updated 12:00 pm EDT, Sat August 6, 2011
Verizon gets new new Bionic, gets unlimited tether
Verizon has quietly joined AT&T in beginning to enforce the requirement for a hotspot-capable data plan on its network. At least rooted Android users, and likely jailbroken iPhone owners as well, are being redirected to a special referral page when they try to connect to a device sharing its 3G or 4G connection, telling them they need to pay $20 extra a month for the access. The change only appears to have come into effect within the past day.
The timing of the policy, just a day after AT&T said it would start moving unofficial hotspot users over to more expensive plans, is likely meant to keep the change relatively unnoticed.
Both carriers have long made clear that they don't want unofficial hotspot use hiking data use and often have the official feature disabled. They likewise often try to have third-party apps screened out of the app stores they can influence. Only unlocked phones bought away from the carriers are certain to get full software, though these too are likely to be pushed into the plans.
While data use from frequent hotspot users is likely to be higher, critics have shot back that the pricing is arbitrary in the light of capped data plans. In countries like Canada and elsewhere, most limited data plans let users do anything they like with the connection at no extra charge as long as they stay within the cap or are willing to pay the same overage fees they would otherwise. [via ReadWriteWeb]