Using Verizon's forthcoming iPhone as a mobile hot spot is going to cost subscribers $20 a month--that's on top of the required data and voice plans subscribers will already be paying for.
The fee, which is in line with what Verizon charges for mobile hot spot service on other smartphones, was confirmed today to Macworld by Brenda Raney, Verizon Wireless' executive director of corporate communications. The hot spot feature comes with a 2GB data allowance, but if users go over that limit, they will be charged $20 per gigabyte.
The personal hot spot allows up to five Wi-Fi devices at a time to connect to the Internet using the Verizon iPhone's 3G data connection as a wireless router. The feature was highlighted during Verizon's January 11 event announcing iPhone's imminent availability on its network, but pricing for the service was not revealed at the time.
Earlier today, Verizon announced it would keep its $30 unlimited data plan for the iPhone, but the plan will only be offered for a limited time before the company moves to a usage-based billing model.
The new Verizon iPhone is expected to be a hot seller when it goes on sale February 10. Verizon executives have not provided exact projections for iPhone sales, but they say that analyst estimates of 11 million new subscribers for the iPhone are likely accurate.
AT&T, the only other carrier offering the iPhone, currently allows only a single device to be tethered to the device via USB or Bluetooth. However, the hot spot feature will reportedly be available to all iPhones capable of running iOS 4.3, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, a beta of which was recently released to developers.