When Verizon announced the iPhone 4, one of the unique features the new device offered was personal hotspot, a capability designed to allow iPhone users to allow up to 5 devices to share the phone’s 3G wireless connection via WiFi. However, the feature was never meant to be reserved to Verizon customers only, and since the launch of the phone, Apple promised to bring the feature to all iPhone 4 users via the upcoming iOS 4.3 update. One caveat though, while all iPhone 4 will be hotspot-capable once updated to iOS 4.3, the feature needs to be turned on by the wireless carrier the phone uses to actually work. While at&t mentioned the fact that it was considering adding the feature to its iPhone plans, the carrier never officially confirmed that its iPhones would ever support it. Earlier today, at&t finally came out of its silence, and confirmed that at&t iPhone 4s will offer the personal hotspot feature as early as March 11, the day both iOS 4.3 and the iPad 2 will be available. The feature will only be offered to users who currently are on the $25 per month DataPro plan, and will cost an additional $20 per month for a bucket of 2GB worth of data transfers.
at&t also started to offer postpaid subscriptions to its iPad users, a week before the launch of the iPad 2. The cost of the plan will not change, as iPad users will still be asked to pay either $14.99 per month for 250MB of data, or $25 per month for 2GB, but iPad owners who also own an at&t phone will now be able to pay for both devices at the same time, via one single bill. If you’re interested in switching to an iPad postpaid plan, at&t is currently offering the first month free of charge to users willing to make the move, a $15 or $30 value depending on your plan. Note that postpaid users will not be cut-off when they reach their data cap, so users willing to make the move should make sure to select their plan carefully, as at&t will charge an extra $10 per GB over the limit.