Poll: Will you use iOS 4.3 Wi-Fi personal hotspot? How much would you pay?

The Verizon iPhone will ship with Wi-Fi personal hotspot and iOS 4.3 looks like it will bring it to everyone -- but will you use it? And more important how much are you willing to pay for the privilege?

Verizon provides it free on some devices but charges for it on others. AT&T charges for tethering and makes you switch to one of their new, limited data plans so if you're grandfathered into unlimited it could be a deal breaker. On the other hand it will let you ditch your Mi-Fi if you've been using one of those as well as an iPhone.

How important in Wi-Fi personal hotspot to you and how much would you pay for it? Vote in the poll up top and let us know the details in the comments below!

Georgia

Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, hosts the ZEN & TECH podcast, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Prime.

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Reader comments

Poll: Will you use iOS 4.3 Wi-Fi personal hotspot? How much would you pay?

60 Comments

Hi Georgia,
I Would suggest another answer for the Poll:
. No, I'll jailbreak my not compatible iPhone and use a hotspot alternative. :)
Best Regards,
Ricardo

Tipb is going poll and question crazy. I understand you want community participation but I think it would be a good idea for the tipb staff to figure out a way for site visitors to filter out some of this stuff and just be able to view news stories.

Why would someone use this instead of MyFi? If it's strictly a money issue, jailbreaking is free and MyFi costs what AT&T will probably charge for a single month of usage.

Because not everyone wants to jailbreak. I don't have anything against jb, but it's not for everyone.

My phone is jailbroken, and I have used the MyWi program to create a wi-fi spot when I don't have access to free wi-fi. I don't like the carriers charging extra just to tether your phone to a computer or iPad. Data is data no matter which device is using it. I have unlimited data, but those on a limited plan should be able to use all of the data they have purchased with no restrictions.

I pay for 2GB a month. I would like to be able to use that 2GB how ever I choose. And if I go over, they will most certainly bill me for the overage - so it is not like I am expecting any hand-outs.
Besides, when the reported 20% jump ship from AT&T then there will be enough bandwidth for my hotspot. :)

Here is the thing I could jailbreak and make it free, but I do not have to do that I could put my SIM card in my Nokia E71x and use joikuspot and use that and if is free and AT&T does not charge me at all, also I could use an Nexus Android phone or rooted android phone.

I currently pay $20.00/month for the feature on my Droid X. When I get the iPhone I don't see why it would change. I'll be happy to pay the $20.00 per month on VZW.

This whole hotspot craze is stupid, we already have tethering over USB and bluetooth, and tethering when not plugged in killes your battery so fast you can almost watch the percent go down, so it has to be plugged in anyway, why not use USB? It's way faster than wifi anyway
And with the argument that you can connect up to 5 computers, with both verizon and AT&T the speed is good enough for one to be nice and speedy but more than one? Good luck

Why not USB? Because it won't work on iPad. Also, you can't support more than 1 connection (might be nice for a friend/spouse). Otherwise, for single PC/Mac I agree with you.

I need such a minimum amount of data with this feature that paying for it just doesn't make sense. I will jailbreak and MiFi it, I guess.
Hear this Telco's? Charge a flat $/min/MB and stop the pre-determined tiered BS pricing. Could you imaging if we had to pick our electricity at out houses this way? Or the number of hours we watch TV? Water usage.

Bottomline: We pay for data, and carriers need to stop charging for HOW you use your data. Whether I am tethering to a computer or streaming pandora, I'm still pulling data. Its a shame that people are not more up in arms over this. This is one thing that really bugs me about US carriers. Times are changing and carriers are not. In an age where people have, phones, tablets, and connected PCs, we need to simplify this process

How can we complain.. how can we petition.. I really aggree with you.. they have to make tethering free.. and unlimited for those of us with an unlimited data plan..

Chris is right. We pay for data already. Why do we have to pay MORE for HOW we use it? Lets apply that logic elsewhere...
I just bought a gallon of milk for $3. But if I want to pour some in a glass it is an additional $.50 per glass.
The only people this makes sense to are the people collecting the money.

