02 is in talks with Apple over providing mobile access for the iPad.
However, it is not believed an exclusive deal like the one in place for the launch of the iPhone will
exist and it will almost certainly be available on several carriers when it hits the UK
02 yesterday said it was watching developments in the US, where AT&T are leading the pack for providing data access to the device.
Network providers say they expect customers to predominantly use data packages rather than make calls on the iPad and are seeing it as more akin to the MacBook than the iPhone.
It is not expected to take the mobile industry by storm in the same way the iPhone did in the summer of 2007, when it transformed the way consumers viewed smart phones and became one of the most popular mobile phones of all time.
02 secured an exclusive deal for the iPhone for its launch, amid rumours a company executive jumped on a plane to California at the last minute to pull the rug from under a rival bid.
But many users are expected to use the iPad with a wi-fi connection and basic models will not come stocked with a sim card.
The wi-fi version of the iPad will be available in the UK from March and the 3G version will follow in April.
UK carriers have been stocking up on the micro SIMs used in the iPad. The Micro SIM was originally designed by Nokia when the firm wanted to produce extra small handsets and the size of the SIM had become a limiting factor.
Early GSM phones used a credit-card-sized SIM, which quickly reduced to the SIM widely used today
The micro sim is around half the size with more storage space and greater security.