iPad 4G

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Tuesday, 02 March 2010

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iPad 4G

There is a lot of talk about the Apple iPad and how it is going to be a "game changer".  Time will tell if this is true or not, but there is one interesting feature that the iPad does have that makes it stand out from all the other devices on the market: complete internet connectivity while on the go on a full screen tablet.  Many people already have this on a iPhone or laptop with built-in WiFi or 3G (EVDO or HSDPA), but this is Apple and they may be on the road to creating a brand new market. When the iPad comes out, Apple will first introduce the WiFi-only version of the iPad; thirty days later they will introduce the "iPad 3G", which contains built-in WiFi capabilities and also a built-in 3G chip, using AT&T's 3G Network. There has been much discussion over the last few months as many iPhone users complain about the reliability of the AT&T network - how can AT&T's already taxed 3G mobile broadband network possibly handle all the extra traffic that the iPad will be generating?

We are going to "think different" and show you a way to skip the 3G network for the iPad and go directly to 4G!

Right now, AT&T and Verizon do not have 4G networks built - they only offer 3G service (the "G" in 3G and 4G stands for "Generation" - so 4G is simply the "4th Generation" of mobile broadband. As you'd expect, 4G is much faster than 3G!).  4G is available, though, through CLEAR and Sprint. CLEAR, which is 51% owned by Sprint, has been deploying a 4G WiMAX network that is in 30 major markets right now, with service in new cities launching every quarter; Sprint and CLEAR use the same network, but offer different plans and devices. When the iPad does finally ship, why not give your "latest and greatest" gadget access to the latest and greatest mobile broadband service? Just because the iPad won't have 4G capabilities built into it doesn't mean you can't take advantage of 4G. There are a few ways to accomplish this right now:

#1  Purchase CLEAR Internet USB Modem and add a Battery-Powered Router.

This will work in any of the 4G/WiMax supported markets*.  This method gives you the ability to not only have an iPad on a 4G network, BUT also creates a WiFi hotspot FROM the 4G network.  Multiple devices can be sharing the network at the same time, such as iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry (w/WiFi) and any other device that supports WiFi. If you have an ethernet-only device, you can add a Pepwave Surf Mini to get those to hook up. Plus, CLEAR's service is super-affordable and unlike 3G service, it's unlimited (so no need to worry about using too much data and incurring overage charges!).

If you are only using this in a 4G area, you are good to go.  But, what if you are not always going to be in a 4G area?  That is where a solution from Sprint will do the trick.

#2  Purchase Sprint U301 3G/4G USB Modem and add a Battery-Powered Router.

This works exactly like #1, except that it also fails back to 3G when you are not in a 4G area. This option works best if you travel a lot one of the areas you frequent is not yet on 4G.  The same rules apply - you can easily share multiple WiFi devices. It also gives you the most for being "future proofed", meaning you can get a device today and not have to worry about it becoming outdated when a whole new faster 4G network comes into town - you would have everything you need for 3G now and 4G tomorrow. Sprint's 3G/4G service is a great deal right now, too: they charge just $59.99/mo (the SAME price that AT&T/Verizon/Sprint charge for their 3G-only plans!) and you get unlimited 4G access and 5GB of 3G access.

There are a plethora of benefits to opting for a 4G or 3G/4G modem in a router for your iPad instead of relying on WiFi from other sources or signing up for AT&T's 3G service:

  • 4G WiMAX service from Sprint or CLEAR is much faster than AT&T's 3G service (WiMAX can provide average download speeds of 3 to 6 Mbps and bursts over 10 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 1Mbps; AT&T's 3G service provides real-world speeds of 700-1700kbps download and 500-1200kbps upload)
  • Unlike relying on other WiFi sources and only being able to use your iPad when you're near a hotspot, you can be your OWN hotspot
  • The router allows you to share the 3G or 4G connection with other devices, too - not just your iPad! Get your other devices online, too!
  • Multiple router options - the PHS300 is certainly the most portable option (since it has a built-in battery), but other routers are also available if other features are desired (the other routers don't have built-in batteries, but external batteries are available)
  • Flexibility - if you ever replace your iPad for any reason, you won't have to also worry about replacing or transferring your internet service. Your CLEAR or Sprint USB modem and router will work with any computer or WiFi device you get!

* For a complete list of US cities with CLEAR or Sprint 4G WiMAX, see To view 3G or 4G coverage by zip code or address, visit

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 April 2010 )
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