Verizon's iPhone 4 Tethering Reality Check

Much ado was made over the hotspot feature of Verizon’s version of the iPhone 4. However, some who may have thought the carrier was going to make this a standard feature may want to think again. A Verizon spokesperson has confirmed to Macworld that the tethering functionality would be an optional, extra-cost feature.

Verizon will charge an additional $20 per month, which will give the user 2GB of data to use (additional usage is charged at $20 per 1GB). This will be a separate data plan altogether, and follows pricing for tethering on other smart phones on the network that have the capability. While the charge may dampen the enthusiasm a bit, it’s better than AT&T’s tethering offering, which also costs $20 a month, but takes data of your iPhone data plan. That means you only have 2GB to use overall before you’re socked with overage charges.

I wonder if AT&T will respond by changing its own tethering plan, but I’m not going to hold my breath.


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  1. S Smart Person January 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    Or you can Jailbreak your At&t iPhone 4 and Tether for free…

  2. Benjamin buchanovich March 15, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    The tethering charge is just another rip. No other word for it as it defies logic – other than the logic of car dealers who stick a $5,000. "market adjustment" charge on to MSRP. If one has a data plan, one has paid for data. Verizon, among others, advertises "unlimited". Since data is data, it makes no difference if I transmit data from my phone keyboard or use it in an emergency with my laptop. If there is a practical limit to the "unlimited" data, that's fine, then charge for extra data. Don't double-dip on the data.

    Of course Verizon isn't alone. Sprint, for example, not only charges extra for tethering, they add a $10. "premium data" charge with Android phones. What "premium data?" If one wants special services – many are offered – one has to pay for those separately. What is the $10. but an additional gouge.

    • therallycar September 11, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

      that 10 dollar extra charge is for 4g. not all of Sprints smartphones require that.

  3. yoyoyango123 April 30, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    That is not completely correct.

    Although "data is data", realistically, we use more data on a laptop than we would on a phone or tablet. With unlimited data on a phone, companies like Verizon and AT&T know realistically we would not use more than a certain amount of data. Yet the amount we might use on a computer is endless, because of the extra capabilities of computers vs. phones and tablets.

    I do not like the fact that companies charge extra to tether, but I understand why they do it.

  4. Hate big red May 9, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    I think it’s completely ridiculous for Verizon to charge $20 per GB over the 2GB limit. There should be no limit. I understand charging for the hotspot feature, but there is NO reason to be limiting the usage that you are paying for. I have Wifi at my house. It’s $40/mo. And it is unlimited. I’d spend that 40 bucks in a week at
    Verizon’s rates. They get MORE than enough money from me as it is. Needless to say, I won’t be using the hotspot feature. Even if I were to lose my wifi at home.

  5. benjamin buchanovich May 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Then don't advertise "unlimited" when you don't mean it. That's commonly called misrepresentation. And, if the limit is 5Gb, for example, then it's 5Gb, whether from the phone or a laptop. No way around it: data is indeed data and they are the ones defining the amount, not I. It's a simple rip.

  6. And Then October 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Or, buy the new iPhone, wait the requisite 48-72 hours for a stable jailbreak to be released, install it (the more recent versions of this require only clicking on a weblink and waiting while it self-jailbreaks) and then use a Cydia app to tether on your already “unlimited” data plan.

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