering mine RIGHT NOW.

    • Vidikron says

      Unfortunately Apple had the wrong chart up when pre-orders first went online. The chart originally showed that both companies offered 2GB for $30.00. You probably pre-ordered when the incorrect chart was still up.

    • kpom says

      But you do get the option for 1GB for $20, and apparently hotspot is included in whatever plan you get, so I look at that as an advantage for Verizon. I have never gone above 2GB and rarely go above 1GB.

    • Guy says

      Elijah – although AT&T offers 3GB for $30 (vs 20GB for Verizon for $30),  the 4G LTE coverage is currently very limited.  Verizon has just added some info about the new iPad and 4G LTE to it’s website.  See http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/splash/ipad.jsp#vzw-4g-lte.  Check out the 4G LTE coverage map differences from AT&T. For example, except for New York City,  AT&T has no 4G LTE coverage in New York State and none in PA,  NJ,  etc.  They have a ways to go.  I know they are saying they will have all kinds of coverage by 2013, but in reality it takes time and there are all kinds of local barriers to deal with to improve service on such a grand scale.  For example, expansion of any data network service in upstate NY has been slow, for all carriers.  However, Verizon has made major inroads lately.  In my opinion, if you buy a new iPad with 4G LTE, it would be a waste if the service is not available.  Instead you could buy an iPad2 and save $100.  I’m planning to try out the 1G $20 service from Verizon, which also seems to include tethering.  If I can keep usage to a minimum (no videos – just email and basic browsing) this might be a nice adder to standard WiFi.  I currently have the original iPad with WiFi only and sometimes find myself in a situation where I need basic connectivity and all that is available is locked WiFi.  Even if the 2G plan from Verizon is needed (for $30), if tethering is included, that would be a nice solution for basic usage.  AT&T is still good of usage if mostly 3G, but the iPad 2 is fine for that.  I also appears that AT&T is not going to support tethering, though that is not completely clear.  In that is missing and Verizon offers it, that would seem like a better deal. 

  6. Daniel DiRico says

    So are we saying the iPad will be as fast as a stand alone 4G hotspot like this one? http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/store/controller?item=phoneFirst&action=viewPhoneDetail&selectedPhoneId=5633

  7. Nathaniel says

    I just called my AT&T store and the rep indicated that you can only get the mobile hotpsot feature if you get the 5GB/$50 month option with the new iPad.  bummer for those of us who just need a small amount of occasional use.

  8. Overzeetop says

    It’s pretty clear that nobody knows what the **** they’re talking about when it comes to plans and options at this point.  It sounds like the two carriers are jockeying for position, and I’m hoping the result is some great options by the time the new iPads actually hit doorsteps.

    Me? I bought one of each, just to be safe.  I’d love to be able to swap the sim from my original iPad into this one (or visa versa, actually) as needed. Then again, if I could score both the $20/1GB plan and free hotspot on Verizon…that AT&T sim is going to get deactivated!

  9. Dhedgpeth says

    Well, a bird in the hand is worth 2 in a bush . . . I have used ATT for my 1st Gen iPad, as well as my iPad2, but today I cancelled my 3rd Gen iPad order for an ATT unit and switched to Verizon unit.  There is NO ATT 4LTE service within 150 miles of me,  but Verizon has coverage.  ATT wants to play coy, I’ll run with Verizon.

  10. Matt Spaeth says

    “This is great news for people who do a lot of traveling or working away from an office or the home. It also means that if you plan on having both a smartphone and a tablet, you shouldn’t get the mobile hotspot feature for your phone. Since you can go month to month with the iPad, you won’t have to lock yourself into a 2-year contract to get this benefit. Only buy the data plan when you think you’ll need it.”

    I thought the tethering plan is an add-on that is not part of the contract and you can go month to month. Since the Verizon tethering add-on is 2GB/month for $20, is this not the cheaper option? 

    • K. T. Bradford says

      If
      you have a Verizon smartphone and a Verizon iPad it’s less expensive to
      use the iPad as a mobile hotspot than the phone. With the phone you
      have to pay an extra $20/month on top of your existing data plan cost.
      You do not have to pay any extra for mobile hotspot on the iPad.

      Say you have a phone and a 2GB/month plan for $30, then you get the iPad
      and 2GB/month for $30. If you add mobile hotspot to the phone, you’re
      now paying $50/month for 4GB plus $30/month for the iPad’s data plan for
      a total of $80/month.

      If you use the iPad as a mobile hotspot you’re only paying $30 for the iPad and $30 for your phone for a total of $60.

      • rrddaanntt says

        K.T., Can you confirm the information that the 1GB/$20 plan is still available from Verizon? Nothing on their site shows this plan for iPad 3. They eliminated that plan for iPad last June. There is a pre-paid plan like that, but it does not show as an option for iPad 3. I chatted with a Verizon rep that had no knowledge of that plan. I guess I will wait until someone gets one in their hands and confirms for me that option.

