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Monday, March 26, 2012, 09:19 am PT (12:19 pm ET)

Apple's new Verizon iPad can serve as LTE hotspot for more than 24 hours

While Apple's new LTE-equipped iPads are designed to offer customers the same experience regardless of which U.S. mobile carrier they base their purchase on, the Verizon model currently boasts the exclusive capability of sharing its high-speed mobile broadband connection with other devices for upwards of five times longer than most standalone LTE mobile hotspots.

The highly-technical Anand Lal Shimpi over at AnandTech recently revealed that his tests of the new Verizon iPad found that it could act as a mobile hotspot by sharing its LTE connection with other devices — such as a notebook — for approximately 25.3 hours under the proper conditions — namely that the device's display remained turned off. That's roughly 5 times longer than the 4 hours and change of popular LTE MiFi hotspots from Novatel and Samsung.

Those claims were backed up Monday by independent tests conducted by the Verge, which configuring a notebook to utilize the new iPad's LTE connection, running tests that continuously cycled through web content for more than 24 hours before exhausting the battery of the iPad, which similarly had its screen turned off in addition to notifications and push email accounts.

"Best of all, we saw no evidence of dropped or stalled connections," the gadget blog reported. "That's not to say there aren't caveats here: LTE reception in our Manhattan office is top notch, and it remains unclear how things would fare in areas with weak signal."

The largely unpublicized hotspot feature remains exclusive to the Verizon models for the time being, as such capabilities are not yet available with the AT&T models. A spokesman for the carrier indicated earlier this month that it was "working with Apple" to enable the hotspot feature on the new AT&T iPad "in the future," but offered no timetable for when it might become available.


Verizon's LTE coverage map of the U.S. with service indicated in red.



AT&T's LTE coverage map of the U.S. with service indicated in blue.


For more on the new iPad and how it stacks up against its predecessors and competitors, see AppleInsider's in-depth review.