As the primary default service provider of data plans for the iPhone and iPad, AT&T currently offers 2 different plans for subscribers to choose from. The service is called DataConnect and in addition to being available for the Apple iPhone and iPad, it can be used with a laptop, netbook, or desktop PC with an adapter.
DataConnect allows you to access the internet from any location within the network coverage zone and supports email, web browsing, and mobile downloads. While it cannot be considered an unlimited plan, it does offer users the ability to transfer a significant amount of data. The first option is a 200MB package that costs $35 per month and carries a $0.10 per MB overage charge. The second is a much larger 5GB plan offered at $60 per month with a reduced $0.05AT&T Data Plans per MB charge for exceeding the monthly bandwidth allocation.
To give you an idea as to just how much access that would provide, consider that 1GB of data transfer is roughly equal to 5700 individual web page views. In terms of streaming media, that same 1GB would allow for approximately an hour and 20 minutes of live streaming music per day for the same one month period. To see if coverage is available in your area, we have provided this AT&T coverage map. If you own an iPad, you can set up your service directly through your device or purchase a plan online or through a retail location.
For those who want to use the mobile data plan with a laptop or other device, AT&T offers several USB adapters and a mobile MiFi hotspot. Many of the USB adapters are free and include activation with a new 2 year contract. AT&T is currently in the process of upgrading their mobile network to roll out faster 4G service. The expansion will begin in large cities and eventually be available across the entire network.
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T-Mobile 4G Wireless Data Plans
T-Mobile currently offers the largest 4G network in the United States. This ultra-fast network gives you better wireless performance on your mobile device. In fact, 4G service is as much as 3 times faster than a 3G connection. This allows you to download music, movies, games, and apps much faster and supports data intensive activities such as watching a live presentation or streaming television content through your mobile device.
While 4G service isn’t available everywhere yet, coverage is expanding rapidly and is already available in most large cities and major metro areas. Here is a current T-Mobile 4G coverage map that will allow you to see if coverage is currently available in your area.
There are a number of different ways you can access this superfast network including cell phones, laptop computers, and tablets. You can even use the service on an existing laptop computer with the T-Mobile Rocket 2.0 laptop stick that can be plugged directly into a USB port.
Plans start at just $10 for a one week pass and up to 100MB of data transfer. They also offer the Data Plan Lite which provides up to 200MB of data transfer for $24.99 per month. This package comes with a $0.10 per MB overage charge and requires a two year contract. For users needing additional capacity, the 5GB Overage Free Plan for $39.99 per month can be an attractive option.
This plan also requires a 2 year commitment but does not carry any additional charges for going over your data limit. If you can’t bring yourself to lock into a contract, T-Mobile offers two prepaid plan options as well. The first one is a 30 day option that allows for up to 300MB of data usage while the second one lets you go as high as 1GB in a month for a $50 rate.