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Verizon sees Wi-Fi-only iPad as opportunity to sell 3G data plans

post #1 of 56
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Though the iPad is only compatible with AT&T's 3G network in the U.S., that hasn't stopped Verizon from telling its employees to pitch its own data plans, shared via Wi-Fi, to prospective buyers of Apple's new hardware.

Calling the nation's largest wireless provider an "eternal optimist," Engadget obtained a copy of an internal memo from Verizon, which calls the impending launch of the iPad an "opportunity" for the carrier to court new customers. Verizon salespeople could convince customers to buy a Wi-Fi-only version of the iPad and connect it to the Verizon 3G network with a device like the MiFi.

The company memo notes that the 3G-compatible iPad costs an extra $130, and claims the device will not be directly sold by AT&T. Since sales, customer service and billing will all be through Apple, Verizon believes it could convince some customers to use its data plans instead.

"Why pay more for the 3G version & get 3G service on an overloaded network with limited coverage?" the memo reads.

But a Verizon customer using the MiFi device to tether to its 3G network would pay about $60 per month for a 5GB data-only plan, a rate much higher than the $29.99 unlimited offered without contract by AT&T. And at Verizon's price, a data-only plan would exceed the $130 premium for 3G connectivity in just a matter of months.

Prior to the iPad's unveiling, rumors persisted for months that Verizon was a potential partner for data on the device. However, it is rumored that AT&T outbid Verizon by offering cheaper data plans without contract. AT&T's iPad plans will also offer free access to AT&T's nationwide hotspots.



As a contract-free purchase, users can buy a 3G-enabled version of the iPad starting at $629. The AT&T network access can be purchased -- or canceled -- at any time directly from the iPad. Though the device ships unlocked, due to hardware limitations it will only have access to AT&T's 3G data network in the U.S.
post #2 of 56
I'd love to buy a MiFi if it was available contract-free. I'm planning to buy the WiFi only iPad, but I'd love to have something like the MiFi with it, although I won't buy a MiFi if it requires a contract.
post #3 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

T

Calling the nation's largest wireless provider an "eternal optimist,"


It warms the cockles of my black little heart to see such corporate desperation!
post #4 of 56
Except for benefit of using the MiFi as a hub for 5 devices and the potential for get '3G' speeds in more areas than AT&T, the 5GB hardcap for 2x the cost of the AT&T unlimited data and slower '3G' speeds aren't much of a selling point. Good luck with that Verizon.
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post #5 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Though the device ships unlocked, due to hardware limitations it will only have access to AT&T's 3G data network in the U.S.

is this because of the micro-sim thingy? or something else?
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post #6 of 56
The fact that Verizon won't match AT&T's $30 for unlimited data price point shows they suck as badly as AT&T.
post #7 of 56
mifi is $60 a month.....thieves!

This is an opportunity for them?!?! They are a joke.
post #8 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

is this because of the micro-sim thingy? or something else?

The microSIM simply removes more of the plastic, but you can cut down a regular SIM card if needed. The reason the iPad only works with AT&T in the US is because it's GSM-based, but does not contain the wonky spectrum used for T-Mobile USA's '3G'. That means it will work on T-Mobile USA, but only at '2G' (GPRS/EDGE) speeds.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

The fact that Verizon won't match AT&T's $30 for unlimited data price point shows they suck as badly as AT&T.

Verizon is matching AT&T here. If you look at AT&T for 3G USB cards which can be used across PCs, you'll see they charge $60/month for 5GB. Only the iPad on AT&T gets the special deal since the network connection can't be shared freely, thus there is little chance for the user abusing the connection.
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post #9 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike3k View Post

I'd love to buy a MiFi if it was available contract-free. I'm planning to buy the WiFi only iPad, but I'd love to have something like the MiFi with it, although I won't buy a MiFi if it requires a contract.

soon mighty MIFI will roam this free land
nano phones will cruise the great wireless freeway
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post #10 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

mifi is $60 a month.....thieves!

This is an opportunity for them?!?! They are a joke.

you can connect and hulu level stream at least 5 devices
ANY DEVICES
a 50 ft or larger circle of WIFI ness surrounds you and your loved ones


by 2012 mifi on 4g/7g network;s will give us up to 50 mbp's . power


9
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post #11 of 56
As someone who has both an iPhone 3G and a Verizon Mifi, I can tell you about my experiences. Ever since AT&T rolled out 850mhz 3G upgrades in the DC area, their network has been pretty strong and reliable.

The advantage to Verizon is that it has a larger network that has been more reliable in recent years. But in the Baltimore-DC area, I get better service on my iPhone than I do through my Mifi. I use my Mifi daily, but I'm not sure if it is worth $60. The speed is usually pretty slow, and I don't see how I could use 5 gigs of it. I have Fios at home, so I'm used to fast Internet speeds.

