By Casey Liss
T-Mobile versus Verizon iPad Plans

In the spirit of Dr. Drang’s “outboard memory”, I’m placing this little tidbit here for my own future reference.

I have an iPad that has LTE. I have two SIM cards for it: the Verizon card that it came with, and a T-Mobile SIM that I picked up for the free data late last year. I generally keep the T-Mobile SIM in it, as I don’t often need data, and when I do, it isn’t much.

However, I’m about to embark on my annual pilgrimage, and as such, am likely to want/need to use data on my iPad. It’s quite likely I’ll need more than my 200MB that I get for free. Thus, what should I do? Despite all the kvetching about Verizon lately, I want to make sure I get the best bang for my buck if I am to buy a one-day, one-week, or one-month data pass from either carrier.

So, I crunched the numbers:

Carrier Plan Cost Cost/MB
T-Mobile 500MB Day Pass $5 $0.01
T-Mobile 1GB Week Pass $10 $0.01
T-Mobile 3GB Month Pass $30 $0.01
T-Mobile 5GB Month Pass $40 $0.008
T-Mobile 7GB Month Pass $50 $0.007
T-Mobile 2GB Monthly $20 $0.02
T-Mobile 6GB Monthly $35 $0.005
T-Mobile 10GB Monthly $50 $0.005
T-Mobile 14GB Monthly $65 $0.005
T-Mobile 18GB Monthly $80 $0.004
T-Mobile 22GB Monthly $95 $0.004
Verizon 500MB Week Pass $15 $0.03
Verizon 1GB Month Pass $20 $0.02
Verizon 2GB 2-Month Pass $35 $0.02
Verizon 6GB 2-Month Pass $50 $0.008
Verizon 5GB 2-Month Pass $60 $0.01
Verizon 10GB 2-Month Pass $80 $0.008
Verizon 2GB Monthly $20 $0.01
Verizon 4GB Monthly $30 $0.008
Verizon 6GB Monthly $40 $0.007
Verizon 8GB Monthly $50 $0.006
Verizon 10GB Monthly $60 $0.006

Some notes about the above:

  • “X pass” indicates a non-recurring/one-shot plan.
  • “X Monthly” indicates a recurring plan. They must be canceled before the month is up, lest they automatically renew.
  • I’m using base-10 representations for data sizes, since the carriers probably do the same. And for easy math.
  • The table is sortable, if you click on the headers.

To me, the clear winners are the 1GB week pass on T-Mobile, as well as the 300MB day pass on Verizon. Naturally, depending on the length of your travel and your data needs, your mileage may vary.

UPDATED 29 August 2014 1:30 PM: Changed to reflect new T-Mobile plans.

UPDATED 29 November 2014 7:30 AM: Changed the T-Mobile day pass to reflect the decreased price of $5 (from $10).

UPDATED 6 June 2016 8:00 PM: Updated all prices; added the many new Verizon monthly passes.