Chris, what you and other people don't seem to understand is that data is not data. Understand this. Streaming pandora from your iPhone, and using your phone for a hotspot are completely different things. You can't download a 7gig operating system from Limewire from your cell phone like you can on a laptop. That's why. It's not even close to the same thing.

I don't think you understand. We are paying for the data. They can't charge us to access it.
It would be like them charging us a monthly fee to access our data through an app like Facebook. They can't, it would be double dipping, and that's against the law where I'm from.

I agree with limited data plans we shouldn't pay extra for tethering. Unlimited on a cell phone is very different than unlimited on a pc so I do agree that you should pay extra to tether if you have an unlimited plan.

@Lime Just because you CAN do more with a PC vs a phone doesnt mean that the data is any different. If you want to download a 7gig file over the air, then you should pay for it. I would trade non unlimited data for being able to have multiple uses for the data that I pay for. If I pay for 5gb's, then I should be able to use them however I want each month.

...Aren't "Yes, but only if it's free" and "No. Grandfathered into unlimited data" essentially the same statement? Just one is half full and one is half empty?

I'm grandfathered into an unlimited plan.. I will use it even if its $10 or $20 on the basis that I keep my unlimited data plan and get unlimited tethering.. I will only use it for my iPad 2 wifi only.. So really They have nothing to worry about cause I use mostly wifi on my phone as it is..

This is where I'm at. As long as I can do unlimited I'm willing to pay a bit more.
Lets be realistic folks... if they just give it away we're all screwed as people will just hog the bandwidth. I think its realistic to charge $10-20 extra a month but no more!
I hope the battery doesn't fade like most Androids do running a hotspot.
Jailbreaking just seems dumb to me.

I was using a hotspot app on my N95 3 years ago, T-mobile in UK, so won't be impressed if they try to charge for it, unlocked anyway.

I rather have unlimited data again rather then the WIFI hotspot functionality. I wonder how well our battery life will be with the WIFI hotspot?

I won't do anything that risks losing my unlimited data plan. If adding this feature forces me down to a limited data plan it's a deal-killer. That said, I have crappy AT&T data coverage where I live. So bad that I actually added a Verizon wireless hotspot to give me 3G coverage where I live and work. It's extra money but it guarantees me great data coverage throughout the U.S. Because of the coverage issue, I won't pay anything more for AT&T hotspot

People do the stupidest things to own the Jesus phone. What a joke. How about picking the carrier and not the phone, you can't because it's not the iPhone.

I did pick the carrier. I was a VW customer for many years and then started doing a lot of travel outside the U.S. so I switched to AT&T. The coverage was fine where I "used" to live. Since I moved my ATT coverage is not that great and especially my data coverage. Because I still do a lot of traveling I'm sticking with ATT but also want good data coverage while at home/work. I expect that at some point ATT will improve their coverage in my area and I can drop the VW hotspot, but until then I have my international use AND great local 3G data coverage. Plus I get easily shared data on my notebook, netbook, phone, and anything else I want wifi access to. IF ATT opens up their iPhone to provide hotspot coverage that would take care of the last point, but it still wouldn't address my need for good local and international coverage. I'd love to hear any real suggestions you have for alternatives. Oh, and I choose NOT to jailbreak my phone. I left Windows phones because of instability and I actually appreciate Apple's control of content to ensure a positive user experience.

I don't pay anything extra for tethering, as long as I don't max out my monthly data plan, so wifi should also be free.

I only carry my iPhone around so I have nothing that needs internet to share with out on the town. Laptops and tablets are just in the way.

I hope that it's free. If it is, I may occasionally use it. If I have to pay, no way in he'll am I paying more for the monthly bill.
Either way, it's a useful new feature that makes the iPhone even more versatile.

Is anyone missing the obvious here? Verizon's iPhone isn't going to allow simultaneous data and voice. So if you use hotspot and tether your laptop to it, your phone isn't going to work. I have a hard time believing that they will perfect the cutting of your data session to accept a phone call.

