iPad 3G speed comparison test

We put Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and 3 to the test in a comparison of iPad 3G providers.

Apple's iPad is now settling in Down Under after a much-hyped launch last month — including the opening of Apple's new Bondi Junction Store.

For people who have decided to take the plunge and purchase an iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G connectivity, all four telcos are offering microSIMs for the new tablet device — a far cry from the US where both the iPhone and the iPad are only available to AT&T subscribers.

With both post-paid and prepaid deals on offer, we've put Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and 3 to the test. Most of the plans from all these providers are competitive and affordable, so how do they stack up in terms of 3G speed?

To test the speeds of iPad 3G telcos, we acquired an iPad microSIM from all four networks and used the Speedtest.net application (a free download from Apple's App Store). We tested all networks in the same North Sydney location — all four networks provided a full five bars of coverage, suggesting maximum results. The tests were undertaken during the morning, at a time when we would expect peak network usage.

It is important to note that these results will always vary and will hinge on a number of different factors, including the time of testing, your location and network congestion. For example, our quoted Vodafone top speeds are rather low — but many Vodafone iPad users have reported much healthier speeds. In some instances, these have even surpassed Telstra's Next G speeds, a network that is widely regarded providing the fastest speeds and the widest coverage. Here are our results:

Network Peak download speed (megabits per second) Peak upload speed (Mbps) Lowest download speed (Mbps) Lowest upload speed (Mbps)
Telstra 4.1 2.94 2.92 0.29
Optus 1.66 0.34 1.07 0.21
Vodafone 1.21 0.34 0.89 0.18
3 1.08 0.17 0.87 0.16

To achieve the fairest comparison possible, each network was speed tested a minimum of 20 times, in the space of a 10 minute period. This allows us to account for an odd poor result.

As you can see from the results, Telstra was by far and away the best in terms of speed, with all three other networks lagging behind. Optus fared second best, with Vodafone and 3 (both now owned and operated by Vodafone Hutchison Australia — VHA) rounding out the table.

Do these results reflect your experience with the 3G iPad? Let us know in the comments below!

Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook

Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide

Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags iPadmobile broadbandtablet PCsapple ipadApple iPad 3G

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?