Just as we suspected, Verizon will be charging $20 a month for its iPhone’s mobile hot spot feature, the same as it does for other smartphones, the company told Macworld yesterday.
The feature will allow up to five wireless devices to connect to Verizon’s iPhone and share its mobile data connection. The hot spot will come with a 2 gigabyte pool of data separate from the iPhone’s own data pool. Each additional gigabyte of data will cost another $20.
The mobile hot spot is one major differentiator between AT&T’s iPhone and Verizon’s (other than the fact that Verizon’s model features different hardware to run on its CDMA wireless network). The feature will likely make its way to other iPhones in the upcoming version 4.3 update of the iPhone OS, but like the initial ability to share your iPhone’s mobile internet connection with a single device via tethering, it will likely be left up to carriers to enable it.
That means we shouldn’t expect AT&T to enable it any time soon — the company was notoriously slow about offering tethering, and the last thing it needs are more data hungry users on its network. AT&T is also more stingy about data for its tethering plan — it charges $20 a month for iPhone tethering, but the data used is taken out of users’ data plans, which for new users is capped at 2GB a month.
Due to limitations of CDMA technology, Verizon’s iPhone can’t simultaneously handle voice and data traffic. But the promise of a more robust 3G network, plus mobile hot spot support, may be enough for many users to overlook that deficiency.
Check out a video of the Verizon iPhone’s hot spot in action below:
Calling all developers: We want to write up your app for VentureBeat’s Mobile App Spotlight! If you have an innovative mobile app that hasn’t been featured on VentureBeat yet, submit it for consideration right away. The Mobile App Spotlight is sponsored by The Intel AppUp developer program.