To 3G or NOT 3G....THAT is the question!

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Howdy.



I travel overseas ALOT. As a writer and photographer, the ipad seems like the perfect lightweight way for me to upload photos and update my travel blog.



However, I am torn between the wifi and the 3g versions.



Maybe not here in the USA, but I have found many of the countries I've travelled to overseas to have extensive free wifi coverage. Taiwan and Japan in particular....it's EVERYWHERE.



So I'm leaning towards the wifi version over the 3G. I figure the money I'd save can be used to get the wifi model with more storage space. :-)



But, even if I don't think I'll use the 3G much I am still thinking about it....and have a few questions perhaps those who have traveled and used 3G might be able to shed some light on...



How hard will it be to find micro sim cards overseas? I know Apple will be striking deals with overseas providers, so I'm sure they'll be available EVENTUALLY...but will 3G even be worth it overseas? Will the rates be as competitive as the $30 for one month deals ATT is doing thru apple in the states? Anyone here have experience with pre paid data plans while traveling abroad? In Asia? In Europe? Whats your experience? Thanks.



Will 3G eat up battery power quicker than wifi? Or are they about equal?



And since there is no contract, what is stopping ATT from raising prices for their plans for the ipad ANY time they want?



And lastly, how will you sign up for and cancel service for one month if you are on the road? Thru itunes?



Is 3G coverage good? Reliable? Isn't it technically "old" technology since people are already talking about "4G"?



I don't care about GPS. I found maps and stuff work fine using wifi.



Anyway...thanks for any advice, input etc.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 2
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,836moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by regan View Post


    How hard will it be to find micro sim cards overseas? I know Apple will be striking deals with overseas providers, so I'm sure they'll be available EVENTUALLY...but will 3G even be worth it overseas? Will the rates be as competitive as the $30 for one month deals ATT is doing thru apple in the states? Anyone here have experience with pre paid data plans while traveling abroad? In Asia? In Europe? Whats your experience? Thanks.



    I wouldn't expect rates to be as competitive as that and I still find $30 a month pretty steep. Mobile broadband is usually pretty expensive. There is a thread about international 3G here:



    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=877310



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by regan View Post


    Will 3G eat up battery power quicker than wifi? Or are they about equal?



    About the same I've found on the iPhone but the 802.11n may make a difference in the iPad.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by regan View Post


    And since there is no contract, what is stopping ATT from raising prices for their plans for the ipad ANY time they want?



    Nothing really except lost customers.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by regan View Post


    And lastly, how will you sign up for and cancel service for one month if you are on the road? Thru itunes?



    Signing up will be tricky without having an active connection first.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by regan View Post


    Is 3G coverage good? Reliable? Isn't it technically "old" technology since people are already talking about "4G"?



    Generally not that great. 2G/Edge is almost everywhere, 3G is mainly around cities and 4G is less than 3G but will probably be able to match 3G coverage fairly quickly. I think the 3G chips downgrade to edge on data devices just like they do on the phone network so you'd get coverage everywhere, 2G is barely usable though.



    The best idea seems to be the personal wifi hotspots:



    http://blogs.zdnet.com/mobile-gadgeteer/?p=2961



    That way you get 3G/4G without bothering about your device being outdated. Of course, those are more likely to be locked to one carrier as they are sold by the carriers themselves and so probably not a great idea for international use. Plus they'll need charged just like the other devices.



    If you plan to be able to go into phone shops in every country you go to and decipher all the 3G mobile broadband deals they have, the 3G model would be a good option. I reckon you'd be better off just getting the wifi model. The 3G model might have better wifi reception though as it has a plastic bit on the top.



    You will get roaming deals for data where you go but it'll be expensive.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    reganregan Posts: 474member
    Thanks for all the feedback. Makes a lot of sense. :-)
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