Verizon's iPad data plan: One plan to rule them all?

October 18, 2010: 12:47 PM ET

Depending on which of the new plans you choose, you could end up saving a few bucks, spending roughly the same, or paying through the nose.

Back in June, two months after the iPad launched in 3G and Wi-Fi-only flavors, Fortune recommended that potential buyers skip the 3G option, buy a Wi-Fi version and pair it with a MiFi router instead.

It seems Verizon (VZ) got the hint. On October 28, the largest mobile carrier in the U.S. will start rolling out iPad bundles that couple 16, 32, and 64 GB Wi-Fi-enabled iPads with a Verizon MiFi 2200 router.

iPad-MiFi bundle prices will match Apple's (AAPL) 3G sticker prices dollar-for-dollar: 16 GB for $629, 32 GB for $729, and 64 GB for the $829. Verizon data plans will come in three tiers: 1 GB for $20, 3 GB for $35, and 5 GB for $50.

Depending on which plan you choose, you could end up saving a few bucks, spending roughly the same, or paying far more than other plans from Verizon itself or from competitors because overage penalties could be severe:

  • 1 GB plan. Of the three proposed plans, subscribers must pay the most in overage charges with the 1GB package: $20 for every additional gigabyte.
  • 3 GB plan. Subscribers will need to fork over an additional $10 for every gigabyte used beyond the allotted 3 GB.
  • 5 GB plan. As with the 3 GB plan, subscribers will face $10 charge for going beyond the five gigs. In fact, that's actually $9 cheaper than Verizon's standalone 5 GB MiFi plan.

While Verizon first-timers need to sign a service agreement, they can pay month-to-month rather than commit to 12 or 24 consecutive months with the carrier. More

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