Mobile

AT&T fights off Verizon iPhone with mobile hotspot, sweetened tethering data plan

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AT&T isn’t just sitting back and letting the Verizon iPhone get all the buzz surrounding mobile hotspots.

The carrier is finally offering mobile hotspot capabilities to let multiple wireless devices share mobile broadband connections, starting on February 13 with the launch of the HTC Inspire 4G. Additionally, AT&T is adding more data to its tethering plan (which iPhone users can take advantage of).

AT&T’s Mobile Hotspot will be bundled with the company’s high-end Data Pro plan for $45 a month ($20 more than Data Pro on its own). The carrier will also add an extra 2 gigabytes of mobile data on top of the 2GB that the Data Pro plan comes with. The total 4GB of data will apply to the iPhone and any devices connected to it via the mobile hotspot. Overage costs will be $10 per gigabyte.

Since AT&T is offering more data to hotspot users, it’s also adding another 2GB of data to existing users of its tethering plan. Currently, tethering users, including those on the iPhone, pay $20 a month to share their mobile data with a single device, but AT&T doesn’t offer them any additional monthly data. Now tethering users will be less worried about running out of their 2GB data pool.

It’s also rumored that the iPhone will get access to AT&T’s mobile hotspot application on February 13, although that hasn’t been confirmed yet. The hotspot feature will make its way to all iPhones with the release of iOS 4.3 in the coming weeks, but it will be left up to carriers to activate it.