Which Australian Carriers Will Support iOS 4.3 Hotspots?

One of the key features of iOS 4.3 (coming this week to your iPhone and fairly soon to the iPad 2) is the ability to use your existing phone connection as a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices. But will you have to pay extra for the privilege? We checked in with the three main carriers in Australia, and the answer appears to be "no".

Using iOS 4.3, you can have up to three Wi-Fi devices connected to your hotspot-equipped phone at once, provided your carrier already supports tethering (via USB or Bluetooth). Obviously, that makes the prospect of buying a 3G-equipped iPad less appealing -- why pay for a second connection if you can just use your iPhone's relatively generous data connection instead?

One possible reason: in the US, tethering the iPhone generally attracts an additional charge as well. However, in Australia, that's no longer the case. Optus controversially charged for tethering when the iPhone first hit Australia, but dumped that arrangement after a bollocking by customers.

We got in touch with Optus, Telstra and Vodafone to ask if they would continue supporting tethering for free when iOS 4.3 appeared. Both Optus and Telstra confirmed that there would be no change to current arrangements, meaning your iPhone will become a much more flexible tethering device once you update it. We didn't hear back from Vodafone, either because it's knee-deep in network upgrades or because it's waiting for Apple to allow it to say anything. However, frankly we'd be surprised if Vodafone chose to go against the grain and change its policy given its current reputational issues. If we hear anything more definite, we'll update and let you know.


Comments

    Thanks for chasing this up - I was wondering!

    Importantly however, my understanding from reading elsewhere is that this feature will only be available on the iPhone 4. It won't be available on the iPhone 3G or 3GS... and possibly not on the iPad 3G either.

    Personally I find this really disappointing...

      I understand this is the case. You'll probably find it's hardware related more than anything, kinda like the different iOS 4 features compared from iPhone 4 to 3GS or 3G

      @Jase Personally, I find your face disappointing. #Troll

      This is definitely the case for the 3GS - I am currently running the developer GM, and only bluetooth and USB tethering are available.
      Apple, I am disappoint.

    Info in this article is incorrect; Optus never charged for teathering when the iPhone 4 came out, theres a “$0 mobile as modem” bolt-on on all current optus plans. They charged for teathering when the 3GS cane out, but not the 4.

      4 snuck in there in error; fixed now.

    Sweet, now if only overseas data wasn't so damn expensive.

    Cheers guys. The tethering agreement in the States is a load of arse. No matter how you use it, data is data.

    I am running the Developer Beta 3 and GM Seed on my 2 Devices (Both iPhone 4's, and yes there is a reason I have 2) and have a NextG sim in one and a Optus 3G in the other and currently in the Optus handset (GM Seed) the option for hotspot is blocked and you must "Contact Carrier" to activate it.

    I am currently typing this on the NextG handset's HotSpot which connects no worries, which is surprising for Telstra.

      That's ok Optus's data network doesn't work anyway

    Ah, this is what I needed.

    Now I'm more leaning towards the Wifi-only iPad 2.
    Meaning I can just get one in the States for cheap!?

    Nice.

    If apple is saying 3gs won't get hotspot support because of hardware, that just bs.

    I have had MiWi for about a year and i have had no problems on existing hardware.

    Also for those who haven't jailbroken MiWi allows wifi hotspots on iphones that are jailbroken.

    Wait, IOS doesn't have mobile hotspot yet ?
    Android had it more than 6 months ago.

      Wait, iOS doesn't have malware that rips you off yet?
      Android had that weeks ago.

      -- you are a naughty troll

    Symbian 40 Series had it 5 years ago...

    Used to tether my laptop over bluetooth to my old Nokia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_6280_Series

    If you're on any of Voadfone's regular contract caps then you can use all your data for tethering should you choose! But.. If you're on one of their new Infinite plans then the included data can not be used for tethering and you will be charged something like 30c per mb outside of your plan. So be warned.

    I used tethering 12 years in 1998 with Nokia Data Suite (a Nokia 2110 I think), out in the bush with only a weak signal and a laptop. It was great for telnet sessions on the laptop to servers to perform installations and diagnose issues. In those days it was too slow for worthwhile browsing.
    No bluetooth either, only a cable connection.

    On a 3GS with PennySIM (an OPTUS service resold by PennyTEL) the HotSpot feature fails to work. It certainly aint free then!

    When I try to set up hotspot on an IPhone 4 using an optus Pre paid sim I get a message that I should contact optus to enable this service. I contacted optus and was informed that tethering is only available on a post paid plan.

      The only way to get passed their block is to jailbreak and download MiWi from cydia, it costs a little bit more, but am so loving my prepayed hotspots!!!

    must a connection cable be used?does any phone have the functionality to just create its own hotspot, if so can you please tell me what phones have this?
    thanks

      Samsung galexy ace.
      Under $200 no network locks.
      Hot spot can support, ps3, comp, I phone, I pad, smart t.v with wifi.
      Have not found a device that can not connect.

    can anyone tell me how to tether a motorola backflip? thanks

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