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AT&T to support Personal Hotspot in iOS 4.3, adds iPad postpaid data option

AT&T has confirmed that it will support the Personal Hotspot Wi-Fi tethering feature for the iPhone 4 when iOS 4.3 is released next Friday. Also, the carrier now offers postpaid data plans for the iPad and other 3G-capable tablets.

"AT&T plans to support the iOS 4.3 mobile hotspot feature when it's released March 11," the company said in a statement to AppleInsider. "To utilize this feature, customers will need to subscribe to the DataPro 4GB/$45 tethering data plan."

Personal Hotspot allows a user to share the 3G connection on their iPhone 4 with up to five devices over Wi-Fi. The feature will come to AT&T iPhone 4 customers with iOS 4.3, when it is released next Friday.

Verizon iPhone 4 customers have had access to the Personal Hotspot feature since that handset was released in February. Apple added the feature in a unique build of iOS, dubbed 4.2.5, for its Verizon handset.

Apple released the Golden Master of iOS 4.3 to developers on Thursday, signaling that the software update is on track for its March 11 release. Verizon iPhone 4 customers will have to wait, as the device uses a different baseband chip than other phones.

Customers now also have the option of paying at the end of the month instead of the beginning, thanks to AT&T's addition of postpaid billing for 3G connected tablets like the iPad. The new plans can be added to customers' existing monthly wireless statements, allowing them to have a single monthly bill.

"Tablets offer the convenience of mobile broadband virtually anywhere and our new billing options give customers the flexibility to choose how they prefer to be billed," said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets.

Postpaid customers have the same options: $14.99 for 250MB or $25 for 2GB per month. Customers on the 2GB plan who exceed their monthly allotment will be charged $10 per extra 1GB of overage, while prepaid customers pay $25 for an extra 2GB.