updated 06:45 pm EST, Tue January 25, 2011
Same details as current smartphone options
Verizon has now announced the pricing and specifications of 3G data "tethering" for the iPhone, and it exactly matches the existing plans for smartphone owners. The $20 per month option gives the built-in iOS feature -- which converts 3G data into a portable Wi-Fi network, allowing up to five devices to share a connection -- its own separate pool of 2GB worth of data, Macworld reports. This fee is in addition to the iPhone's required voice and data plans, but does not "borrow" data from the iPhone plan.
The pricing on the plan does carry a penalty if users exceed the 2GB cap -- each additional GB will cost another $20. By contrast, the iPhone data plan will still include an "unlimited" option for $30 per month for the time being, but the 3G wireless hotspot device cannot tap into that pool of data if a user goes over the 2GB in the hotspot option. As reported earlier, Verizon's iPhones are running an as-yet-unreleased version of iOS 4.2 that includes a built-in option for using the iPhone as a personal hotspot.
Rumors suggest that the built-into-iOS tethering feature will eventually be available to the iPhone's other carrier, AT&T, but there is not yet any word whether the company will offer the option. AT&T does currently allow data tethering using USB or Bluetooth to a single other device, but that option (which also costs an additional $20 per month) does not provide its own data; users much be subscribed to at least the AT&T iPhone's $25-for-2GB data plan. [via Macworld]