Which iPad 2 plan can I use overseas?

  • Available Wi-Fi and 3G
  • Roaming not allowed on all providers
  • Wi-Fi a cheaper option, if you can find it

Light-weight, powerful and with enough memory to store all your video and music: the iPad is an entertaining travel companion. The 3G mobile wireless versions let you take an internet connection on the road (or rail) too, so you can stay connected while travelling in Australia.

Click here to check out our best iPad and other tablet broadband plans!

It's a different matter when travelling overseas, however. Not all providers will allow roaming overseas on their plans, and those that do, charge a surprisingly high rate for data. It's important to remember that all activity on the internet, even a quick Facebook check or opening your emails, incurs data use.

Incredibly, the difference between the cost of one megabyte used overseas between providers can vary from 50 cents to over $20.

One megabyte (1MB) is not much and translates to reading a couple of emails, or browsing on a website. Take a look at our article on data use for a better understanding of how much data you'll need for different activities on the internet.

If you are planning on staying in one country for a while, you may find it more economic to buy a microSIM from a local vendor. Unlike the iPhone, which is sold locked if bought from a mobile phone plan provider, iPads can be used with any carrier.

Alternatively, you can switch off data roaming entirely by going into Settings and either switching to Airplane Mode (you won't be able to use Wi-Fi either) or select Cellular Data and choose Off. By switching off the Cellular Data, you can still browse the internet in a Wi-Fi hotspot but you won't rack up a huge data bill.

Optus

Optus does allow international roaming in 125 countries around the world. Any downloading outside Australia will incur data roaming charges of $0.20 per 10KB, which works out at a staggering $20.48 per MB.

International roaming is not included in any plans or data packs. Give Optus a call on 1300 137 897 for more information on iPad plans and international roaming.

Vodafone

Post-paid Vodafone customers can pre-purchase data packs before heading abroad. You buy a bundle in advance, then simple opt in when you want to use it and opt out when you return.

Buying a bundle will certainly save you money, but beware: if you exceed your data limit, you will be charged an excess fee of $8.19 a MB. This fee also applies if you are using data outside the preferred networks used by Vodafone overseas.

  • Super light usage $20 a month gives you 10MB to use abroad on preferred networks
  • Light usage $49 a month gives you 25MB to use abroad on preferred networks
  • Medium usage $199 a month gives you 120MB to use abroad on preferred networks
  • Heavy usage $329 a month gives you 200MB to use abroad on preferred networks

Larger plans are also available. Give us a call on 1300 106 571 and we can help you find a Vodafone plan for your iPad.

Three

Data roaming is available in most countries overseas for Three customers. The cost ranges from $15 to $20 per MB, depending on which country you visit.

However, Three customers heading to Hong Kong, Sweden, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Denmark or the UK can set their roaming network to Vodafone or Three and enjoy a much cheaper rate for data: just $0.50 per MB. That's 40 times cheaper than Optus!

Virgin


Virgin does not allow international roaming.