Orange sets out iPad price plans
UK iPad owners offered pay-as-you-go, daily and weekly deals – kept separate from mobile phone plans
Owners of the 3G iPad in Britain will be able to buy mobile broadband access from Orange on a pay as you go, daily, weekly and monthly basis, the mobile phone network said today.
Prices start at £2 for one day’s 3G access and extend to £25 a month for 10GB of 3G browsing and 750MB of wi-fi usage, through BT Openzone hotspots. Vodafone and O2, who announced last month that they had also signed deals with Apple, are due to set out their pricing plans shortly.
Earlier today, Apple said it will start selling the iPad in the UK on 28 May with prices starting at £429. The cheapest 3G-enabled iPad, which also has wi-fi, will be a 16GB version at £529 including VAT; the 32GB 3G device will be £599 and the 64GB £699.
Orange is launching the device in Britain, France, Spain and Switzerland. In the UK it is offering a pay-as-you-go option that costs 5p per MB. Users of this tariff – which entails registering a credit card with Orange – will be charged a maximum of £40 a month, but can carry on browsing after using £40 worth of capacity (800MB).
Large data users, however, would be better off signing up to one of Orange’s four individual pricing plans, which all require payment up front.
For £2, customers can get a day’s worth of browsing – capped at 200MB. For £7.50, customers can get a week’s worth of browsing – up to 1GB. Beyond those usage caps, browsing is charged at 5p per MB.
There are also two contract options. Both are monthly contracts but can be cancelled at any time. For £15 a month, users get 3GB of 3G access plus up to 750MB of wi-fi browsing through BT Openzone hotspots. For £25 a month, users get 10GB of 3G access and 750MB of wi-fi through BT Openzone.
Consumers who want to use their iPad on a 3G network can pre-register for one of the micro-SIMs they will need in order to get online on the Orange website from Monday next week. The micro-SIMs can be obtained from Orange shops as well as directly from Apple.
The mobile phone companies had hoped to be able to tie their iPad pricing plans in with existing mobile phone subscriptions – so that, for instance, an iPhone customer could get unlimited iPad browsing for a few extra pounds per month. But Apple is understood to have made it plain that it wanted iPad mobile phone pricing plans to stand alone.
In the US, Apple’s wireless partner AT&T offers two contract-free options: $14.99 for 250MB per month and $29.99 for what it terms a month’s worth of “unlimited” 3G access. Customers can sign up directly through their iPad and check how much of their allowance they have used.
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