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iPad plus free mobile hot spot at Best Buy


Best Buy is offering a sweet bundle on the WiFi-based iPad which includes your choice of a free companion AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint mobile hotspot. 9to5Mac reports that the available mobile hotspots include the WiMAX-enabled Sprint Overdrive, the Global-ready, 3G Verizon Wireless Fivespot and the 3G AT&T MiFi 2372.
The promotion requires a monthly data plan and a two-year customer agreement. The monthly cost of the data plan for each carrier is not listed, so it is not clear whether data plans will be the carrier's standard MiFi rates, which can be as high as US$80 monthly, or a special discounted, iPad-specific rate.

If you have plans to purchase an iPad-MiFi bundle from Verizon, you may want to re-consider and swing by your local Best Buy instead. Verizon Wireless recently began offering the WiFi iPad with a MiFi 2200 hotspot for the same price as the 3G+WiFi iPad which starts at US$629 for the 16 GB model. The iPad data plans do not include a contract and start with a reasonable 1 GB of data for US$20 per month and increase gradually with a $35/3 GB, $50/5 GB, and a $80/10 GB plan. While the data plans are attractively priced, the MiFi 2200 is an older model hotspot and does not include GSM bands for use outside the U.S.

The Best Buy promotion may offer a better deal as it saves you $130 off the cost of the iPad and you receive the newer, dual mode (GSM/CDMA) Fivespot mobile hotspot device. Data plans for the Fivespot start at US$35 for 3 GB of usage, which is not as low as the $20 plan but not outrageous either. Of course, this Best Buy promotion includes a two-year contract which may or may not be a deal-breaker depending on your usage.

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