AT&T: We’re Supporting iPhone Hotspot Feature

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AT&T Gets Personal Hotspot SupportApple is bringing Personal Hotspot support to the GSM-based iPhone 4 with the release of iOS 4.3 next week, and AT&T says it plans to support the feature. Personal Hotspots let users share their iPhone’s 3G wireless data connection with other devices over Wi-Fi.

Enabling the Personal Hotspot feature will set AT&T’s iPhone customers back an extra US$20 a month on top of the $25 a month Data Pro plan. The Hotspot add-on package includes an extra 2GB of data a month and supports connecting up to five devices at the same time.

AT&T’s iPhone tethering plan customers will automatically get Personal Hotspot support without any extra charges on their monthly bill, too.

iOS 4.3 will be released on March 11, along with Apple’s second generation iPad. The update will compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, third and fourth generation iPod touch, and the first and second generation iPad.

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Lee Dronick

If they want to stop the exodus to the land Verizon they should offer HotSpot for free.


I hope the competition from Verizon makes this a free service some day, but I’m sure Verizon also sees dollar signs in this functionality.
To me as a consumer, since I’m paying for an allotted amount of data that can’t roll over month to month, it really doesn’t make sense for them to put restrictions on how I use that data.  Is there really a cost associated with them allowing this feature (besides higher data usage and happier customers)? It seems to me that it is a function of the phone/iOS itself. With the tiered data plans and no “unlimited” plan, they should be pricing the cost of data delivery well enough to support the actual usage.
Of course, I understand if they can make money, they will. But it just doesn’t seem to be something that costs much, if anything, on their end. And it certainly doesn’t cost them anything on a recurring, monthly basis.


Verizon is also charging for tethering/hotspotting.

I would not be surprised, though, if, once Verizon discontinues the unlimited data plans this summer, the new tethering/hotspoting options end up being free add-ons (or some $3 per month convenience charge; these are carriers, after all, and nickle-and-diming customers is their DNA).

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