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It’s not likely that existing AT&T iPhone 4 owners were too jealous when Verizon announced they were getting the device -- at least not until the company showed off the new Mobile Hotspot feature. As it turns out, if you happen to be running a beta of iOS 4.3, you can access it from AT&T as well.
MacRumors is reporting that Apple’s new Personal Hotspot feature already is working with AT&T while using the current iOS 4.3 beta -- but it requires that the user have a data tethering plan in the first place. The report is notable, since AT&T has not officially committed to the Personal Hotspot feature in the first place.
“While AT&T hasn't publicly committed yet to providing the same wireless hotspot functionality to iOS users, we've known that iOS 4.3 (currently in beta) adds this functionality to the OS,” the report reveals. “It’s simply up to each individual carrier to decide to support it. AT&T did announce support for such a mobile hotspot for other smartphones starting on February 13th, opening the door for iOS support soon behind.”
Over the weekend, a report from AppleInsider claimed that AT&T had provisioned the Personal Hotspot feature for a developer who requested it, but it appears that in reality it already works for anyone with iOS 4.3 installed who is currently using a DataPro 4GB for Tethering package, which costs $45 per month and allows a shared 4GB pool of 3G data for both the iPhone as well as tethering ($20 per month more than the standard 2GB data package for the device alone).
Many anticipated that iOS 4.3 would have been released to the public by now, but signs are now pointing to a late February release, which is fast approaching. It remains to be seen if AT&T will continue to allow Personal Hotspot access when the beta goes gold.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of MacRumors)