Traveling to Washington State, Want a Pre-Paid SIM Card for my iPad. Suggestions?

The title says it all. I live in British Columbia Canada and will be traveling down to Washington state for a few days in July.

I have a 4th Gen iPad (first year with the lightning interface) with a slot for a SIM card. I currently have a Telus Mobility SIM card in the iPad. It’s only $5/month for 10MB of data, but it can scale up (I thing 500MB is $25).

I only use it in emergency’s, so my bill is almost never over $5/month.

But I am going across the line, I’d like some connectivity while I’m there. The place I’m going to doesn’t have wireless, my cell phone isn’t an option either because it’s a work phone so I can’t bring it (US roaming fees are brutal).

I can use my iPad SIM card in the US, but it’s $5/MB there which is a total rip-off.

Can anyone recomend a “pay-as-you-go” SIM card (for tablets only) that would work in Washington state? I’d like 250MB minimum (500mb would be great). I’m hoping to pay in the $20-40 range, is this realistic?

I’ve tried searching but all I can find are SIM cards for phones. My work phone isn’t unlocked so I can’t use one of these.

Thanks in advance!


I have been happy with T-Mobile, but it is best in the urban areas of WA. Your only other option is going to be AT&T.

Never used them, but after a quick Google search I’d say T-mobile looks to be your best bet:

You’d probably be interested in either the “Pay by the Day” or “Pay in Advance Mobile Internet”

I’d contact them to ask about details, though. I might myself the next time I visit the US.

Have you looked at whether you can prepurchase the US minutes/data? At least with the US carriers, you can buy Canada data for moderately less outrageous rates if you purchase a specific month-to-month plan.

ETA: Looks like Telus will let you buy 150 megs for $45 or 300 for $60:

GreasyJack thanks for the link, but those are only for phones, not Tablets.


Check with whichever provider you’re considering before you leave - we did get one for my original iPad a few years ago but had to have a friend sign up for it because the AT&T system could only accept a credit card with a US billing address.

Rogers offers any phone plan for use on tablets - you obviously don’t use part of the services but the prices are the same.

The Pay in Advance Mobile Internet offer from T-Mobile at least says it is for tablets on the tin. You would probably have to call them directly to ask about how you would go about getting it in your situation.

Looking at their service coverage maps, as jasg said they seem to have excellent coverage in the most populous parts of Washington, but spotty coverage outside the city centres.

Sadly, they have absolutely no coverage in my hometown, so I’ll have to look for an AT&T based solution if I want mobile data while visiting relatives. :frowning:

This is T-Mobile’s page for tablet plans where you bring your own tablet. Your 4th generation iPad is mentioned as being specifically supported.

It looks like you’d need to buy a SIM card for $10 (though elsewhere on the site it mentions a FREESIM discount code that lets you get one for free). Then for $10 a month you get 1 GB of data, for $20 you get 3 GB, etc. There’s no contract. Or for zero dollars, you can get 200 MB free every month with any supported tablet. The latter is what I use with my Nexus 7 LTE. Works great, and there’s no bill whatsoever. (I think my SIM card was free too, when I bought my tablet from Google.)

This might work for you.

The fine print on the AT&T site says

I believe that the iPad 4th gen is just a 3rd with a changed connector, that the frequency bands are the same and meet these requirements.

I meant to suggest that you visit an Apple store and check to make sure that your Telus service/iPad is the same as US AT&T LTE. In the states, AT&T and Verizon LTE iPads are different.

Do you even need it? Lots of places have free wifi.