Can you clarify the right answer for the free $200MB/month on myold iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Gabrielle Lejeune, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. I have an old at&t ipad with cellular.
    I think it's called first generation ipad.
    It doesn't even have a camera.
    I have never activated the sim card on at&t.

    Today I went to a t-mobile store and asked for the "free" 200MB/month.

    They first said the iPad was locked but I insisted it was unlocked
    and they finally (after much argument) gave me the data-only sim card.

    However it was not free, and they said it "shuts down" after 200MB.

    It cost $10 for the sim card.
    And, they said it would never get 4g even if 4g is available.
    And they said it shuts down after 200MB.

    It was "my" understanding that none of that was true.
    That's why I ask you.
    Can you clarify me the right answer?
    Gabrielle Lejeune, Mar 5, 2014
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  2. Gabrielle Lejeune

    Guest Guest

    that's definitely a 1st gen ipad.
    all ipads are unlocked.
    there isn't actually a difference with the sims. the only thing that
    matters is that it's a micro-sim, so that it fits into the sim slot.
    it does, unless you sign up for a higher tier plan.
    most stores like to charge for a sim card, but sometimes they'll give
    you one for free, especially if you're already a customer. otherwise,
    they want the money.

    t-mobile's web site often discounts them to a buck or two or even free
    every so often, but that won't help you now.

    or, you can get them off ebay for a couple of bucks.
    it won't get lte because the 1st gen ipad does not have lte.

    however, it will get 3g if the area in which you're using it has
    refarmed the network, which is pretty much everywhere. however, there
    are still some spots that have not and are using the old frequencies.

    if their network hasn't been refarmed, then the speed will be 2g/edge.
    that's fine for casual use like email or checking weather, but it won't
    be particularly enjoyable for web surfing and certainly not video
    (although you'd burn right through 200m with video).
    some of it was.
    the right answer is that t-mobile offers 200 meg for free for tablets
    (not phones). no special sim is needed. just go to settings on the ipad
    and activate it. obtaining the sim can be free but that won't stop
    someone from trying to sell one.

    it's possible that activating it in settings won't work, in which case
    you may need to call or go to the store so they can enter the iccid
    into their system. if that happens, be sure you get someone who knows
    about the proper plan. a lot of t-mobile representatives do not and
    make up stuff to not look stupid.
    Guest, Mar 5, 2014
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  3. Thank you for all the clarifications.

    Does the 200MB/month just *die* when it reaches the limit, or does
    it just slow down so that you can still use it, but it's slow?

    The ads say 200MB/month of "high speed" data, so, that's why I ask.

    What happens on the 201st MB?
    Gabrielle Lejeune, Mar 5, 2014
  4. Gabrielle Lejeune

    Guest Guest

    i've never hit the limit, but since there's no credit card needed to
    sign up, i can't see how it would let you go past that no matter what.
    the idea is to get you hooked so you sign up for a paid tier.

    with other t-mobile plans, it does slow down when you hit a certain
    limit. there is a $3/day unlimited data on their normal pay/go, with
    the first 200 meg at 3g/4g speeds, but that's a different plan
    it's however fast your ipad can manage, which for 1st gen is 3g, unless
    you're in an non-refarmed area, in which case it's 2g speeds because
    t-mobile used a non-standard band.

    the limitation is the device, not the plan. if you upgrade the ipad, it
    will be faster (assuming you're in a refarmed area).
    it doesn't work.
    Guest, Mar 5, 2014
  5. Gabrielle Lejeune

    tlvp Guest

    What's to stop someone from going to another T-Mo store and getting a
    second 200 MB data SIM for the same iPad? Just curious. Cheers, -- tlvp
    tlvp, Mar 6, 2014
  6. Gabrielle Lejeune

    Guest Guest

    nothing. it's a bit of a hassle to swap but you could do that if you
    really wanted to.
    Guest, Mar 6, 2014
  7. Since T-Mobile charges for their SIMs, this turns into an expensive
    data plan (200MB for $10). At least in the short term.

