If you have an iPad with cellular capability, this blog is for you! You can tell if you have this capability by looking at the back of your iPad - if it has a black plastic segment on the top of the back side of the iPad, you have cellular capability. You can also look in Settings > Cellular - if it is there, you have cellular capability, if not, you do not.
If you are like me, having cellular capability on your iPad is handy, but not often used. I grew tired of paying AT&T every single month for service I almost never used. In November 2013, T-Mobile announced free 200MB per month data service - for the life of your device - even if you did not buy it from T-Mobile or have any account with T-Mobile!
There are two flavors of cellular networks in the USA - CDMA (Verizon only) and GSM (everyone else, and most of the rest of the world). T-Mobile operates on GSM (obviously), so if you have an iPad 2 with Verizon service, this will not work. Every other iPad with cellular capability will be able to use this free T-Mobile service (later iPads have both CDMA and GSM radios installed no matter what cellular service they use. Original iPads with cellular were AT&T only, so are GSM).
So, to get this capability from T-mobile, you have to get a SIM card from them. A SIM card is a small chip that is inserted into a small door on the side of your iPad. The price for these cards runs between $0 and $10, depending on if they are running a sale. You must get a Pre-Paid SIM card from their Pre-Paid department , not a post-paid SIM card (easier said than done). This SIM allows you to pre-pay for data before you need it - but only if you use up the free 200MB of data every month first! 200MB is not much, but enough to check email, use a navigation app or purchase items online. It is not enough to stream a movie or download photos.
Here is the link to get T-Mobile’s Pre-Paid SIM for your iPad: <a data-cke-saved-href="http://www.t-mobile.com/landing/free-mobile-internet-data.html" href="http://www.t-mobile.com/landing/free-mobile-internet-data.html">http://www.t-mobile.com/landing/free-mobile-internet-data.html</a>
Once you get the SIM from T-Mobile, shut down your iPad. Take a small paper clip, bend it straight and insert it into the hole on the back of your iPad, on the upper left side (viewed as you use the iPad). This will eject the SIM card, allowing you to insert your new T-Mobile SIM.
Once inserted, turn your iPad on and follow the simple instructions that come with the SIM. Enjoy your 200MB of free data!