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[Update] Verizon iPhone 4 Personal Hotspot To Cost Extra $20/Month; Canada Too?

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Update 3: From Miranda Macdonald, Rogers Social Media Manager via email:

We will offer the WiFi Hotspot feature should Apple choose to enable it here in Canada. We can’t comment further until we know that the feature will be available in Canada.

Update 2: iPhoneinCanada.ca reader ‘Jordan’ sent us this dialog between himself and @Rogers_Chris this morning (January 26, 2011). It seems that the choice of whether to even allow Personal Hotspot in Canada is being considered, let alone if it will be free or not:

Update 1: @chrisleboe forwarded us the following tweet received from Rogers via twitter. He asked about Personal Hotspot being free, and Rogers responded they offer the similar service already on other phones. So this should indicate the feature will be free, if anything.

I am fairly certain iPhone users saw this coming.

It looks like Apple’s new “Personal Hotspot” feature in iOS 4.3, which at this time allows Verizon iPhone 4 users to share their 3G internet connection over WiFi to up to five other devices, such as a laptop or iPad, is going to cost Verizon users an additional $20/month on top of their regular monthly service fee.

The price also includes 2GB of additional data.

Raney said that Verizon iPhone owners will be able to take advantage of the 3G wireless hotspot feature for an extra $20 per month on top of the iPhone’s required voice and data plans–that’s the same price that applies to current Verizon smartphone owners.

So the question becomes, will Canadians have to deal with a similar fee? Maybe. After all, it is an easy cash grab for Belus and Robbe…err…Rogers.

Currently, the Canadian wireless carriers do not charge for iPhone tethering. They do however charge to tether your iPad to your existing wireless data plan.

So will they charge us for Personal Hotspot? Hopefully not. Will they give more data? Very unlikely. We will probably use our existing wireless data plan such as in the iPhone/iPad set up.

When I first heard about Personal Hotspot, I figured I would not need MyWi anymore. But it looks like jailbreaking and MyWi are still useful after all.

[Macworld]

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  • Anonymous

    I’m going to say no.
    The iPad data sharing was different because the iPhone did not need to be anywhere close to the iPad. It could even be off or in another city. Wifi hotspot requires both devices be close by.

    The Canadian carriers don’t charge for wired tethering. I don’t see them charging for wifi hotspot either…. Not even Rogers

  • Anonymous

    I dont think Canadains are as lucky as their neighbours, who have been enjoying much cheaper wireless plans for years. I dont think any carrier will be willing to offer anything comparable which is so sad.

  • Exactly. I couldn’t have said it better myself. It would be absolutely crazy for Canadian carriers to include wired and bluetooth tethering, but charge you for WiFi tethering.

  • Dude, this article is such a downer; written in such a pessimistic tone.

    As other commenters have noted Canadian carriers currently allow tethering to the iPhone via Bluetooth and/or USB at no extra cost. You pay for the bandwidth and you use it however you want.

    Adding an extra device to your plan however is a totally different issue. The HotSpot feature of iOS 4.3 in all likelihood will simply be one more connection option in tethering to your iPhone. Of course I could be wrong, but based on everything we have in front of us I’d say we’ll be just fine. Not time to start yelling “THE SKY IS FALLING!” just yet.

  • Louis

    I expect the Verizon fee is for tethering, period, rather than just wifi. In the new 4.3 settings, all “Internet Sharing” is now called “Personal Hotspot” and all forms of sharing are enabled at one time with a random word-based password.

    If you already get tethering, you’ll likely keep it. Canadian carriers charge more for most offerings–and have three year terms plus more competition–but ultimately, carriers love the idea of you going over your limit for data, and so I expect will enable any features that encourage data use, like tethering.

  • I have a 6gig data plan, they better let me use it as such, but then again i just tether it, but i find that not as stable. I rarely use it but i think it would be cool.

  • steve81

    But you forget that AT&T is actually charging extra for tethering, since it became available in the US. It’s an extra $20 per month and you have to give up your unlimited data plan if you got one earlier (unlimited is no longer available). And that extra $20 won’t even give you additional data. At least Verizon is going to add another 2GB.

