The iPad is a device that has the unity of the iPod Touch and the iPhone in terms of functionality. You can purchase iPads that only have Internet access through Wi-Fi, or you can add a 3G data plan to them so they can maintain permanent connectivity. This means that you have to go through the actual activation process instead of just a start up syncing that is standard for the Wi-Fi only versions. Here is a guide on how to activate an iPad 3G easily.
When you first get your iPad up and running, which means you have already gone through the start up and opening settings, go into the Settings area and look at the Cellular Data. In here you can choose the View Account option that will bring up your Cellular Data Account information. Here you will enter in your information like your name, phone number, the log in information you will want, what plan you want from the carrier you purchased it from, and then your credit card payment information. All of this will be built in according to the account information from your purchaser, such as AT&T or Verizon. This will also determine your data plan options. So if you have chosen AT&T you may be offered the 250 MB of data for $14.99 or the 2GB of data for $25. This only refers to the amount of data that you have used over the iPad’s 3G network and not the data that you will use on Wi-Fi, which will most likely be considerably higher. Your payment information will also need to include the right billing address and all the basic financial information that you would use to make any type of online or long distance purchase.
From here the process for how to activate an iPad 3G is relatively guided through menus. You will be given the Terms of Service and the option to agree to them, which you are required to do to continue to activate your iPad 3G. You will get a Payment Summary, which will show your billing information and how much you are going to be charged for your iPad’s cellular data plan. Choose to Submit this if all the information is correct. There is an option to Add International Plan, which is right next to the Cellular Data Plans heading. This is good if you do a lot of international traveling, but will be much more expensive.
Once you have submitted the information your Cellular Data account will be created and you will have activated your iPad 3G. It will take a few minutes to complete, but then you will have the ability to alternate between Wi-Fi and 3G on your iPad. You will want to then log in to several Wi-Fi locations that you will be at regularly so that your iPad will automatically switch to those when you are in the region. This is important so that it will not consistently drain your cellular data, and you may even want to shut off 3G when you are low on available download data as it can be expensive when you go over.