When Apple released the early betas of iOS 4.3, the Personal Hotspot feature caught the eye of many iPhone owners. We all wondered whether the feature would be available in Canada, and even more importantly, would it be free?
For those that don’t remember, Personal Hotspot is a new feature in iOS 4.3 that enables users to create a local, personal WiFi hotspot using the iPhone 4’s 3G connection in order to connect other WiFi-capable devices to the web.
Apple has also indicated that users can share the connection with up to five devices at once over WiFi, Bluetooth, and USB â€” with up to three of those connections using Wi-Fi.
If you have a jailbroken iPhone, this functionality will sound familiar if you use MyWi. The main difference here is that Personal Hotspot does not require a jailbreak.
Works In Canada
Early on the iOS 4.3 beta, it was confirmed that Personal Hotspot would work in Canada. Canadians installed the new beta firmware on their iPhone 4 devices and were easily able to create a WiFi hotspot without any fuss. Shortly afterward, Rogers confirmed that the feature would be supported in Canada for Rogers/Fido customers.
The next question was if the feature would be free or would the Canadian carriers charge a fee? Until now, Rogers did not release any specific pricing information.
Works In Canada…For Free!
After the iPad 2 reveal this morning during Apple’s media event, RogersÂ confirmed that Personal Hotspot in iOS 4.3 will be available to Rogers/Fido customers who have a 1GB or higher data plan for free.
In other words, Rogers is following their existing tethering policy that requires users to have a 1GB or higher data plan to tether. Anything less than 1GB, and you will be unable to tether or use Personal Hotspot.
…Mobile hotspot on iOS 4.3 will be enabled on the Rogers network and will follow our current tethering policy. This feature will be available at no additional charge for Rogers and Fido customers who subscribe to data plans of 1GB and above.
This is great news for Rogers and Fido customers!
While Telus/Bell/Virgin have not announced anything specific yet, it is safe to say that if Rogers/Fido are offering Personal Hotspot for free based on their existing tethering policy, the former three companies will follow with their respective tethering policies.
What Does This Mean For Me?
In short, this means that if you were so inclined, you could purchase a WiFi-only iPad, for example, and using your iPhone 4 with Personal Hotspot, you can connect your iPad and four other WiFi-capable devices to the web using your existing iPhone 4 data plan!
Of course using such a setup outside of Canada would deliver expensive roaming charges, but within Canada, it’s a perfect fit.