UK Mobile Network Operators Line Up For Apple iPad Data Deal

AT&T, the initial Apple iPhone partner in the US, has already been announced as the first partner to get the iPad on its network and there are already rumours that mobile networks in the UK are also looking for a piece of the action.

Like in the past, Carphone Warehouse will apparently be offering the iPad in the UK. Carphone Warehouse operates a Vodafone based MVNO called Talkmobile but it is unlikely that CPW will jeopardise its relationship with UK mobile operators for the iPad.

Carphone Warehouse said in a statement to tech website that "We are really excited about all the Slate/Tablet products currently in the pipeline and look forward to providing our customers with additional options for connecting and consuming content in the future."

AT&T is offering the iPad without a contract 250MB of data per month for $14.99 or $29.99 for "unlimited internet use" although we expect "unlimited" to come with a number of restrictions when used over the network (no tethering, no VoIP, no streaming, no P2P etc).

The iPad will be unlocked and will be using the rather uncommon microSIMs rather than the standard ones.

The Times has also revealed that Orange has come forward as a potential supplier for the iPad in the UK as did O2 and Vodafone. The smaller players, T-Mobile and Three, are unlikely to be active for different reasons.

Our Comments

However, Apple has not yet said whether the iPad will be exclusive but the fact that it is unlocked shows that Apple clearly does not think that the iPad will have the same impact on the market. In other words, like the Nexus One, expect any "exclusivity" launches in the UK to be short-lived.

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