May 30, 2012 8:34 PM Subscribe
I'm going to buy an iPad! But I'm mainly going to be using it outside of the US and I'm very confused about international 3G/4G networks. Help?
posted by ke rose ne to Technology (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
So I live in Panama, where I have meh wifi at home and no wifi at work. Though I would be perfectly okay with the limited internet access I would have with a wifi-only ipad, I'm trying to figure out if getting a 3G or 4G ipad would be worth it here, or whether I should stick with wifi only and rely more on storage than streaming. I also just read about how people in the UK got burned because it turned out the new ipad wasn't compatible with their 4G networks, and now I'm super paranoid because I don't understand a thing about cell phones.
First of all, I don't think the ipad has been released in Panama, so I will probably be ordering a US model. This means I have to pick between Verizon and AT&T and I have no idea which is better suited to Panama. I know both will take a sim card, but is there an advantage to either one? Also, would it need to be activated in any way in the US to work here? What I read seemed to say that Verizon could work on other networks but only take advantage of their 3G, nothing faster. True?
Second, there are a few providers in Panama that advertise 3G (movistar, +movil) and two that advertise 4G (Claro and Digicel). The 4G for both is HSPA+, which according to the apple store is compatible with both Verizon and AT&T iPads, yes? Or is there more to it than that? Is HSPA+ the same thing as 4G LTE? WTF do these things mean?
Third, even though the advertisements make it sound like Panama's speeds match US standards, I have a work-provided blackberry and I find that extremely hard to believe. Is it really true? I know 4G should indicate speed, but does anyone know if networks outside the US can call anything they want 4G? (sorry that's a weird question... there is really good infrastructure here, but for some reason this is still mind boggling to me. probably 'cause my internet sucks.)
Thanks everyone. Any other random ipad advice is also welcome.
(Sorry if it sounds like I keep mixing up 3G and 4G - I haven't decided whether I'm going to get a refurbished ipad2 or a new ipad, and so both are a possibility.)