With the introduction of the iPad, Apple also introduced the ability to use the iPad as a hotspot, but only if carriers allow it. When announced, it wasn’t clear what the data plans for the 4G + WiFi version would be like. Also, it wasn’t clear if AT&T and Verizon would support the hotspot feature.
Today, GottaBeMobile reports that Verizon has officially announced that its data plans for the new iPad Wi-Fi + 4G will include mobile hotspot functionality at no additional charge. This will allow users to share the device’s data network and broadcast it as a WiFi signal. That WiFi signal can be used to provide data connectivity for other WiFi enabled devices.
Unfortunately, AT&T has still yet to announce specific plans for mobile hotspot functionality on the new iPad, as a statement provided to 9to5Mac. AT&T is currently “working with Apple” on the issue, but isn’t offering the capability at this moment.
It is also worth pointing out that owning an iPad 4G + WiFi version is cheaper than owning a MiFi in the US. In the US, a MiFi usually has a $50 upfront fee and then $50/month fee for 24 months. That works out to $2,000+ before tax, and if you want to terminate the contract early, there is an additional fee. However, if you just purchase an iPad 4G+LTE, you aren’t tied to contract and only have to pay for the data plan/hotspot functionality if you want.