I have a 4G mobile hotspot for when I travel on business. It makes NMEA GPS data available to connected clients.

I've been thinking about buying an iPad (first one for me). Can the wifi-only iPad use this data? For the apps that I plan to use, GPS location is desirable.

I'm trying to figure out whether I need to shell out the extra dollars for a 4G model, or purchase a Dual or Bad Elf...

  • Hi. I am wondering what mechanism is employed for sharing of GPS data between mobile hotspot and clients. What make and model is the hotspot?
    – myhd
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 20:52
  • The particular device that I'm currently using is the Verizon (Novatel) Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot 4620L. Per its spec, it can provide an NMEA GPS signal over a virtual comm port. As I don't currently own an iPad, I don't know if this is something that can be configured on it.
    – newmanth
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 21:25

1 Answer 1


You are most likely out of luck here. Essentially, you can not install any drivers on the iPad, and the handbook states on page 69 that...

Drivers are needed to use either the "USB tethered mode" or "GPS over Wi-Fi" features.

This question mentions a jailbreak for iOS to use a bluetooth connection to pass GPS data into an non-3G iPad, but your hotspot does USB and WiFi only — and I personally would not advise to jailbreak for certain reasons.

The most promising approach to your question is this: If you do own/have access to an iPhone, you could try to tether the two via Personal Hotspot. The iPad might get the location from the phone — as described in this article. Let me know how this works.

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