Ina Fried

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So How Much Is My Monthly Data Plan With the iPad 2?

Although the price of the iPad 2 is the same its predecessor’s, there are now more options for those buying a model with cellular data connectivity.

Whereas the original iPad only supported AT&T, the new model comes in both AT&T and Verizon flavors, much as the iPhone does.

On the original iPad, AT&T offered two monthly options: 250MB of data for $15 or 2GB for $25. Once that prepaid data plan was used up, people could either wait until the next month or just pay again and start a new month of service.

With the new iPad, there are a couple additional options. In addition to offering the same options it did with the original iPad, AT&T is adding a second option, where users get billed at the end of the month. Users pay the same amount for the two data plans, but instead of buying a new plan if they run over their monthly allotment, users are billed at $10 per gigabyte for overages.

Finally, the iPad 2 also comes in a Verizon option. Verizon has several monthly plans ranging from $20 per month to $80 per month and anywhere from 1GB to 10GB of data. Below is a chart that tries to make all this a little easier to digest.

One important thing to remember, though, is that while the iPad 2 has the option for both Verizon and AT&T, there are two separate models, so once a buyer chooses one, they are stuck with that carrier for the life of the iPad. Also, in both cases, the data option is month-to-month with no long-term commitment.

In the coming days, I am sure we will be hearing plenty from both companies about why their iPad is a better option. If the iPhone advertising is any clue, expect AT&T to mention the speed of its 3G network and that its model will work in more overseas locations (for a hefty price), while Verizon will tout the reliability of its network. Both can make a case for offering a better price under certain scenarios, given their many different options.

Here’s the chart that breaks down the respective costs.