AT&T may bring Personal Hotspot tethering to its iPhone customers. “All I can say at this time is that we’re working with Apple,” AT&T spokesman Seth Bloom told AppleInsider. That’s not a confirmation that the feature is definitely on its way, mind you.
Apple will roll out a Mobile Hotspot tethering as part of the iOS 4.3 firmware update, but the service will only be available to customers whose carriers support it.The service will allow up to five devices to share an iPhone’s data connection over Wi-Fi.
Verizon has already announced that its CDMA-model iPhone 4 will support Hotspot tethering for $20 a month and with a 2GB limit. That’s left AT&T in a bit of an awkward position as the company desperately tries to appeal to its iPhone customers who might be tempted to switch to Verizon following its iPhone 4 launch next week.
AT&T currently offers tethering, but only through USB and Bluetooth connections and with no additional data. Earlier this week, AT&T announced that it will be rolling out a new Mobile Hotspot feature for “select smartphone customers,” but wouldn’t confirm if it would be offering similar support to its iPhone customers.
Aside from the Mobile Hotspot support, unlimited data is another feature that Verizon has been trumpeting. Verizon announced that it will be initially offering its iPhone customers an unlimited data option. The contact option is expected to be offered temporarily before being replaced by a tiered data plan structure. AT&T, who dropped its unlimited data option last summer, countered by reportedly offering to restore unlimited data plans to some customers who previously had them.