    I suppose if you spring for 5 SIMs, you have 1GB per month for $50.
    Doug Anderson, Mar 6, 2014
  8. Gabrielle Lejeune

    Guest Guest


    the t-mobile stores often charge $10 but not always. they are also
    often clueless and will want to sell you a paid plan.

    the t-mobile site often offers the sims for free or sometimes for a
    buck or two.

    the sims can be found for a few bucks pretty much anytime elsewhere.

    if you need a sim *today* you may not have a choice, otherwise, wait
    until they are free.

    anyone who pays $10 for a sim is not a savvy shopper.
    even if you do pay for 5 sims, it's a one time expense. consider it
    part of the price of the tablet.
    Guest, Mar 6, 2014
  9. Cellular data stops -- until the next month, of course. That's what
    T-Mobile told me when I asked, while I was signing up for the free

    Martin Frost me at invalid stanford daht edu, Mar 8, 2014
  10. Interesting.
    I have two iPads.
    I will try to switch the SIM card, and see what happens.
    Liam O'Connor, Mar 8, 2014
  11. Liam O'Connor, Mar 8, 2014
  12. Gabrielle Lejeune

    Guest Guest

    Guest, Mar 8, 2014
  13. The NRE is pretty good on this.

    Let's say, you have the 5 SIMs for, oh, say, the 2 or 3 year
    life of the device.

    That's $50/24 to 36 months, or, roughly a couple of bucks
    a month for 1GB/month of high-speed data.

    Still, I would *think* T-Mobile would be on to that trick.

    Can they identify the actual iPad by IMEI or something?
    Liam O'Connor, Mar 8, 2014
  14. Gabrielle Lejeune

    Guest Guest

    yes, and supposedly the sim is tied to the device in which it was
    originally activated.

    that means you won't be able to swap from one device to another but you
    can have a stack of sims for one particular device.

    however, i've not tested it.
    Guest, Mar 8, 2014
  15. Gabrielle Lejeune

    tlvp Guest

    Had a look on a T-Mo site earlier today. Data SIMS they wanted $10 for;
    voice SIMS were free. Not quite sure how they can tell the difference.

    Cheers, -- tlvp
    tlvp, Mar 9, 2014
  16. Now *that* would be different than with voice SIM cards!

    With voice SIM cards, you can swap at will between devices
    (assuming they're unlocked devices such as all iPads are).

    I hadn't known that you can't swap data SIM cards between
    Liam O'Connor, Mar 9, 2014
  17. Gabrielle Lejeune

    Guest Guest

    there is no difference, other than how they're marketed.
    Guest, Mar 9, 2014
  18. Gabrielle Lejeune

    Guest Guest

    the simlock is only for the t-mobile free plan, at least from what i've
    heard. i only have one ipad and cannot test it.

    this makes sense, because what they *don't* want is someone activating
    the sim in an ipad and then putting it in a phone and getting free data
    service on their phone rather than signing up for a normal phone plan.

    ordinary paid plans, data or voice do not have a swap restriction.

    however, at&t paygo voice plan will lock the sim to the device in which
    it's activated if it's part of a package that includes bonus minutes,
    as is usually the case when you buy a phone in a store.

    a generic at&t sim won't simlock, even on a paygo plan.
    Guest, Mar 9, 2014
  19. I don't know enough to disagree with you, so I won't.
    But, I will say T-Mobile told me, over the phone, that
    they're "different".

    Are they different?
    I do not know.

    This Wikipedia article is a bit technical for me, but,
    I don't see anything saying that they're different:
    Liam O'Connor, Mar 9, 2014
  20. Gabrielle Lejeune

    Guest Guest

    i don't know how much you've spoken to t-mobile reps, but you will get
    a different answer every time you call.

    obviously, not all of the answers can be correct, and it's not unusual
    if none of them are.

    this is unfortunately, not unique to t-mobile.
    i do and there is no difference.

    what matters is how it's provisioned, i.e., what plan you activate.
    Guest, Mar 9, 2014
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