Dallas - AT&T has priced mobile hot-spot service for smartphones with embedded hot-spot capability at $45/month for a total of 4GB of data.
The price applies to data downloaded to the smartphone itself as well as to the devices connected to it via Wi-Fi. Multiple devices can simultaneously share a smartphone's hot-spot connection to the Internet.
As a feature embedded in smartphones, AT&T hot-spot service will be available first,
, in the carrier's first 4G smartphone, the $99.99 Android 2.2-based
. The phone will be available Feb. 13 through the carrier's company-owned stores and
as well as through RadioShack.
AT&T also promised to offer embedded hot-spot capability in additional Android smartphones and in its iPhone in the future, but the carrier didn't disclose a timetable.
Verizon Wireless offers embedded hot-spot capability in select smartphones and will offer the service in its CDMA iPhone 4, which becomes available in stores Feb. 10. Verizon's hot-spot pricing for smartphones is $20/month for 2GB of data, but the smartphones also require a $29.99/month unlimited-data plan for their own data access.
When AT&T launches hot spot service for the Inspire 4G, the carrier will also change the pricing of its Bluetooth-enabled smartphone tethering plan to bring it in line with hotspot pricing. Tethering enables a smartphone to act as a wireless modem for only one computing device at a time. The AT&T tethering plan previously cost $20/month for 2GB of data, but the bit bucket will be increased to 4GB at no extra charge.
AT&T also offers a dedicated, hand-held mobile Wi-Fi hot spot that can be used by multiple Wi-Fi devices simultaneously to access the Internet via 3G cellular.