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Do You Need a Special SIM Card for iPads?

By Edited Feb 13, 2014 0 0

Do you need to have a special sim card for iPad?  The answer to this question is both yes and no.  When you get a sim card for iPad you are enabling the use of mobile broadband.  This is something that a lot of people want, as they are then able to connect to the internet any time they need to. 

Why do You Need a Sim Card for iPad?

The main reason behind having an iPad, for most anyway, is to be able to get onto the internet without having to take your laptop everywhere with you.  When you have an iPad you are able to watch videos and play games anywhere without any hassle. Many businesses now use iPads as their main communication tool outside the office. 

If mobile connectivity is not the motivation behind getting an iPad then you should consider getting one that does not connect to 3G.  These iPad models will be the Wi-Fi only models that do not have a slot for a sim card.  Of course, you should keep in mind that this severely limits how you can use your iPad.  You will only be able to connect to the internet in places that have a wireless connection - like your home, your office and locations with Wi-Fi hotspots. 

People who travel a lot may want to consider the Wi-Fi only models as they are not likely to be using their mobile broadband outside of the UK.  There are also a number of wireless hotspots offered in different countries which work in the same way as BT Openzone. 

You might be thinking that you really don’t need to have a handheld computer replacement but you should think about the benefits you are getting.  When you have this device you will not have worry about not being able to do something while out and about.  If you are open to this idea then you should consider the iPad models that offer Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.  Should you get one of these models then you need to look at a sim card for iPad deal.  When you have dual connectivity you can also save on the 3G connection as you are able to move to a Wi-Fi connection should one become available. 

Types of SIM Cards

It is important to note that the iPad uses a different sim card to those found in the majority of mobile phone and mobile broadband dongles.  The 3G iPad needs a smaller sim card than the ones you get with a dongle.  The sim card is called a micro sim card and is smaller than the dongle sim card – about half the size.  There are some iPads that use nano sim cards, which are even smaller than the micro sim card.  To get these sim cards you need to purchase a deal from a mobile broadband network provider. 

The Best Deals

Most of the mobile broadband providers have iPad sim card deals but there are two providers that really lead the way - these are Vodafone and 3 Mobile.  With these providers you can choose between contract deals and PAYG deals.  The best deal you can get depends greatly on what you are going to be doing on the iPad.  If you are going to be using mobile broadband a lot then the best deal will naturally be the one that offers the most data for the lowest price. 

PAYG is one of the best options for users who are only going to be using mobile broadband occasionally.  The reason for this is that long term use of PAYG can end up rather costly.  With this method you only get the data you need when you need it.  The main advantage of this method is that you are not locked into a contract; additionally, you can use as much or as little data as you need to.

If you are a more frequent mobile broadband user then you should consider a monthly contract.  The reason for this is that monthly contracts offer more data at a lower rate overall.  The amount of data you get each month depends on the deal you are getting and the provider you are using.  Some providers offer more data on their deals than others.  The amount of data you need is linked to the amount of use your iPad will see and what you are going to be doing on the iPad.

Vodafone SIM Card Deals

While Vodafone offers a number of deals for iPad sim card deals the focus tends to be on the one month rolling contracts.  These contracts are seen as being very attractive by most people.  The reason for this is that you can cancel the deal with 30 days’ notice so you can always move to the bets rates.  When you cancel the contract you do not have to worry about cancellation charges or breaking the contract.  There are two main features of these deals that you should look at:

  • You get a free micro sim card with all the deals.  This is logical, as the deal is for a sim card and the micro sim card is the one used by the iPad.
  • Light mobile broadband users get special deals at very competitive rates.

3 Mobile SIM Card Deals

When you are looking for the best deal you should take a look at 3 Mobile, as many people feel they offer the best solutions.  The reason for this is the range of deals that this provider offers.  You can get PAYG deals as well as a range of monthly contract deals.  There are three main benefits of this provider’s deals that you should know about:

  • Monthly deals will come with the sim card free of charge.  This means that you will not have to pay a set-up fee for the sim card.
  • The large data allowances offered on the contracts allow you to complete any task you want to online.  This includes watching videos, listening to music and using apps that connect to the internet.
  • One-month rolling contracts are available, which give you the freedom to change providers or switch deals when a better package comes along.


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