Wi-Fi Hotspot Support Coming to AT&T iPhones?
With all eyes fixed on the release of the Verizon iPhone
today, speculation is growing as to whether or not the included Wi-Fi hotspot feature will be coming to other carriers as well. The iOS has been capable tethering for some time now, but it has been limited in the US at least, by AT&T and its overly stressed network. Even though AT&T continues to assure customers that they are in fact working to improve their network, customer satisfaction remains quite low.
Rumors are now circulating that Apple will finally bring the hotspot feature to all GSM iPhones with the next iOS update. The only thing that may block this feature is carrier support. In the US, this means that AT&T will have to let Apple include this feature as part of the operating system and give users the right to use it. AT&T currently charges $20 for the privilege. However, jailbreakers have been able to tether their iPhones for some time now using MyWi
, and there’s only a one-time charge of $20. It’s very unlikely that AT&T will change their stance on this and give users something for free.
With so many other carriers offing phones that can be used as Wi-Fi hotspots, it makes sense for the iPhone to have this feature as well. We’ll have to wait and see what AT&T decides to do, but hopefully they will finally relent, if only to keep customers from migrating to Verizon in February. Now that the iPhone is available on more than one carrier in the US, AT&T will hopefully feel the need to stay competitive with Verizon. Whatever happens in the next couple of months, one thing is certain, competition in the marketplace is always beneficial to the consumer.
This technology is nothing new. I was tethering as far back as the iPhone 3G, using a hack that I downloaded directly from the internet. It did prevent me from accessing my voicemail, so I finally had to remove it. This just proves that the iPhone has been able to tether almost from the beginning. At long last we’ll finally be able to use our iPhones as hotspots, just as long as AT&T doesn’t muck it up somehow.