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AT&T enables mobile hotspot feature for 'select' phones

Consumer Reports News: February 03, 2011 11:56 AM

AT&T has finally caught up with Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile in allowing some of its phones to act as wireless hotspots for multiple devices. The feature will be available on select phones on February 13, beginning with the HTC Inspire 4G, a sleek-looking Android phone the carrier claims can reach 4G data speeds on its HSPA+ network.

Other "select" phones will be able to download an app to acquire mobile hotspot capability. The company didn't give details on when other phones will be able to download the the app, but we expect it will likely come to the iPhone, which already has that feature on Verizon, as well as other Android phones in addition to the Inspire. AT&T customers can currently tether one device to a phone, a service that costs $20 a month on top of AT&T's $25 data plan.

The new feature will not cost extra, and AT&T will increase its 2-gigabyte (2GB) data cap to 4GB to accommodate the increased data requirements of multiple tethered devices. The overage fee is $10 per GB.

—Mike Gikas

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