Blog Post

Quick Guide to iPad 3G Data Plans Around the World

Apple (s aapl) can’t seem to produce iPads fast enough to meet demand, forcing international customers to wait a month longer than previously expected for the new tablet to arrive. Unlike its iPhone counterpart, the iPad — for which pre-orders from outside of the U.S. begin today — will forgo the standard SIM card and instead use a smaller micro SIM form factor. If you haven’t met the micro SIM before, Stacey ‘s video interview with Gemalto, a SIM card producer, provides a solid introduction.

Now that iPad orders are flowing around the globe, international service providers are stepping up with data plan pricing for the 3G models. Here’s a table compiled with plan information by country and carrier — we’ll update as we get more info.

International iPad 3G Service Providers
Country Provider Initially Available Plans
Australia Vodafone TBD
Canada Rogers C$15/mo for 250 MB, C$35/mo for 5 GB
France Orange €10/mo for 200 MB, €39/mo for 2 GB; both plans include unlimited Wi-Fi at Orange hotspots in France
France SFK TBD
Germany O2 €10/mo for 200 MB, €15/mo for 1 GB, €25/mo for unlimited
Germany Vodafone €19,95/mo for 200 MB, €29,95/mo for unlimited (fair use applies)
Italy Vodafone €2/day for 500 MB, €30/mo for unlimited
Japan Softbank Prepaid: ¥4,410/30 days for 1 GB. Postpaid: ¥2,910/mo for unlimited use on 24 month contract
Spain Vodafone €17,40/mo for 250 MB, €37,12/mo for unlimited
Spain Orange €3,50/day for unlimited, €35/mo for unlimited
Switzerland Orange TBD
UK Vodafone £10/mo for 1 GB, £25/mo for unlimited (fair use capped at 5 GB)
UK Orange 5p per MB / capped at £40/mo, £2/day for 200 MB, £7.50/week for 1 GB, £15/mo for 3 GB, £25/mo for 10 GB; 3 GB and 10 GB plans include unlimited Wi-Fi at BT Openzone
UK O2 £2/day for 500 MB, £10 per 30 days and 1 GB, £15 per 30 days and 3 GB; all plans include unlimited Wi-Fi at The Cloud and BT Openzone
United States AT&T (s t) $14.99/mo for 250 MB, $29.99/mo unlimited, both plans include unlimited Wi-Fi at AT&T hotspots

Related Research from GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d):

20 Responses to “Quick Guide to iPad 3G Data Plans Around the World”

  1. Also the reason the ipad only works on AT&T in the USA is that AT&T are the only GSM 3G provider in the country. T-mobile, verizon, Sprint etc all use the aging CDMA network. The USA is one of the only countries in the world sticking with CDMA. All others have moved or are moving to GSM. other than the network itself, the biggest difference between GSM and CDMA is that GSM allows you to use a sim card to connect to a carrier. CDMA is embedded in the phone, hence no option to swap sim cards when you go overseas. very limiting for travel.

      • so in theory Apple would have just have to have added that additional frequency into the ipad and iphone and they would have been compatible with T-mobile. i haven’t heard much about T-mobile, i should not have lumped all USA telco’s together.

  2. I asked a seemingly-knowledgeable sales guy at the local Apple store about this, and he said that, if you’re in a country with a telecom carrier that supports the iPad, you can go to their store and buy a SIM (micro-SIM, actually) along with a month-long service plan. The point is that iPads are not locked to specific carriers in the way that iPhones are (non-jailbroken or unlocked iPhones, that is). That’s going to be a lot cheaper than, using the US as an example, buying a month of AT&T service and then adding an international service package (e.g., $25 for 20 MB), even if you don’t use all four weeks of the plan.

  3. Sibbo

    Very interesting information. We’re going to France first then the UK. So assuming I can actually buy a plan (prepaid probably) will I be able to use it in the UK?
    Are there sim cards sold for the iPhone (prepaid that is) that could be used for the iPad in France. Seems a bit silly to buy two sims if I don’t have to.
    Does anyone know if iPhones not on a contract are locked down by the carriers in Australia, in particular Telstra?
    Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

    • Static

      We are in the same position – heading to France then UK & Turkey on 11th August. Going to buy the ipad in the 30 before and get the gst refund on the way out of Oz.

      Hope you get an answer for this one !!

  4. paul g

    i would like to know if i have an unlocked iphone4(micro sim) and traveling in france can i use the ipad 39 euro card in the iphone 4 for data 3g access only while in france???

  5. Mefifo

    This article should note that in the UK at least Three and Vodafone require you to have a local bank account. This is quite reare if you are a traveller. I HOPE O2 has an option NOT requiring some credit checks, otherwise I won’t be able to use my iPad over here (and I am stuck here for some weeks…). Please mark this issue in the article as most people reading it are travelling

  6. stevejobsotherworld

    Why does a tiny country like the UK have multiple provider but the US have a lousy, pathetic provider like AT&T.

    Is Steve sleeping with someone at AT&T?

  7. Jim Miller

    So, just to be clear: Are these plans available to people from other countries? That is, if I get an iPad in the US (where I live) and go to Germany, can I buy a 3G plan from O2 or Vodafone to use while I’m there? Or are devices tied to their countries of origin somehow, such that I would have to get the same sort of international data plan from AT&T that I get for my iPhone when traveling internationally? (I’m assuming that an AT&T 3G plan would not work outside the US.)

  8. monal

    speaking of MyWii I’ve been using it off my JB iPhone to make it share out via wifi to the iPad and its worked flawlessly!….just could not justify spending more on a 3G iPad plus another ATT data plan

  9. Hi Guys,

    For Switzerland you can find all the different offers from the three main telecom providers at the following addresses:


    Not all the providers have plans specific to the iPad, however all plans are compatible with the micro-sim and therefore with the iPad.

    Hope it helps, cheers, Simon

  10. Glenn Fleishman

    Orange: “include unlimited Wi-Fi at BT Openzone”

    Unlimited is footnoted as “fair use” is 750 MB per month. Over Wi-Fi. Sigh.

  11. I know that the iPad has already been jailbroken and there is a Cydia app called MyWi for iPhone that allows tethering – I suspect it’s only a matter of time before the iPad has a version to share the 3G connection.

  12. has anyone been able to jailbreak and get tethering to work on an ipad? it would be really cool if a 3G ipad could also be used as a MiFi style device sharing its 3G connection.

    it would also be interesting to know how locked down these plans are to the iPad. could the sims be used in other devices(such as phones and/or USB dongles) if enlarged to fit snugly in the regular size slots?