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UK Operators Reveal iPad Data Plans

British consumers with a hankering for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPad now know how much it will cost to use the tablet on 3G networks in the UK, as pre-ordering for the devices started today.

In the UK, iPad users can choose a mobile data plan from three different operators -- Telefónica UK Ltd. , Orange UK , and Vodafone UK -- and the details for those plans were released today.

All of the plans are offered without a contract. But none of the UK operators offer an "unlimited" 3G data plan like AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) does in the US. Apple's US iPad and iPhone partner offers an unlimited 3G data plan for $29.99 per month, as well as a plan with a data limit of up to 250MB per month for $14.99. (One UK pound currently translates to just over $1.50.) (See Is AT&T Ready for the 3G iPad?, 3G iPad: Sales, Hacks & Video Issues, and 3G iPad Proves Popular.)

In the UK, the data plans are available on a pay-per-use, daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Here's how the iPad plans compare:

  • O2 has three iPad plans: one daily plan and two monthly plans. On the daily plan, the operator will offer customers the chance to top up their data allowance, if needed, with 500MB extra. On the recurring monthly plans, customers will be able to add either 1GB or 3GB extra, but customers are not allowed to have more than 5GB on their accounts.

    Table 1: O2's iPad Data Plans
    Data usage allowance Price
    500MB + unlimited WiFi with BT Openzone and The Cloud �2 per day
    1GB + unlimited WiFi with BT Openzone and The Cloud �10 per month, recurring
    3GB + unlimited WiFi with BT Openzone and The Cloud �15 per month, recurring




  • Orange is the only operator that has structured a plan on a pay-per-MB basis. Customers will pay monthly, but only for the data they consume. For Orange's other data plans, customers will pay extra for any data used that goes beyond the plan's data allowance at a rate of 5 pence per MB.

    Table 2: Orange's iPad Data Plans
    Data usage allowance Price
    Pay monthly for what you use 5p per MB, capped at �40 per month
    200 MB �2 per day
    1 GB �7.50 per week
    3 GB + unlimited WiFi with BT Openzone �15 per month, recurring
    10 GB + unlimited WiFi with BT Openzone �25 per month, recurring




  • Vodafone's iPad data plans are only available on Apple's UK Website since the operator itself has not revealed the price details. A Vodafone UK spokesman was unable to comment on Light Reading Mobile's request for more information about the iPad.

    Table 3: Vodafone's iPad Data Plans
    Data usage allowance Price
    1 GB �10 per month
    5 GB �25 per month




    The operator data plans are in addition to the cost of the device itself. In the UK, Apple has set a range of prices for different iPad models. For example, the WiFi-only iPad with 16GB of storage costs £429 ($643) while the iPad with WiFi and 3G connectivity and up to 64GB of storage costs £699 ($1,047).

    The iPad will be available at the end of this month in many markets outside the US and UK. Apple said on Friday that the iPads would be available in Apple stores on May 28 in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK. (See iPad Coming to 9 More Countries.)

    — Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

  • Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 4:36:48 PM
    re: UK Operators Reveal iPad Data Plans The UK operators look like they're trying to stay in control of iPad data usage on their 3G networks with these plans: O2 won't allow more than 5GB on an account, while Orange users will have to pay for data used after their data limit.
    joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:36:46 PM
    re: UK Operators Reveal iPad Data Plans Meanwhile Softbank in Japan has even more control with a SIM-locked iPad:

    See:
    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/bu...
    Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 4:36:41 PM
    re: UK Operators Reveal iPad Data Plans

    You have to wonder how long AT&T will be able to offer its unlimited iPad plan.

    Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 4:36:37 PM
    re: UK Operators Reveal iPad Data Plans

    The Vodafone plan that Apple released early in the day yesterday was incorrect. I've updated the story now with Vodafone's actual iPad plans, which is 1 GB for £10 and 5 GB for £25.

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