1. Phillip Swanson's Avatar



    CNET published an awesome analysis of exactly how fast the new iPad could potentially blow through your data plan when operating on 4G LTE networks.

    Current iPad data plans for AT&T and Verizon look like this:


    *Photo courtesy of CNET*

    Not cheap, and definitely not unlimited. Thankfully Verizon and AT&T provide data calculators to help customers decide what data plan best suits their needs. While these estimates are ballpark figures and feature a great deal of missing settings (AT&T doesn’t have 4G or LTE settings, and Verizon only offers “mobile broadband for computers” estimates) the figures are as close to real-world as prospective buyers can get without buying and trying.

    However, both calculators don’t attempt to hide the fact 4G and LTE connections eat through data-caps like Kobayashi. A single hour of HD video streaming on a 4G connection will eat through nearly 2GB of data according to Verizon, which means 2.5 hours eats up 5GB of 4G data. Watching Arrested Development episodes via Netflix on a road-trip? Negative.

    AT&T’s calculators inflates their results, but this is likely due to the fact the calculator lumps in 3G speeds with 4G numbers. AT&T’s calculator allows users to customize a number of sliders indicating how often they do certain things via their mobile device. However, the tools won’t be very indicative of actual iPad use.

    Judging by CNET’s findings using Verizon's and AT&T’s data calculators, there is almost no reason to utilize 4G speeds on a device capable of displaying 1080p and high-def video. Where the smaller screen sizes of mobile phones limit the bandwidth needed to display HD video, the new iPad’s increased resolution allows users to devour data. If a user spends $50 a month for 5GB iPad data plan, they’ve essentially paid $50 to watch a single streaming HD movie on their device when in a 4G area.

    Of course, customers could only use their 4G LTE iPad on Wi-Fi home networks and hot-spots. But, then again that defeats the purpose of having true 4G mobile Internet. Even worse, the ability to use the iPad as a 4G hot-spot becomes even less economical.

    Unlimited data plans need to come back, and fast.
    Source: CNET
    2012-03-14 05:32 AM
  2. RICO_'s Avatar
    Which is exactly why I have no need for one.
    2012-03-14 05:40 AM
  3. steve-z17's Avatar
    It's so ridiculous that they can get away with charging that much money, it's definitely not worth streaming a video on 4G if it's going to burn through your data.
    2012-03-14 05:48 AM
  4. mustard05's Avatar
    I love Arrested Development. That was awesome!
    2012-03-14 05:58 AM
  5. mortopher's Avatar
    This argument alone is what swayed me to staying with a wifi model the third time in a row... 4G sounded sick until I realized just how fast I'd burn through it.
    2012-03-14 05:59 AM
  6. sfwrtr's Avatar
    This is why there is a 4G LTE toggle in settings. Let's you restrict your download to HSPA+ speeds. Can't drop down to EDGE tho.

    Of course, this is all theoretical. The comparitively small and new LTE networks are about to become very congested. If my local HSPA+ speed is 2mbps instead of 14.4, what do you bet the LTE speeds sink down to 5 to 7…
    2012-03-14 06:09 AM
  7. idkanymore's Avatar
    How does having a faster connection automatically mean you using so much more data? It's like getting a new car and all of a sudden you're going to be driving double the miles? You'll be doing the same things you always did, just on a faster connection.
    2012-03-14 06:19 AM
  8. rocketApe's Avatar
    Yeah, I got the LTE version, but have NO plans for using it for Netflix. I'll save that for wifi. Most if my 4G use will be web browsing and email.
    2012-03-14 06:23 AM
  9. idkanymore's Avatar
    How does having a faster connection automatically mean you using so much more data? Just because you have a faster connection doesnt mean youll use more data. Streaming movies on 3G ate a ton of data too. It's like getting a new car and all of a sudden you're going to be driving double the miles? You'll be doing the same things you always did, just on a faster connection. Just don't stream 1080p just because you have 4G and it's the same as before
    2012-03-14 06:23 AM
  10. Fofer's Avatar
    Strangely that grid leaves off Verizon's 1GB/month plan (for $20.)
    2012-03-14 06:23 AM
  11. ChicagoV's Avatar
    How does having a faster connection automatically mean you using so much more data? Just because you have a faster connection doesnt mean youll use more data. Streaming movies on 3G ate a ton of data too. It's like getting a new car and all of a sudden you're going to be driving double the miles? You'll be doing the same things you always did, just on a faster connection. Just don't stream 1080p just because you have 4G and it's the same as before
    I'm offended by the common sense and rationality of this post. Good day to you.
    Reminding you all that YOU'RE YOUR
    2012-03-14 06:33 AM
  12. wasney's Avatar
    How does having a faster connection automatically mean you using so much more data? Just because you have a faster connection doesnt mean youll use more data. Streaming movies on 3G ate a ton of data too. It's like getting a new car and all of a sudden you're going to be driving double the miles? You'll be doing the same things you always did, just on a faster connection. Just don't stream 1080p just because you have 4G and it's the same as before
    More data because the 4G speeds will allow users to stream a HD video, which is now going to be more data if you are watching something that takes advantage of the new screen...

