Which iPad U.S. Cell Carrier And Plan Should You Get?

Now, every iPad can connect to WiFi networks easily to get online. But some models can only access 3G and 4G LTE iPad cellular plans provided by various phone companies like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and more. These are the same networks that your iPhone uses.

On the other hand, it is the humble beginning that the iPad has offered a WiFi + cellular option. The price increases from $130 to $150 for iPad Pro 2018. It includes an Apple SIM card and an empty nano-SIM tray.

If you are considering an iPad Pro 2018, then you get an embedded SIM (eSIM) and again an empty nano-SIM slot, It let you access your carrier’s cellular network as well as your WiFi network.

The SIM Card And Its Functionality

SIM Card

The plan is the same as with your iPhone. You need to pay monthly charges on your iPad cellular plans. Moreover, these plans are often a la carte, that means you can buy data as much as you need and disable monthly subscriptions without paying any penny.

On the other hand, if your smartphone plan allows data sharing process then you can directly add your iPad to your monthly plan.

iPad With WiFi And Cellular?

iPad with WiFi

For many individuals, $130 may not be a big amount to pay just for the LTE option, even not all users require it for their iPad. Especially, if the user has an iPhone with tethering capabilities or plans to use your tablet where there’s WiFi network.

The LTE service is very useful because if you plan to use the iPad while travelling and do not want to drain your iPhone’s battery. On the other hand, iPad Cellular plans model also spots a GPS antenna whereas, you can use your iPad for navigation.

If you are travelling and there is a good network coverage then stop worrying about finding a WiFi hotspot or tethering your iPhone to work.

It is recommended to have a different data plan on your iPad and iPhone because it is useful for getting data in areas where your iPad cellular plans provider has no signals then you can connect it with your iPad or vice versa.

Apple SIM and eSIM

Apple SIM and eSIM

The iPad with 9.7 inches, WiFi + Cellular comes with an Apple SIM. It also includes a cellular nano-SIM card reader that lets you select multiple carriers.

Apple SIM manufactured by Apple but you can still purchase it from a specific carrier using your credit card. In the U.S the multiple carriers are T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, AlwaysOnline and the international data service GigSky.

Now, with Apple SIM you can switch carriers. In U.S. auto-switching is only possible if you choose T-Mobile, AlwaysOnline, Sprint or GigSky plan. In this, you can make an account on all the four mentioned networks and switch easily between their plans according to your location.

If you choose AT&T then automatically Apple SIM card lockdown and becomes an AT&T only SIM card. On the other hand, if you pick any of its competitors then it disappears immediately.

Remove SIM Card in an iPhone or iPad

Remove SIM card

If your iPhone or iPad includes international carriers then do not worry because with international carriers you can freely use your iPad (overseas) with a local SIM. You do not have to pay any extra fees for roaming or buying any a la carte plan. You only need to visit the international carrier of your choice and select a nano-SIM card.

In 2016 or 2017 iPad Pro models include 10.5 inches iPad Pro and offer both an embedded remove Apple SIM card and an empty nano-SIM card slot.

In 2018, iPad Pro models come with eSIM and an empty nano-SIM Slot. Like in the previous iPad models, eSIM is a non-replaceable and fixed SIM lets you easily switch between on iPad cellular plans carriers in the U.S. and abroad.

Always check your LTE data coverage and speed before you buy any.

There are enormous data deals available for your iPad but if you cannot use that data in your local area then it is of no use. It is recommended to check out your carrier’s coverage map before you buy.

Where To Buy WiFi + Cellular iPad

WiFi + cellular iPad

In the U.S., the best place to order your iPad is only through Apple. You can use various apple platform like Apple Online, Apple store app or by visiting physically to a nearby Apple Store.

In one situation, the carrier ordering might be ideal is Verizon. Apple no longer offers a choice of the network when you buy an iPad but if you plan on using Verizon’s network then you may order directly from the carrier.

It is said that, if you buy an iPad from your carrier and your SIM card gets locked to that network then you can request an additional Apple SIM from your local Apple store.

Select a Cellular Data Plan


Just like selecting a phone company for your iPhone, there are various choices when researching the best monthly iPad data plan.

Which company provides the best iPad data plan depends upon your needs and requirements?



You have three options for paying for data on your iPad Pro when it comes to T-Mobile.  The first option is the simple choice of mobile internet. T-Mobile gives you unlimited 2G data, in addition to your monthly allotment of LTE data prepaid.

Below is the break down of LTE data plan

Data Price
2GB $10  (Monthly)
6GB $25 (Monthly)
10GB $40 (Monthly)
14GB $55 (Monthly)
18GB $70 (Monthly)
22GB $85 (Monthly)

T-Mobile provides non- recurring charges for specific assigned data. For $5, you get 500MB of LTE data for 24 hours. For one month, you need to pay $30 and gets 3GB of data.