    I see no reason for the Canadian carriers to do the same. The Personal Hotspot option is replacing the tethering option in the Settings menu. They can’t just remove that feature.

    Those like me who got 6GB/$30 (tethering included) can now say they are getting a better deal than in the US. I pay $55/month + taxes with Virgin and I’m getting 100 minutes, unlimited evenings & week-end after 7 PM, call display, voice mail and 6GB per month with tethering. Try to get such a cheap plan with AT&T and Verizon. Yes you are going to get more minutes with the basic plans in the U.S. without having to pay extra for long distance, but you’ll be paying at least 40$ for a voice plan + 25$ for 2GB, without tethering. That’s $65 minimum with no tethering (no wonder jailbreaking is popular down there). The big downside here that we still have is that we are locked in a 3-year contract instead of 2-year like in the US.

    My advice if you are getting screwed with a Canadian carrier is to shop around next time. Do not get one of those iPhone combo plans, wait for the 6GB/$30 deal to come back or call them to see if you could get it now.

  • steve81

    The Personal Hotspot option won’t make things any different for the carrier compared to tethering. The data is still going to go through the iPhone. This isn’t the same as having a 3G iPad on a second SIM card were both devices can access the internet at the same time.

  • Anonymous

    The 6gb/$30 plan is not available from any carrier regardless of how much you beg.
    Expect it to reappear for the iPhone 5 this summer.

    As for your prices… Not even going to start on how off you are…..

  • steve81

    I haven’t heard from people trying to get the 6GB/$30 plan by asking for it, I guess it doesn’t cost anything to try, but you are probably right on that one.

    As for “how off [I] am” about my prices, not sure exactly what you are referring to. I currently have the $25 myPlan with Virgin, which has 100 minutes + unlimited evening & week-ends after 7 PM (they currently offer 6PM now for a limited time). You can choose either unlimited texting OR call display with voicemail 10 (got the later). Add $30 for 6GB and that’s $55 per month.

    I don’t think you can get an iPhone on contract with AT&T without a minimum of a $40 voice plan (not counting data), unless you can get the $30 senior plan for 200 minutes. Verizon might come up with something better. Of course for the $40 with AT&T you are getting a better deal than in Canada (450 nationwide minutes + rollover + 5000 minutes after 9PM) for the same amount. But you still got to pay the $40 even if you don’t speak much on the phone. You could get the $15/200MB data plan though, which would add up to $55.

    Bottom line, you are getting more for your money for voice plans in the US, but they don’t have cheap 15-25$ voice plans like we do.

  • Mohammed

    My friend talked to fido retention department 1 month ago and they offered him the 6gb/$30 option without asking for it

  • erth

    i contacted Bell to link my 6gb data plan to my ipad (for $10 per month), and they said it is no longer selling this plan. WTF??? i bought a ipad with a simm card for bell so that i could link it up. now, they pulled this plan. does anyone know if this plan is coming back anytime soon? they wanted to sell me another plan for $35/mo. with 500mb of data. i don’t think so.

    thoughts?

    erth

  • Anonymous

    Talk to another rep

  • Anonymous

    They got rid of that plan very shortly after it first became available… and my guess is that it’s not coming back. I tried to get Rogers to match the plan, but they wouldn’t do it (They did reduce my monthly plan for my cell though). I now pay about $23 (including tax) extra a month to share my data with my iPad through Rogers…. and I am about ready to cancel it because it is such a rip-off. Unless you use more then 250mb of data per month on your iPad (which I have never even come close to), then data sharing is NOT worth it at all…

  • Anonymous

    Tethering comes at no cost if you have a 1GB + data plan, otherwise you have to pay extra for it.

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  • Anonymous

    That’s only on Rogers and fido that the rule of 1GB occurs. On telus, bell and virgin however, you can tether with any data plan for free.

  • Anonymous

    True true, my mistake, should have specified.

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