Verizon iPhone Wi-Fi Hotspot Feature to Cost $20 Extra
One of the most surprising features of the Verizon iPhone is the built-in Wi-Fi hotspot functionality that can connect up to five devices to the Internet through the phone. Of course, the best things never come free.
Verizon spokesperson Brenda Raney confirmed to Macworld that the Verizon iPhone hotspot feature will cost users an additional $20 per month on top of the $30 per month unlimited data charges (which will eventually change to an unspecified tiered plan).
This move follows the current Verizon policy of charging $20 for hotspots and tethering smartphones.
The hotspot feature does not take advantage of the unlimited data available to the Verizon iPhone; instead, it gets a separate 2GB monthly data cap. Overage charges are pretty steep too. Every gigabyte over the data cap will cost an additional $20.
Experts believe that the forthcoming iOS 4.3 update will unlock hotspot features, but that carriers will have the power to allow it. AT&T, for instance, has announced no plans to activate hotspot functionality, ostensibly because the network is already having trouble keeping up with the load of iPhone data traffic. AT&T allows tethering to a single device via USB or Bluetooth (not Wi-Fi), and this feature also costs $20 per month.