How to Use a 3G iPad Abroad

Written by veronica summers
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With a 3G-enabled iPad, you don't need a wireless connection to access the Internet when you are travelling abroad. Stay constantly connected using your iPad's 3G network to check e-mail and surf the Web while travelling internationally. The availability of service and price for an international data plan depends on whether you are contracted with AT&T or Verizon.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Check that your carrier has 3G access in the countries you are planning on visiting.

    AT&T uses the GSM network that is widely available in most countries. However, double-check that the country is included in your 3G data plan by visiting the AT&T Countries included in International Data Plans Web page at

    If you have an iPad2 through Verizon, your options will be limited. Verizon uses the less globally popular CDMA network. This network is not available in most of Europe, the Middle East or Africa. Check Verizon's Global Data Web page at for more information.

  2. 2

    Contact AT&T or Verizon to set up an international data plan for your iPad. Sign the contract at least 30 days before the onset of your travel. International data plan pricing varies on your location and the nature of your cellular contract.

  3. 3

    Travel to your international destination and tap the "Settings" icon on your iPad.

  4. 4

    Tap "Cellular Data" on the Settings screen.

  5. 5

    Slide to "On" the Cellular Data setting.

  6. 6

    Slide to "On" the Data Roaming setting.

    If the iPad cannot find a wireless network, it will automatically access the Internet via a compatible cellular network.

Tips and warnings

  • Global data roaming is expensive. You may wish to set the Data Roaming to "Off" and only turn it "On" when necessary to avoid accidentally running up a large cellular bill.

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