Verizon is telling its employees that the iPad represents “an opportunity” for the company to encourage customers to buy the WiFi-enabled version of the device, pair it something like the MiFi, and use Verizon’s network, rather than AT&T’s. Engadget was sent a photo of an internal Verizon web page that touts the benefits of going that route, noting that the 3G version of the iPad costs US$130 more, plus the fee for the 3G service plan.
The web page also describes AT&T’s 3G service as “an overloaded network with limited coverage.” The latter is something that Verizon has repeatedly attacked AT&T on with its successful maps ads, showing much wider 3G coverage across the United States. After AT&T was unable to halt those ads in court, the company retorted with ads that essentially say: “We have 3G coverage in all the major population centers, plus our network is faster and you can talk on the phone and download a document at the same time.”
However, as Engadget points out, the cost for 5GB of data on a Verizon MiFi is $60 per month, twice as much as AT&T’s unlimited 3G plan for the iPad. And while AT&T has been hampered with 3G network problems because of heavy data usage on iPhones, particularly in densely-populated areas, the company’s CEO recently said he expects the WiFi version of the iPad to be more popular than the 3G one.
The screenshot sent to Engadget