iPad Prepaid Data Plan: International

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by mrpickles, Feb 10, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. mrpickles
    Original Member

    mrpickles Silver Member

    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    211
    Status Points:
    395
    Last December I went to Singapore a couple of times and was introduced to the M1 prepaid data plan by another traveler on the UA flight from NRT to SIN. I thought that a thread where you can list your experiences in different countries would be a good idea.

    The iPad is sold unlocked so it is not necessary to purchase an international data plan for travel as is gets very expensive, all you need to do is purchase a local SIM card for the iPad and slip it in. I suppose this will also work for other devices that require a SIM card. I have no affiliation with any of these telcos.

    Singapore:

    M1 is the telco company that sells a S$20 (about USD$16) 1GB data plan SIM card. It is good for 30 days from the date of activation. You can purchase an additional 256MB for S$5 or 1GM for S$18 or 2GB for S$30 Top-up card at 7-11 stores which are everywhere it seams. What makes this nice is that you can make phone calls very frugally back home or worldwide with Skype on the iPad with a headset. And you can surf the web, email and make bookings on the web. The SIM card only works in Singapore and if you let it expire you can Top-up in 90 day and still keep the card without repurchasing.

    The M1 store is located on Orchard Road in the basement of Paragon Shopping Mall 290 Orchard Road. The M1 rep set up my device and made sure it was working and I was able to pay by cc and get miles. If you are a local you must bring your Singapore Identity Card and foreigners must bring a passport, they will not sell it without the passport.

    M1 website with fees


     
    iolaire and kingalien like this.
  2. My experience in Spain and Italy

    I am just back from several weeks in Spain and Italy. The iPad worked well after buying a local Sim for 3G data service. In Italy the provider was Wind and I had a fairly good signal in most locations (Rome, Venice, Tuscany). My only issue was that I was unable to log into my hotels wifi service using the iPad because of a java script error. I had 2 iPads with me and neither of them would log in, after entering the information the buttons would just freeze. I had 2 iPhone 4's with me as well and they would log in so I'm, thinking the issue may be solved with IOS4.0. It may just be my imagination but the 3G speeds in Europe seemed MUCH faster than the 3G speeds I get from AT&T.

    I was working part of the time I was on vacation and didn't have any issues using the web applications I needed. I had a Bluetooth keyboard which really helped. The speed in which I could complete tasks was slower than using my MacBook Pro but not to the point it crippled me. And not having to carry my laptop was awesome.

    I find that I use my iPhone a lot while traveling for maps and google, these are big data pigs. I did buy the 200 mb data plan from AT&T but I burned through it in 5 days.

    When I arrived in Italy I went to the Vodafone store and bought a MiFi unit for 99 Euro + 20 Euro for a Sim with 4 hours per day of data for 2 connected devices. This worked well once I figured out how to use it, the instructions and the Vodafone Italy website are exclusively in Italian.

    The hardest part was registering the Sim card in the MiFi, they send you a text message to the Sim number, which of course you can't read when it is in the MiFi, so I had to find someone to lend me their mobile phone, install the Sim and read the text message.

    If you connect the MiFi directly to a Windows or Mac OSX computer it loads software which allows you to read the text messages and alter the router settings. My thought was I would unlock the device when I got home so I could put any Sim card in it while traveling to other countries. Come to find out when I tried this using an unlock service the device was already unlocked! Very nice! Now I can use it next time I'm in Europe for the iPhones. I used GSM Liberty for this, they were very helpful and even refunded my money once we found out the unit was already unlocked.


    When you buy your Sim for your iPad don't forget to get the APN settings, you will need to add this in the cellular data section in the settings menu to access the internet, and get your PIN, you only have three chances to enter the pin before the Sim locks up, and if it does lock up you need the PUC code. The Sim PIN and PUC numbers were printed on the Sim card, don't lose them!

    This was a huge trial and error situation and I learned a lot on this trip, I'd be happy to share anything else you might want to know.
     
    Chamonix likes this.
  3. RCyyz
    Original Member

    RCyyz Silver Member

    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    389
    Status Points:
    495
    In Italy I picked up a microsim + plan from Tre. I think the sim cost me about 10 Euros but the plan was a mere 5 Euros for 3GB of data. As I was only in Italy for 10d, 3GB was more than enough.

    The only downside was that it took 24h for the sim to be activated. But once it was activated, all was well.

    http://www.tre.it/promozioni/internet-mobile/piano-internet-3-per-iPad
     
  4. Chamonix
    Original Member

    Chamonix Silver Member

    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    316
    Status Points:
    425
    Thanks for the helpful post! I have just used my iPad in the hotel wifi in Europe, never tried to use a sim but I think i will try it next time I go (not for a couple months).
     
  5. Chimpy
    Original Member

    Chimpy Gold Member

    Messages:
    43,594
    Likes Received:
    228,723
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Unfortunately my ipad is wifi only but in Singapore last week I picked up a free access code for wireless@sg which allowed me to use a lot of the public hot spots without cost.
    It's a shame that I did not wait for the 3g ipad to come out but I always rush into these things.
     
  6. RCyyz
    Original Member

    RCyyz Silver Member

    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    389
    Status Points:
    495
    And now a question - has anyone travelled to Greece with an iPad? I was only able to find info from Vodaphone - 10 Euros for 500MB.

    http://www.vodafone.gr/portal/ipad
     
  7. ThatJohn
    Original Member

    ThatJohn Silver Member

    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    318
    Status Points:
    500
    France: SFR has the best data plan (other option is Orange, which required a local French contract when I checked last September). You will need to connect to iTunes to acquire carrier settings, though.

    (In French, if you're asking someone to let you use their computer to connect iTunes: "Il faut brancher sur iTunes pour acquerir les paramètres de mon réseau.")
     
  8. HaveMilesWillTravel likes this.
  9. TheMadBrewer
    Original Member

    TheMadBrewer Silver Member

    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    158
    Status Points:
    420
    Here is another good site for info on prepaid data plans.

    I mistakingly bought a micro SIM for iPad from T-MO in the Netherlands. This was last October and they didn't have any prepaid flat rate plans and soon was out of data. They let me exchange the micro SIM for a standard SIM which I used in my Huawei dongle and my Cradlepoint Personal Host Spot.
     
  10. mrpickles
    Original Member

    mrpickles Silver Member

    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    211
    Status Points:
    395
    If you are in a country with an unlimited data plan on the original SIM card but not on the micro SIM card used by the iPhone 4 and iPad here is a trick for those who bought the wrong size SIM cards, other uses also:

     
    sc801 likes this.
  11. JB22

    JB22 Silver Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    110
    Here's another good site for finding info about pre-paid SIMs abroad-- http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/operators.html

    Some countries have weird rules, though, so it's worth it to do as much research as possible before you go. For example, on China Mobile, you can add a data plan (which makes the cost of data much less), but the plan won't actually activate until the first of the next month. So, if you're traveling at the very end of a month, great-- you can activate it. If not, you're kind of screwed. They won't tell you this at the mobile shop, btw. As a matter of fact, you'll be lucky if you can find anyone that speaks English, so best to bring a printout of exactly what you want.
     
    ACMM likes this.

Share This Page