The best thing to come from Apple’s newest iOS, version 4.3 finally matches its Android rivals, bringing a personal hot-spot feature. This makes it possible to share your 3G data connection with all your other wireless gadgets.
While iPhone users have been able to attach their phone with a USB cable and pump internet juice into their laptop for a long time, you may have had to pay for the privilege. Will it be the same for wireless hot-spotting?
We’ve been chasing the mobile phone networks all day, and here’s what they’ve had to say. More updates from O2, Orange and T-Mobile coming soon.
Free wireless hot-spot connection through Three
The only network to offer the wireless hot-spot feature on your phone for free, Three told us that, “The One Plan Three gives customers all-you-eat-data, which includes allowing them to use their phone as a modem for tethering.
“Customers on The One Plan are free to use the Personal Hotspot feature as they like without incurring any additional charges.“
Sadly, you won’t be able to do the same on their recently announced all-you-can-eat data pay-as-you-go deal, though on other PAYG deals, it can be used, and will cost the same as typical data.
iPhone Wireless hot-spots on Vodafone
Vodafone got straight back to us, telling us that the new iOS wireless hot-spot function will be accessible by all their pay-monthly customers.You will need to pay for it though.
Detailed on their site, connect through tethering, and you will pay £5 for 500MB, lasting for 30 days. Use more than that in a month and it’s £5 for each subsequent 500MB.
For the data-obese, you’ll be able to add special tethering packs to your monthly bill, £10 for 1.5GB, or even £15 for double- a huge 3GB per month. Again, the wireless hot-spot function won’t be available to their PAYG customers.
Connecting you iPhone to personal hot-spots on O2
Previously offering an internet tethering service on the iPhone with 500MB data from £7.66 per month, O2 have told customers through Twitter that they will soon be announcing new data tariffs.
We expect you’ll have to pay something similar to use the wireless hot-spot, while an O2 spokesperson is looking into whether PAYG customers will be able to use the feature.
How much is it to use iPhone personal hot-spots on T-Mobile and Orange?
We’ve been in contact with Everything Everywhere, and are waiting for them to get back in touch to tell us whether you’ll have to pay for the feature, and if so, how much.
Update: Orange tell us that they will be treating the wireless hot-spot feature as tethering, and so customers will have to buy the specific bundle to enable the feature.
UPDATE: According to Techradar, Tesco Mobile have disabled mobile tethered on their iPhone 4. Without mentioning a price, they said that the supermarket mobile network, “doesn’t currently support the functionality for personal Wi-Fi spots but plans to be able to introduce this soon for customers.”