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Which carrier for your iPad SIM?

In a country like Australia with wide, open spaces and Wi-Fi hotspots as rare as hen's teeth, the choice between an iPad with 3G and one without is a no-brainer. After all, an iPad without an active internet connection is like roller skates without wheels. So who's going to get your 3G dollars, and what sort of plan will you opt-in for?

(Credit: CBSi)

In a country like Australia with wide, open spaces and Wi-Fi hotspots as rare as hen's teeth, the choice between an iPad with 3G and one without is a no-brainer. After all, an iPad without an active internet connection is like roller skates without wheels. So who's going to get your 3G dollars, and what sort of plan will you opt-in for?

As with the iPhone, you'll have your pick of the major carriers with Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and 3 Mobile all offering prepaid and post-paid iPad-only SIM deals, including Australia's first and only unlimited mobile data deal.

Prepaid pricing (30-day expiry)

Carrier 1GB 2GB 3GB 4GB 5GB 6GB 8GB 9GB 12GB Unlimited
Vodafone $14.95 - - $29.95 - - - - - $49.95
Telstra* $20 - $30 - - $60 - $80 $100 -
Optus** $15 $20 - $30 $40 - - - - $50
3 Mobile $15 - - $29 - $49 - - - -

*Telstra will also offer a once-off 2GB of bonus data with all iPad SIM activations before 30 June. **Optus will add an extra 1GB each month until 30 September. Also, the $15 and $20 plans only have a 15-day expiry.

Post-paid pricing

Carrier 1GB 2GB 3GB 8GB
Optus - $20 $30 $60
3 Mobile $15 - $29 -

And don't forget, you'll also have to choose your iPad model, too. Perhaps the premium you'll need to pay for 3G will steer you clear of having to choose a carrier after all.

iPad pricing

iPad 16GB 32GB 64GB
Wi-Fi $629 $759 $879
3G + Wi-Fi $799 $928 $1049

All pricing is in Australian dollars