Canadian iPad data plans

Last month, I said that “if the Canadian iPad data plans are anything like those offered by AT&T in the U.S., I’m in trouble.” Lo and behold, Rogers unveiled its iPad data plans yesterday, and they are basically similar to those from AT&T: 250 MB for $15 per month, or 5 GB for $35 (both plans including access to Rogers’s Wi-Fi hotspots, not that there are all that many). No contracts.

Not everyone is happy about it. Canadian mobile phone companies don’t offer unlimited data. It didn’t help that a $20 plan that allowed you to share an existing data plan with an iPad was posted on Apple’s page yesterday in error — no such plan exists, says Rogers, but it didn’t stop people from fulminating against it. Or against it not being there.

The people doing the most complaining are those who already have a data plan from Rogers, but I doubt that most people with an iPhone also need a 3G-equipped iPad, because they’re already going to have a healthy data plan included in their monthly phone bill. In that case, if you must have an iPad, get the Wi-Fi-only model instead, and use your iPhone when you’re not near Wi-Fi.

I see the 3G data option as a fall-back for when you can’t have Wi-Fi. I’m mostly around a Wi-Fi network, but there have been times when I’ve wanted Internet access where there was a cellphone signal but no open Wi-Fi. It would cost me $180 a year (or less: with no contract, you can switch the plan off and on as needed) for occasional on-the-go Internet. I’m not sure that’s a bad deal. I doubt I’d need more than that unless I was on a contract — during which I could easily switch to the 5 GB plan.

Yes, I’m probably in trouble here. I’ve got until the 28th.

Update: Noting for future reference the following iPhone Central articles on using the AT&T 250 MB data plan, which will be applicable here: How much does 250 MB get you? and Managing your 250 MB iPad 3G plan.