I'm debating about whether to keep my Mifi and get a wifi iPad or to break my Verizon contract (and incur the $175 early termination fee) and get the 3G iPad. With AT&T rolling out 7.2 mbps upgrades on their 3G network, a 3G iPad should continue to get faster, while using a Mifi will seem more dated in the coming years.

The Mifi, however, does have a few advantages. It works very easily with any wifi device. It also has its own battery, which means that it won't drain the iPad like 3G will. It also has a removable battery, which could come in handy when traveling.

I'm still debating which route to go, as you can see.
post #12 of 56
So, what's happened to all those incessant "Apple's coming to Verizon" rumors that we never seemed to get enough of, up until a couple of months ago?

The company reeks of desperation, stuck in its lonely, incompatible technology. It now seems amply evident that, in their cheap quest to win some brownie points with tech-geeks, they really ticked off Apple with their Droid-does, beauty-queen, red v. blue, etc assaults.
post #13 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

you can connect and hulu level stream at least 5 devices
ANY DEVICES
a 50 ft or larger circle of WIFI ness surrounds you and your loved ones


by 2012 mifi on 4g/7g network;s will give us up to 50 mbp's . power


9

I'll have to attempt to stream Hulu on my Verizon Mifi. Usually it's pretty slow. Although I mostly use it on moving trains, which could be effecting its performance.
post #14 of 56
I like the option to get 3G on a per month basis.

When traveling some places want to charge $10 a day to use their wifi and it's insecure.

Here I can fire up a whole month for $30 unlimited, right when I need it too.


Apple sure is introducing a lot of neat concepts with the iPad, I don't like the inability to control certain privacy issues, web annoyances and have to suffer with Safari.

Hopefully Firefox and it's plug-ins will be allowed on the device.
post #15 of 56
MiFi and WiFi only iPad only makes sense if you are already stuck on MiFi contract or similar (eg Palm Pre Plus). For new customers who need always on data connection then AT&T and 3G iPad is better option.
Either way, it is win-win for Apple.
post #16 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

So, what's happened to all those incessant "Apple's coming to Verizon" rumors that we never seemed to get enough of, up until a couple of months ago?

They were always living in an effing dreamworld.

If Apple was truly coming to Verizon, they would have put out a bunch of job requisitions for CDMA engineers. I believe they had a sole listing about 9 months ago; since then, Apple has not actively built a CDMA engineering group.

Let's face it: until Apple makes what would be a very visible push to hire CDMA engineers, their mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, whatever) isn't going to be on Verizon until 4G is available in major markets. There would still need to be backwards compatibility with 3G CDMA in non-4G markets, so until Apple hires a bunch of CDMA engineers, forget it.

Apple is not happening on the Verizon network for the next year or two.
post #17 of 56
I have a MiFi as well as an iPhone 3Gs in San Francisco, which is one of the cities known for extremely poor service via AT&T. But as another posted, AT&T latest upgrades have done a very good job. My iPhone is much faster than the MiFi now. I'll be buying the 3G radio in the iPad and dumping my MiFi.

If Verizon wants to truly compete, offer the same $30 plat AT&T is offering. Which would you pay, $360 a year or $720? The MiFi service alone will end up costing more than the iPad in just 15 months. And that's if you buy the most expensive model offered, which I plan to do.

I only bought the MiFi because so many people kept claiming Verizon do be such a great network. They're okay, but right now I am getting faster speeds with AT&T, and I can use Voice and Data at the same time. Verizon is truly on crack. AT&T has shown a willingness to improve and keep prices low.

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post #18 of 56
All these mentions of $14.99/250MB; $29.99/5GB; or $59.99 for MiFi. Can somebody please share with us what the real cost of the service is on your monthly bill after you add all the endless taxes and fees?
post #19 of 56
[CENTER]Sounds Like A Viable Alternative... and you can connect more than just the one device.[/CENTER]
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

So, what's happened to all those incessant "Apple's coming to Verizon" rumors that we never seemed to get enough of, up until a couple of months ago?

"Technically" its true. APPLE is coming to the Verizon Network. Sad thing being that a LOT of bloggers jumped over themselves to get the exclusive that they didnt actually realise that it could have been another NON iphone product. *read: iPad*

This is just another reason why i love the blogoshpere and how people will jump up and down about how bad a product is months before anyone has actually even seen it, all to get a few more hits *read:advertising revenue* to their site.
post #21 of 56
At $30/month, month-to-month, maybe. At $60/month tied into a 2-year contract, no way in hell.
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

MiFi and WiFi only iPad only makes sense if you are already stuck on MiFi contract or similar (eg Palm Pre Plus). For new customers who need always on data connection then AT&T and 3G iPad is better option.
Either way, it is win-win for Apple.

