Friday, June 25, 2010

Canadian iPad Data Plans Compared

I was curious about how the iPad plans that were announced by Bell, Rogers and Telus compared, where the break points were, and so forth. So I threw together a Google Spreadsheet to do some quick math on the plans. Assuming I read the plan rules correctly, I think the lessons are as follows:

  • Bell and Rogers have eerily similar plans, like one copied the other, or both took a suggestion from Apple.
  • The $15 plan offered by Bell and Rogers saves $5 over the $20 plan from Telus until you use more than 250MB.
  • Telus' one-price plus overage model is cheaper than Bell and Rogers' $35 plan from 250MB-800MB.
  • From 800MB to 5GB, Bell and Rogers $35 plan seems to be the way to go, because you'll be paying more than $35 by the time you pay Telus for your overage.
  • After 5GB, it seems like Telus' plan, which maxes out at $50, would be cheaper than paying Rogers or Bell for another $35/5GB, assuming Telus doesn't cut you off.
None of the plans spell out the edge cases:
  • Telus does have fine print saying "Subject to a monthly data limit of 5GB", but they're not very clear what happens if you hit that limit.
  • Neither Rogers nor Bell explains what happens when you reach your cutoff. If you run out of data on the $15 plan, can you upgrade to the $35 plan for $20, keeping the original timeframe? Can you buy a new 30-day window of $15?
Based on my iPhone data usage, if I were to acquire and use an iPad regularly, I think I could probably live within 250MB, although if I went over occasionally, it might be simpler to have Telus' plan. I suspect I wouldn't go over 800MB.

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