Put simply, cellular connectivity on iPads allows these devices to connect to cellular networks, providing internet access on the go as opposed to having to be connected to a WiFi network.

With the rise of mobile tech, devices with a cellular connection are starting to gain immense importance and popularity. They offer the convenience of staying connected even when Wi-Fi networks are not available, making them an essential tool for those who require constant internet access. 

Let’s delve into what specifically cellular means on an iPad, what it means when you use your iPad, its benefits, and how it enhances the overall user experience. This is our guide on everything you need to know about cellular capabilities of an iPad.

Cellular iPad vs Wifi only iPad – understanding the different connectivity types

Cellular connectivity on iPads refers to devices that have the capability to connect to cellular networks, just like smartphones. Having an iPad model connected to a cellular network means you’ll have access to the internet using mobile data at all times.

With a cellular connection, you can carry out a whole host of activities, including;

  • Browse the web
  • Stream content
  • Download apps
  • Send emails

What about WiFi Only?

Wi-Fi-only models can only connect to the internet via Wi-Fi networks meaning that your internet connection is brought to the device via a WiFi connection. If you think of it like having your smartphone on Airplane Mode, then you’re not far off. You can still use the device and use apps that are stored locally but can’t do anything that requires an internet connection.


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How Cellular Connectivity Works – iPad with Cellular

Cellular connectivity on iPads is made possible through the use of SIM cards or, more recently, the use of E-Sims. All cellular devices have a sim card slot which is also a great way of spotting if your iPad is a cellular version or a WiFi version.

Depending on the model and region, iPads support a range of cellular networks, including 4G and 5G. In the UK, you can choose from most network providers and have your choice of plans starting from as little as £3 per month.

With a cellular model of the iPad and some time to set up a data plan, you’ll be all set. Simply insert your SIM card, and you’re set to go.

Regardless of whether you get a cellular iPad or a WiFi-only iPad, you’ll still have the option to connect to any WiFi network available, and one way of saving money on data if you have a cellular device is to only use the cellular data network when there isn’t a WiFi network available. This way, you’ll only use your cellular data to stay connected to the internet when there isn’t a WiFi network available.

Using Cellular Data vs Using mobile data via a Hotspot

A popular way of staying connected with a WiFi-only iPad is to hotspot your smartphone, making the most of your cellular data plan. This is an entirely viable option, but there are some drawbacks, including:

  1. It can drain your phones battery life
  2. Expensive overcharges on your mobile plan
  3. Slow wi-fi speeds
  4. When hot spotting, your phone may stop accepting inbound calls

One important point to mention is that if you opt for a cellular model, you’re still at the mercy of your network’s coverage and speed.

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Mobility and On-the-Go Productivity with a cellular model

Using a cellular-enabled iPad offers remarkable advantages in terms of mobility and on-the-go productivity. When travelling or constantly on the move, the cellular option can prove to be an invaluable companion. They provide the freedom to stay connected and productive without relying on public Wi-Fi networks.

This eliminates the hassle of searching for Wi-Fi hotspots, dealing with limited connection speeds, or compromising data security on unsecured networks. With a cellular iPad, users can seamlessly access their emails, collaborate on documents, participate in video conferences, or even stream media content while in transit or in remote locations.

Whether catching up on tasks during a long commute or staying connected during a business trip, cellular iPads empower users with the flexibility to be productive and engaged no matter where they are.

Choosing the Right Cellular Plan for Your iPad

If you’ve decided to go for an iPad cellular model, one key consideration is the additional cost of a cellular plan. Something a Wi-Fi only iPad doesn’t have.

When it comes to choosing the right cellular plan for your iPad, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, it’s essential to assess your data usage requirements. Consider how often you’ll be using cellular data on your iPad and what activities you’ll be engaging in, such as streaming, browsing, or downloading large files. This will help you determine the amount of data you’ll need each month.

Additionally, take into account the coverage of different cellular networks in your area. Check the availability and reliability of the networks offered by various carriers, e.g. EE or O2, to ensure that you’ll have a strong signal wherever you go.

Cost is another crucial factor to consider, and you can compare the pricing structures of different plans and carriers online using tools like https://www.moneysupermarket.com/ to compare Sim Only Deals.

iPads and connectivity: what you need to know!

In conclusion, cellular connectivity on iPads has become an indispensable feature, offering a myriad of benefits, but we question whether it’s essential. iPads are incredibly powerful devices, and with the improvements being made with hotspots and WiFi networks, it may be worth considering your options.

So, whether you’re a professional on the go, a student in need of reliable internet access, or simply someone who values flexibility and convenience, cellular-enabled iPads can be the perfect companion to stay connected, but are they a necessity? We’ll leave that for your to decide.