What good is a WiFi hotspot that drops when you receive a phone call? Until either Verizon's CDMA network supports simultaneous Voice and Data or the iPhone supports LTE this is a useless feature.

Pretty simple equation for me. I would use it only to tether my Wifi-only iPad while travelling, but I certainly cannot justify being charged extra to use the data I am already paying for.
Pay twice irks me with Cable/Pay TV already, no interest with Telcos, who have the most expensive data per MB on earth (texts!)

This is something I would pay a one-time "connect" fee, even as high as $50. But if they charge $20/month for no extra data and require me to go on a metered plan, sorry, I stay with MiFi.

I can't understand why I should have to pay for an iOS feature that allows me to use the bandwidth I'm already paying to use. Bits are bits. It doesn't matter if they come from my iPhone or my Macbook Pro. There's no stress on the network for local tethering, so why is there a tax put upon it?
Device-specific plans are just a waste of my money. AT&T, I want an account for ME, no matter which device I use.

If the $20 fee increased the data limit to a more reasonable 5GB I'd consider it. However charging extra for just using the same 2GB you get with new iPhone contracts for which you already have to pay $25/month is simply daylight robbery. (and forcing old loyal customers to downgrade to 2GB to get tethering is even worse)
I use less than 1GB/month on my phone, but I could easily go over 2GB on a tethered computer, using it as a backup home connection or when away from home (I don't trust free/unencrypted wifi hotspots).
Another issue would be battery life. How long would even the iPhone 4 last with this? And of course when your battery is dead you have also lost use of your phone.
For the cost and battery reasons I went with the Virgin Mobile PAYG MiFi. It's great in that you can pay for only when you use it and you have several choices of amounts, plus if the battery dies only my hotspot is down. Sprint's network isn't any better than AT&T here in Florida though. Coverage may be slightly better, but unless you have full signal the data rates are terrible if not nonexistent. Max data rates are half AT&Ts and ping times are almost double too. It has still come in very handy though.
To those that jailbreak and tether for free, thanks for congesting the network for the rest of us...

I'm also grandfathered into an unlimited data plan. I'll get the service, whether it be $10 a month or $20 a month, but only if I can keep my unlimited data plan.

You're not really paying for 2GB of data. AT&T sure doesn't expect you to use that much. I'd guess most people use far less but select that option because they use more than 200mb. I'm sure the prices they came up (for the 2gb plan) with don't assume everyone using 2GB of data.
But if they allow free tethering, you're more likely to use that 2gb. AT&T knows this too. Therefore, they want to charge you more.

Not willing to pay anything for hotspot but I will J/B my iPhone 4 if I don't get it for the first time to be able to use it just because when I got my iPhone 4 they lost my unlimited data plan by giving my number to someone else now I'm stuck with 1.5gb (on O2 in the uk)

Free WiFi hotspot is the main reason why I still own and use a palm pre plus from verizon. No other phone has that freedom. If it was free on iphone, all other phones would be swiftly tossed out the door.

I'm hoping for a jailbreak that will enable the built in personal hotspot. MyFi is great, but one less app to manage is always a good thing.

Personal hotspot = bragging rights. Had this on my nexus one and ive only used it a few times.

I didn't seem to notice anyone point out that the Verizon iPhone will not run data and voice simultaneously, so every time a call comes in it, you will lose your data connection, or what if you take the call and spend a few minutes on the phone. At least where I am I have good AT&T coverage and them now deploying their hspa+, I just tested and got over 6mbps/down and 1.5mbps/up on my cellular network. however I feel bad for anyone without AT&T service, because Verizon's EVDO rev A. Is not as advanced....
So if I were to get the Verizon iPhone I wouldn't use the hotspotr, I do have the VZW mifi, which I love,
AT&T hspa, is way more advanced, but Verizon's footprint is s much greater, if everyone could just work together.... Soooo sad.....