Traveling to Central/South America with an iPad
January 2, 2011 11:01 AM   Subscribe

iPad 3G/Wifi in Costa Rica... anyone have direct experience?

Posting for a friend who needs a quick answer:

"Does the IPad work in Costa Rica? Now that it has been out for almost a year, I am interested in expericence of Ipad users in CR. Specifically I would like to know how the wireless and 3G versions work on the Costa Rican phone system which is a monopoly run by ICE."

His digs down there have Wifi, so I think he's OK at home, but wondering about the internet cafes, airports, etc.
posted by FauxScot to Technology (3 answers total)
Off the top of my head, I'm fairly certain Costa Rica uses GSM 850/1900, so yes, the 3g radios in your ipad will be able to communicate with towers there. One thing I'm not sure of is whether or not ipads are carrier locked. If you bought your ipad from a wireless carrier, or needed to activate with a contracted data plan when you bought it, there's a good chance it may be locked to that specific carrier. If that's the case you'll need to jailbreak it to unlock it. I believe there's a program called greenpois0n which will unlock it.

One thing's for sure though, you'll almost certainly need to trim down a regular sim card to fit in the ipad's Micro-SIM slot. This isn't hard to do at all, just grab an exact-o knife and a template
posted by inedible at 11:29 AM on January 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

iPads with wifi and 3G will work fine on CR. iPads are not carrier locked so it will be an issue of cutting an ICE sim down to fit to avoid paying att's $20/mb roaming.

When I was last in CR in 2009 (pre iPad) there was no 3G service so speeds were limited to edge and GPRS. Wifi is pretty plentiful in beach towns with tourists and San Jose.
posted by birdherder at 12:47 PM on January 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks for all the advice. So, would I need to buy an ICE SIM card specific for smart phones that allows internet access? And then cut that down to iPad size?
posted by gurche at 4:28 AM on January 3, 2011

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