Except if you're in a place where AT&T's signal is crap. At that point, it doesn't matter how cheap AT&T's service is if you can't get a signal.
post #23 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

you can connect and hulu level stream at least 5 devices
ANY DEVICES
a 50 ft or larger circle of WIFI ness surrounds you and your loved ones


by 2012 mifi on 4g/7g network;s will give us up to 50 mbp's . power


9

wouldn't that also be one of the best ways to hit that 5 GB limit in no time?
post #24 of 56
It's only an opportunity for V regarding those people that bought the line that ATT is inferior. I HOPE some use V, more bandwidth for the rest of us.
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post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

At $30/month, month-to-month, maybe. At $60/month tied into a 2-year contract, no way in hell.

But for that $60/month you get that reliable network! And don't forget the map... Must never forget the map...

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post #26 of 56
I'm wondering about peoples experience beyond Verizon especially upstate NY. Things like MiFi have the obvious advantage of servicing the iPad and a guys other WiFi enabled devices. So anyone have Sprint experiences to share or any other mobile provider for that matter.

It's been awhile since shopping for mobile services so I'm not up to date. What is certain though is that AT&T has a very good plan in conjunction with iPad. It is also obvious that they have already underestimated demand. At least public statements are not to encouraging.

In the end though I suspect that the next generation iPhone will win my dollars. Unless I subcome to the tactile wonder.


Dave
post #27 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm wondering about peoples experience beyond Verizon especially upstate NY. Things like MiFi have the obvious advantage of servicing the iPad and a guys other WiFi enabled devices. So anyone have Sprint experiences to share or any other mobile provider for that matter.

If I recall correctly, Cnet blogger Daniel Terdiman (or perhaps someone else) did a series of anecdotal articles/blog entries that described his experience with the Sprint MiFi in Southwest USA. Please do search yourself.

What I basically got out of the article is that the device isn't free, the contract is long/pricey (like a cellphone), service quality is dependent on where you are (no surprise there), and that there is a bandwidth cap.

Essentially, these are the same issues if you bought a new smartphone in a new places with a new operator (apart from the bandwidth cap constraint).

Understandably, anecdotal evidence is worth very little on the Internet. This has been captured in convenient acronyms such as YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).
post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

. . . So anyone have Sprint experiences to share . . .

My experience with Sprint is that their employees are addicted liars. Month after month they would change what I would have to pay, constantly stating that the rate I was paying was not valid and then raise it. When they stated that a manager would call back, none ever would. They even used tech support on my USB modem as an excuse to cancel a grandfathered unlimited plan to be limited to 5GB (naturally they lied when I asked three times if I would be able to keep the unlimited plan as they tried to fix the modem).

I wondered i we would have the same issues with AT&T and can say that we have not. Employer based credits work as advertised and no funny business. Yes AT&T has more limited coverage, but not having to call literally every two weeks and be lied to and being told, "Im sorry, the other agent was wrong" is worth it.

Some people that I work with like T-Mobile for their customer service, but the coverage is horrible.
post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by karlfranz View Post

All these mentions of $14.99/250MB; $29.99/5GB; or $59.99 for MiFi. Can somebody please share with us what the real cost of the service is on your monthly bill after you add all the endless taxes and fees?

I believe the iPads $29.99 data plan is unlimited (no 5GB limit). I pay something like $11/month on government fees and taxes on my $119/month family plan. Check AT&T website.
post #30 of 56
Even if you don't plan to get the AT&T data plan, you might still want to get the 3G version of the iPad if you want GPS. The WiFI version doesn't have GPS. Besides that, I don't know how I'll really use it, how much, etc., so I'd rather have the option to get the data plan save $130 and be sorry later.
post #31 of 56
Omg, here we go again Verizon? When will you guys ever stop. Just suck it up, & know that you've tried your best at trying to get at it. Apple has had a longer, friendlier, and workable relationship with At&t for atleast more then 5 years.
Apple is known for their speedy and amazing products in a thin device. THAT'S WHY THEY MARKET THEM! That's why they want a good, fast data network- AT&T. People just baisically want "service". But what they really do want is reliability at the mobile browser. Verizon and reliabilty in mobile browsing don't mix! Verizon doesn't even get service at all over the place. Sprint has faster service.
For what at&t price plan is asking for, I think it's just fine & workable. & should be.
You get fast 3G speeds, rolloverminutes, talk & browse, at&t wifi hotspots, etc. And all for starting price at $70(plus unlimited text for 20 dollars more.)
Like I said, people are mostly looking for service, but what they don't get is that the service is pretty much slow. Atleast that's what I've heard and experience everyother week on tech websites.
post #32 of 56
Meh....chances are in the UK we'll get an orange or vodafone ipad, which are the best networks. So long american fighty-over-which-iphone-network people.
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

you can connect and hulu level stream at least 5 devices
ANY DEVICES
a 50 ft or larger circle of WIFI ness surrounds you and your loved ones


by 2012 mifi on 4g/7g network;s will give us up to 50 mbp's . power


9

Oh no! And me without my muffs! No offense, but geeking about about TV just doesn't turn my crank.
post #34 of 56
How do you say "DO NOT WANT" in Verizonish? serves them right for rejecting the iPhone.