    Not to mention the fact that if you can load things faster, then, hypothetically you can do more in less time...So, you could download more apps and such while bored...and there goes your data cap. On the go and want infinity blade? Sure, no problem with 4G..
    2012-03-14 06:58 AM
  13. iBwizzle's Avatar
    Any true data hog such as myself would have been found a loophole around this! *Cough* Nokia *Cough*
    2012-03-14 06:59 AM
  14. nicrfe's Avatar
    Any true data hog such as myself would have been found a loophole around this! *Cough* Nokia *Cough*
    Do tell
    2012-03-14 07:40 AM
  15. nataliesn's Avatar
    and T-Mobile has a $50 prepaid plan that includes unlimited minutes, text and data !
    2012-03-14 07:45 AM
  16. mortopher's Avatar
    How does having a faster connection automatically mean you using so much more data? Just because you have a faster connection doesnt mean youll use more data. Streaming movies on 3G ate a ton of data too. It's like getting a new car and all of a sudden you're going to be driving double the miles? You'll be doing the same things you always did, just on a faster connection. Just don't stream 1080p just because you have 4G and it's the same as before
    Your logic fails terribly. A proper new car scenario would have to include the fact that your new car is also aloud to travel 5-10x (or more) faster than the old one (legally, mind you).
    2012-03-14 08:34 AM
  17. Jahooba's Avatar
    It seems kind of silly to stream an HD movie over 4G. Most people will simply use it for checking email faster and reading blogs.
    2012-03-14 08:36 AM
  18. sfwrtr's Avatar
    How does having a faster connection automatically mean you using so much more data? It's like getting a new car and all of a sudden you're going to be driving double the miles? You'll be doing the same things you always did, just on a faster connection.
    Many services, Netflix is an example, measure your download speed in the first few seconds of a session and automatically adjust compression to give you the best quality without stutter. If the 4G turns out to be fast, you'll stream more data to get the quality they think you want (HD vs SD or VGA). You probably would want it, were it wifi. To use your analogy, a V8 truck engine uses more fuel to get you to your destination than the 4-banger compact did.

    One can hope that the services will come up with a way to select the bandwidth you want to use.

    Remember to turn off the 4G LTE before watching NetFlix.
    2012-03-14 09:07 AM
  19. CCNPJediHacker's Avatar
    I'm offended by the common sense and rationality of this post. Good day to you.
    You Americans really make me laugh, in the UK we just call them idiots, in the USA you tell them to have a nice day haha. Also in the UK we get free tethering so there is no point at all to ever get a 4g iPad. Will just wait for a 4g phone and then tether. There is no LTE in the UK yet anyways and none planned until late 2013;(
    Last edited by CCNPJediHacker; 2012-03-14 at 09:16 AM.
    2012-03-14 09:13 AM
  20. iLoveWindows&iPhone's Avatar
    You Americans really make me laugh, in the UK we just call them idiots, in the USA you tell them to have a nice day haha. Also in the UK we get free tethering so there is no point at all to ever get a 4g iPad. Will just wait for a 4g phone and then tether. There is no LTE in the UK yet anyways and none planned until late 2013;(
    Man, us dumb Americans...Why did we ever leave this magical homeland you speak of.....oh wait...there was a reason...right? I'm American, so I'm to dumb to know what it was.

    Oh, and he wasn't trying to call him an idiot. He was agreeing with his post, in a intelligent way....obviously to intelligent for you to understand.
    El Zurdo
    2012-03-14 11:00 AM
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