Sooo... the iPad came... I reviewed it here... I told you guys to wait for the 3G one... And then the 3G one was launched in the US. Then what?
Well, on Twitter (Follow me!), on Facebook and everywhere else, I hear people asking the same question- has anyone used the 3G service with Etisalat in Dubai? Let me give you my full disclosure upfront- I haven't. But for those who haven't either and are considering it, let me try to help with what I know.. and what I don't.
Firstly we should give Etisalat a pat on the back for one thing- allowing us to share our existing data plan with the one for our iPad. We tend to give the telecom giant so much flak for so many things, let's recognize when it takes a step in the right direction too, shall we? Given that in the US, iPad users have to spend an extra $30 a month to get 3G on their devices regardless of what smartphone and plan they have, it's pretty cool that Etisalat is giving us the option to have a second Micro Sim (smaller sim card) to use in our iPad. So if you have an unlimited 3G data package for your existing iPhone or Anroid/WinMo device, you don't have to pay anything extra, except for the price of the additional Micro Sim. For those who DON'T have such a plan, and/or want a completely separate Sim for their data services, they can use the 99 Dhs plan being offered by Etisalat for this purpose.
Etisalat should get another pat on the back for lowering the price of their old unlimited data plan from Dhs 395 to the current rate of Dhs 99. Do read the fine print though-
To further promote our unlimited mobile broadband package through the enhancement of the current offering, and to provide our customers with more accessibility convenience, we are lunching (I seriously think they mean "Launching") new promotion for the Unlimited Mobile Broadband Package to AED(99 ) per month effective from tomorrow (19)th April (2010).This means that after a 3 month period, there is a chance that the price could go back up to Dhs 395, but I reckon will probably be somewhere in the range of the two.
Now for the next part- here's where it gets kinda fuzzy for me. What happens to those who have a data plan along with the blackberry? Well, I'm getting mixed reviews for this one. The guys at the front end (at the Etisalat retail stores) confirm that it will work on the iPad. Etisalat seem to be fuzzy on the details on this one themselves and to be safe, say that it will indeed NOT be working. However, someone on the inside said the staff seem to be using the Blackberry data package just fine. Since I have an unlimited data package for my iPhone (my main phone) and the Global Unlimited package for my Blackberry (for BBM and email usage), I asked to get a Micro Sim for the BB so I could test it and be the guinea pig for the same.
Which brings me to the last part of the review...
Etisalat seems to be out of stock of their Micro Sims! My office has checked at a lot of their locations, and they seem to be all out of stock. The Etisalat account on Twitter even promised to revert, but I still haven't heard back anything. Unfortunately Jumbo stock of the 3G iPad has also been slightly delayed (damn eyjafjallajokull!) and so hopefully I'll have both 3G iPad as well as Micro Sim to test and revert sometime next week. Stay tuned...