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How to access 3G on Ipad in Italy/Switzerland?

How to access 3G on Ipad in Italy/Switzerland?

Mar 6th, 2012, 07:06 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 165
How to access 3G on Ipad in Italy/Switzerland?

I'm not sure which forum to post this one. It's more a technology savvy question and there does not seem to be a technology forum for it.

OK - I'm new to the idea of Ipad. Babe in the woods. Thinking of travelling with an Ipad. I don't have a smartphone and will be using my existing old 3G mobile. I only ever use it as prepaid only. Intend to purchase a pre-paid SIM in Italy for my mobile. I'm Australian.

I think an Ipad would be useful for email contact to/from Australia, checking/managing hotel bookings, managing banking.

As I understand it Ipads are purchased with WIFI or WIFI +3G. As I understand it 3G would relieve the frustration of not being able to connect WIFI. With regards to 3G Apple site speaks of being sure to select the Ipad which matches the carrier you will be using - they mention AT& T or Verizon. Does this mean that I need to sign up to use either of these carriers to be able to use the Ipad? I understand that short term plans can be selected. Or is it a case that I can simply use the prepaid SIM that I purchase for my mobile? If so how do I decide which Ipad to buy for compatibility with Italian carrier? It's all a mystery to me.

Hope this question does not turn your hair as grey as mine has become.
Any advice appreciated.
2012moving is offline  
Mar 6th, 2012, 08:34 PM
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I'll be interested in this one also.
Peter_S_Aus is online now  
Mar 6th, 2012, 09:05 PM
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First, let me state I am not an expert in this matter but I will answer to the best of my knowledge. European networks are GSM systems. AT&T in the US is a GSM system. Verizon to the best of my knowledge runs on CDMA technology which is not the standard in Europe. You therefore will need to purchase an iPad compatible with GSM (AT&T). You can purchase 3G plans on a month-to-month basis. If you purchase the data plan from AT&T you will pay data roaming charges while in Europe which makes no sense as it is quite expensive. Some of the other experts on this forum can advise you how to contact the appropriate European carriers to buy a sim card once you are in Europe. To address your question about using your phone’s sim card, most phones use a larger sim card than the iPad sim card so there would be a compatibility issue. The link below from a NY Times article is probably the information you need.
HistoricMarker is offline  
Mar 6th, 2012, 10:33 PM
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Thanks for your response. GSM is definitely the way to go for 3G in Europe. You have confirmed what I suspected. Data plan based in USA means roaming charges. I have not yet physically examined an iPad so was not aware of the difference in size in SIM cards. NY Times article interesting. The question still remains re European carriers.

But maybe I don't need 3G. Would WIFI function on trains in Italy and Switzerland?
Babe in the woods is learning .... learning
2012moving is offline  
Mar 7th, 2012, 01:28 AM
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It would be only a slight exaggeration to say that we were the only people in first class on a train that were NOT using wifi, mostly with iPads. I am not sure it is available in other classes and I doubt very much that it is available on local or regional trains.
Ackislander is offline  
Mar 7th, 2012, 01:38 AM
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Thanks for the enlightenment about the prevalence of iPads. I was fascinated on my local train the other day to see groups of young friends sitting together but none of them conversing because they were buried in their mobile phones or iPads. I think WIFI may be good enough for me. I view iPad as perhaps a necessary evil in my situation - leaving 92 year old mother at home. I prefer to spend my time relaxing and admiring the view.
2012moving is offline  
Mar 7th, 2012, 05:14 AM
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I used Wifi on my IPad last Oct. in Piedmont and Switzerland with great success. Only issue was finding a location with Wifi but all hotels I used had availability in the lobby. No other issues.
Huggy is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 01:44 AM
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Part of me remains concerned about security of information using WIFI etc. Although it would be handy for me I'm undecided about the advisability of checking emails, bank balances etc. But then you need to be careful in librarys, internet cafes etc that you clear all your info from the computer before walking away. Tis a shame that technology is so advanced that it can be abused.
2012moving is offline  
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