It didn't take long for mobile management vendors to start scaring businesses about potentially huge overage charges that employees could incur now that AT&T and other carriers have stopped offering unlimited 3G data plans to new customers. But chances are that most organizations don't need to buy a pricey mobile management tool to monitor their 3G usage.
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1. Turn Wi-Fi on. The iPhone and iPad automatically switch from 3G to Wi-Fi when a known Wi-Fi access point is in range. For some time now, the iOS (the new name for the iPhone OS) has managed the Wi-Fi radio very intelligently, so it doesn't burn through your battery life looking for hot spots or when in range of a Wi-Fi access point. That means you can leave Wi-Fi on and forget it; do so in the Settings app on your device.
2. Use your free Wi-Fi when traveling. Also, if you're at AT&T customer, you get free access to AT&T's Wi-Fi hot spot network in the United States, which includes many Starbucks and McDonald's locations. As of iPhone OS 3.0, you don't even need to log in; the network recognzies iPhones and logs them in automatically. Meanwhile, other carriers include Wi-Fi service in their home countries as well as part of the iPhone subscription plan.
And you can get free Wi-Fi at many locations, including the Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle airports; at Apple Stores; and in many New York City parks, just to name a few. Scan the areas where you travel and connect to these; your iPhone and iPad will reconnect automatically the next time you're in range. (To disable the feature, tap the triangle icon to the right of the network name, then tap the Forget This Network button in the network details pane that appears.) Note that if you use an Android smartphone or a BlackBerry, they can also be set to autoconnect to known Wi-Fi networks.