One decision you will be faced with when purchasing your new iPad is the right carrier to go with. I've put together the differences between the Verizon and AT&T iPads to get a good bird's eye view of the options in one place. As you compare these details, keep in mind that the most important factor in deciding on your data provider is the quality of service in your geographical area. While both offer super fast LTE speeds, there are some important details to consider.

Coverage Maps

Here are the coverage maps for Verizon and AT&T. One thing to note here is the difference between 4G and LTE. There's plenty of heated commentary on why companies are mislabeling their services with these buzz labels, and the bottom line is this: LTE is true 4G and will be blazing fast with any carrier. However, the term "4G" is used by AT&T and T-Mobile to describe its newer generation of 3G technology called HSPA+. While faster than traditional 3G, HSPA+ is not near as fast as LTE. So while AT&T's 4G coverage might be the "largest in the U.S.", Verizon's and AT&T's LTE coverage (real 4G) is similar nationwide. Make sense?


While speeds very from city to city, and even neighborhood to neighborhood, tests show AT&T typically has faster LTE. These Atlanta, GA results came from a forum on These are merely casual tests and you very well might get different speeds based on signal strength. Listed are the averages of what I saw on people's tests.


  • Slow 10Mbs down and 4Mbs up
  • Fast 38Mbs down - 14Mbs up


  • Slow 20Mmbs down and 7Mbs up
  • Fast 58Mbs down - 21Mbs up

Other tidbits: Verizon iPad

  • Personal Hotspot feature! The iPad shares its Internet connection with nearby devices is available at no extra cost. This is huge.
  • Compatible with AT&T 3G micro SIM cards.(But not AT&T LTE)
  • Data service is compatible around the world with a local SIM.
  • Data prices tend to be more expensive than AT&T by a few bucks. (See chart below.)

Other tidbits: AT&T iPad

  • Personal Hotspot currently not available.
  • Data service is compatible around the world with a local SIM.
  • Data prices tend to be less expensive and Verizon by a few bucks. (See chart below.)


So while AT&T offers faster speeds and more "4G" coverage nationwide, Verizon's true LTE coverage is similar to AT&T's around the country. The biggest advantage of the Verizon iPad, however, is that the Personal Hotspot feature as a part of the data plan, at no additional cost. However, you are paying a bit more monthly for the data service. Either way, both devices will get the job done while on the run. I personally have a Verizon iPad, and so far the Personal Hotspot has been useful and the LTE coverage around Atlanta has been more than fast enough.