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post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm wondering about peoples experience beyond Verizon especially upstate NY. Things like MiFi have the obvious advantage of servicing the iPad and a guys other WiFi enabled devices. So anyone have Sprint experiences to share or any other mobile provider for that matter.
Dave

Well upstate NY is pretty big. 'Round where I travel in the Mid-Hudson Valley (mainly the environs of Columbia, Greene, Ulster and Duchess), Verizon has poor coverage, Sprint is even worse, T-Mobile is non-existent, but AT&T rules. That is probably because they bought up the previous local provider, Cellular One; also Cingular had already established a strong presence before they became AT&T.
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post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike3k View Post

I'd love to buy a MiFi if it was available contract-free. I'm planning to buy the WiFi only iPad, but I'd love to have something like the MiFi with it, although I won't buy a MiFi if it requires a contract.

http://www.expansys.com/s.aspx?search=mifi UK site
http://www.expansys-usa.com/s.aspx?search=mifi USA Site

There are a few variations on expansys
post #37 of 56
Danger Danger Will Robinson!
---------------------------------------------

The MiFi has been completely hacked! That means someone nearby could literally break into your precious MiFi and reprogram it. They can intercept all traffic, etc. You are NOT safe on a MiFi...

http://threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/ve...-hacked-020310

My company asked me to evaluate the MiFi products from Verizon and Sprint and I found they are all vulnerable at the router level and at the encryption level.
post #38 of 56
[QUOTE=solipsism;1586994]The microSIM simply removes more of the plastic, but you can cut down a regular SIM card if needed. The reason the iPad only works with AT&T in the US is because it's GSM-based, but does not contain the wonky spectrum used for T-Mobile USA's '3G'. That means it will work on T-Mobile USA, but only at '2G' (GPRS/EDGE) speeds.

That is cool, as there is an actual alternative to ATT IF THEY RAISE THE PRICE AFTER A FEW MONTHS FOR THIS SERVICE... The fact that they are offering it with no contract is a "flag" indicator that this is maybe a short term offering. Contracts usually are presented to lock a customer in at a more competitive price - not so in this case. Yet, to keep Apple and the customer happy with this lower price offering, ATT has successfully held on to the crown.. And, with the magic $499 price point being a strong draw, i wonder if the price of this give away will end up being small enough not to be a real problem. if the sales are 4 or even 3 to one in favor of the 499 price point - the first two years sales might be as little as 10 million units..

As much as I wanted to see apple roll out their products to Verizon this year - just to be a good consumer electronics company and expand to meet real consumer demand if nothing else. Sometimes exclusivity in CE can go on for years successfully. This low ball price example from ATT tells a relationship story perfectly, where the two parties have become so entrenched with each other that they do work around solutions like $15 give away prices to keep things cozy.
post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The microSIM simply removes more of the plastic, but you can cut down a regular SIM card if needed. The reason the iPad only works with AT&T in the US is because it's GSM-based, but does not contain the wonky spectrum used for T-Mobile USA's '3G'. That means it will work on T-Mobile USA, but only at '2G' (GPRS/EDGE) speeds.



Verizon is matching AT&T here. If you look at AT&T for 3G USB cards which can be used across PCs, you'll see they charge $60/month for 5GB. Only the iPad on AT&T gets the special deal since the network connection can't be shared freely, thus there is little chance for the user abusing the connection.

FALSE. There is no correlation between sharing a data connection and abusing it. Zero. Stop pandering this nonsense.
post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

FALSE. There is no correlation between sharing a data connection and abusing it. Zero. Stop pandering this nonsense.

Abuse is a obviously a subjective term. From the AT&T perspective any user over 1GB is probably an 'abuser' vs. the average which is probably under 100MB per month (all my non-tethering friends are <100MB even though they use theirs a lot). Anyone smart/geeky enough to want to share their connection is more likely to be a high bandwidth user (tethering to laptops etc.) which scares the carriers. I wouldn't call it abuse either but we don't own a network getting crushed by a smallish minority of users.
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