Monday, July 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm.

Goodbye, iPad 3G data plan

Over the weekend, I canceled my iPad 3G data plan. I would have probably done it sooner, but I had been grandfathered into AT&T’s $30/month unlimited plan, so I kept it locked in.

Why’d I finally get rid of it?

  • The main reason is that AT&T data service is still so slow and unreliable where I want to use it — primarily to stream video over 3G at my gym in Brooklyn — that I wasn’t even able to use the access I was paying for.
  • Now that I’ve subscribed to 3G tethering on my iPhone — which provides a wi-fi hotspot that both my iPad and MacBook Air can access — I don’t need a separate iPad data subscription anymore. If I need to get online on my iPad, I can go through my iPhone, which is always with me.
  • Apple and AT&T also make it very easy to re-subscribe on short notice if necessary.

All told, I’m spending about $15/month less on data service. The tradeoff is that I now have a data cap with an overage fee, and have to abuse my iPhone’s battery in hotspot mode.

Next up: Reassessing my SMS plan when iMessage launches with iOS 5.

Related: AT&T customers spending more than ever on data, despite cheaper plans and free texting apps