updated 12:35 pm EST, Thu March 8, 2012
Feature could be added later
(Updated with extra AT&T, Verizon statements) The two US carriers of the new iPad, AT&T and Verizon, have no current plans to support personal hotspots with it, according to official Twitter posts. "As of now we are not. If it changes we will tweet it out," AT&T says. Verizon meanwhile writes that the iPad is "hotspot capable," but that there is "no info regarding the plans at this time."
The hotspot function allows up to five other devices to tether to an iPad via Wi-Fi. As with the iPhone, though, support will exist on a carrier-to-carrier basis. Some carriers may be reluctant to allow the option, since even though most tethering plans have data caps, they can theoretically place more intense demands on cellular networks.
Update: AT&T now says that personal hotspots are planned for the future. "We are working with Apple to enable this feature in the future, but we currently do not offer it," another spokesperson comments.
Verizon has adopted a similar stance. "The new iPad on the Verizon Wireless network will have the mobile hotspot feature," says spokesman Albert Aydin. "Our 4G LTE tablets have the mobile hotspot feature and it is included in the tablet data plans so for example, customers who sign up for the $30 for 2GB plan will also have access to the mobile hotspot feature."