There is a standalone plane for $70 per month for unlimited data and 480p video streaming.



Verizon is best known for straightforward data plans.  In this, you share the data plan with whatever devices are attached to the same as the AT&T mobile share plan.

Data Price
2GB $20/month
4GB $30/month
6GB $40/month
8GB $50/month
10GB $60/month
12GB $70/month
14GB $80/month
16GB $90/month
18GB $100/month
20GB $110/month
30GB $185/month
40GB $260/month
50GB $335/month
60GB $410/month
80GB $560/month



AT&T has DataConnect, DataConnect Pass and Mobile Share Data. Data connect provides 5GB of monthly data. Whereas, DataConnect Pass set a prepaid plan that starts with 1GB of monthly data. In the last, Mobile Share Data is the monthly data plans ranging from 4GB to 50GB with additional $10 access charges.

The breakdown of DataConnect plans is mentioned below.

Data Price
250MB $15 (monthly)
3GB $30 (monthly)
5GB $50 (monthly)

The charges come in two ways: $14.99 for extra 250MB on the 250MB plan or $10 extra per GB on the 3GB plan.

On the other hand, there are two types of DataConnect Pass plans: One with auto-renew and second without auto-renew.

DataConnect Pass
Data Price
2GB $25 (90 days)
Unlimited $35 (30 days)
DataConnect Pass With Auto-renew
Data Price
1GB $14.99 (30 days)
7GB $50 (30 days)
Unlimited $29.99 (30 days)

In the last, there is a postpaid plan known as Mobile Share Data. It has various options and an access fee of $10 per iPad on the plan.

Data Price
4GB $30 (monthly)
6GB $40 (monthly)
10GB $60 (monthly)
15GB $90 (monthly)
20GB $110 (monthly)
30GB $185 (monthly)
40GB $260 (monthly)
50GB $335 (monthly)

If you want to add any international data to any of the chosen plans then you need to pay extra $60 for 1GB for 30 days or $120 for 3GB for 30 days.

Just by paying $20/month, avoid any separate data plan simply by adding iPad to AT&T’s Mobile Share plan.



Sprint is the network that offers you a day pass, week pass, month pass for iPad owners. Users need to choose according to the consumption of the data. If you have not activated any plan then Sprint won’t deactivate your SIM.

You can renew the data plan, the day before the next calendar cycle starts, You can also cancel it at any point in time.

Data Price
300MB $5 (24 hours)
500MB $10 (7 days)
1GB $15 (auto-renews every month)
3GB $35 (auto-renews every month)
6GB $50 (auto-renews every month)
12GB $80 (auto-renews every month)

AlwaysOnline and GigSky

AlwaysOnline and GigSky

Apple’s two most available data plans are AlwaysOnline and GigSky. These plans are best for international travellers.

AlwaysOnline offers global coverage in 74 countries. The price varies from country to country.

Below are the U.S. prices for roaming.


Data Price
100MB $0.99 (per hour)
500MB $2.99 (1 day)
1GB $7.99 (valid up to 15 days)
3GB $22.99 (valid up to 15 days)
5GB $34.99 (valid up to 15 days)

On the other hand, GigSky offers coverage in 190 countries. The prices slightly vary depending on the location.

In North America, the prices are mentioned below.

GigSky offers coverage

Data Price
300MB $10 (valid up to 1 day)
500MB $15 (valid up to 15 day)
1GB $20 (valid up to 15 day)
2GB $30 (valid up to 15 day)
5GB $50 (valid up to 30 day)

Which Plan and Carrier Should You Get in The U.S.?

plan and carrier

There are various factors that you need to consider while selecting the plan and carrier. Everyone has their own choice, for example, some use more data and other uses less.

Below mentioned are the recommended carriers and plans that you should get or try once.

T-Mobile: If there is a decent coverage in your area then go for T-Mobile. The network is active and speedy. It also supports LTE advanced and gives you free lifetime data at an affordable a la carte monthly price.

AT&T: If you want to share the data plan of an iPhone, whereas you don’t require much data or you do not have T-Mobile coverage then at this point AT&T is the only option.

Verizon: If you want to share the data plan of an iPhone, whereas you don’t require much data or you do not have T-Mobile or AT&T coverage then Verizon is the foremost choice.

Sprint: If you are looking for the cheapest option with decent network coverage in your area then adapt Sprint. This has a la carte data plan after T-Mobile.

AlwaysOnline or GigSky: If you are an international traveller then AlwaysOnline or GigSky is meant for you.


Above-mentioned are some of the best iPad cellular plans and carriers that you should get in the U.S. Choose according to your requirement.

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