      • Stormie says

        I have an unlimited data plan with Verizon.  I was told that I can pay $20 to make my phone a hotspot and could use the iPad 24 hrs a day/7 days a week without incurring additional charges since I’m on the unlimited plan.

      • GPL says

        If you get a mobile hotspot option on your phone then you don’t need ANY data plan on your iPad since you will use the phone data connection for everything. So that’s $50/mo. You cannot do this the other way around because you have to buy a minimum data plan for the phone.

  11. Goodstuffnow says

    i have switched my iPad order to a Verizon model. While I’ve been a decade AT&T customer, I have no reason to stay loyal especially when they fall short in features and charge more per MB of data.

  12. jreeze says

    Does anyone have any suggestions on which carrier to choose for iPad 3 for a person who does a moderate amount of traveling to other countries for mission work and family vacations each year (I hear AT&T is more global of the two), but lives in a rural part of the US where only Verizon is accessible?  ( I do have DSL in my home.)  I currently have a Verizon plan for my iPhone 4, and DSL wireless in my home.  
    The local electronics store staff suggested I go with AT&T because “Verizon is only available in the U.S./ roaming fees would be astronomical if I tried to use it outside the U.S./  all other countries around the world are using AT&T except the U.S./  Verizon’s technology is rather antiquated compared with AT&T”.  He suggested I could use my wi-fi at home for everyday use, says that our local towns “probably” have good AT&T coverage if I buy their plan to use when I’m away from home, as well as when traveling to other states in the U.S., and that it’s “fairly easy” to buy sim cards in other countries around the world  (Europe, Mexico, Thailand, and Africa are countries our family may be visiting or serving at in the next 2 years) to just pop in and use when I visit another country and am needing internet.
    Is this information accurate?  
    There are pros and cons of each choice.  My greatest concern is: Isn’t it nuts to buy an iPad with AT&T for global use, when I can’t even get AT&T at my own home?  It seems impractical for everyday use, just to be able to have it for those times when I go out of the country.  Wish I had the money to buy one of each, but I don’t.
    Sorry this is so lengthy; but as a newby techy mom I don’t have a lot of money to spend, am agonizing over making a wise decision, and I acknowledge my limited knowledge in the area of electronics & would appreciate your input!

    • Guy says

      jreeze – take a look at this article - http://www.extremetech.com/computing/122005-the-new-ipad-most-connected-device-ever.  It suggests “…a little-known secret of the new iPad for Verizon is that the SIM card actually enables connectivity for both CDMA and LTE, as well as GSM and HSPA. SIM cards from CDMA and GSM carriers around the world will work on this model.” The site (and the Apple website) shows a diagram that indicates the Verizon model does support GSM/EDGE(850, 900, 1800, 1900 Mhz) (see attached).  Also, according to the iPad specs page, http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/the new iPad will include a micro sim 
      30-pin dock connector port3.5-mm stereo headphone minijackBuilt-in speakerMicrophoneMicro-SIM card tray

      This means that you should be able to use it globally on the GSM network using a local micro-SIM card.  My own personal experience when using an iPad2 and even an iPhone overseas is that although AT&T works, they charge ridiculous rates, so you would need to get a local micro-SIM card anyway.  Just 20MB of data will cost you $25! See http://www.cultofmac.com/41584/att-charges-international-ipad-3g-users-200-a-month-for-just-200mb/ and 200MB will cost $200.  I paid $60 for just 60MB of data usage overseas. Since AT&T doesn’t work were you live and since the new iPad does support a very wide range of bands and seems to have the Micro-SIM slot, I’d personally go with Verizon.   I expect to receive my new iPad today (with Verizon) and will confirm the presence of the Micro-SIM slot and post back.

      • Guy says

        Jreeze – sorry, one of the links didn’t post correctly.  The best reference is http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs.  It indicates that any 4G iPad includes a Micro-SIM slot and supports GSM/Edge.  It seems the distinction for the AT&T and Verizon models really only relates to 4G LTE service, since the two carriers use different bands.  

  13. Tjack13 says

    Hello,
    I have just gotten the iPad 2 with 4G.  AT&T is my current carrier, but I have a Verizon 4G hotspot that I used to use with my MacBook Air.  Will this work for my iPad or do I still need to get a data plan through AT&T. 

  14. Tjack13 says

    I am sure that by this second correction I will be found out as a Tekkie poser; however, I am on a steep learning curve because of my new job.  Actually it is a Verizon 4G mi-fi I am currently using for Wi-Fi access on my MacBook Air.  Wanna know if that can be used for/ with my iPad 3 4G, or is now unnecessary?

  15. Logan says

    If you have a phone allready with 4 g can i get my ipad two to have 4 g if i bring it in and also will it cost extra or will it be on my plan with the 4 g on my droid4

Leave a Reply