iOS 4.3 Released But Which Carriers Support iPhone Personal Hotspot?

iOS 4.3 - iPhone 4 Personal HotspotThe release of iOS 4.3 has arrived a few days early and with it comes the ability to turn your iPhone into a personal hotspot. Unfortunately, users of the iPhone 2/3/3GS are out of luck; personal hotspot functionality only works on the iPhone 4.

Not all Australian mobile carriers currently support tethering/hotspot ability while others charge an additional fee to enable it. Below is a list of which carriers do or do not support the iPhone 4 hotspot functionality.


TPG mobile do not currently support tethering or hotspot functionality on their prepaid or post paid mobile phone plans. Given that TPG mobile is a resold Optus service, this is very disappointing as their great value mobile phone plans are very attractive to heavy users.


Pre-Paid – Optus does not support the ability to use your iPhone 4 as a hotspot or the ability to tether it on the Optus prepaid mobile plans. In the past, Optus did provide tethering but this was removed when Apple enabled carriers to turn it on/off.

Post-Paid – Optus supports the hotspot capability for the iPhone 4 on it’s post paid plans. Unfortunately, I have been given some conflicting information from their sales staff. The first operator told me it would cost an additional $10 per month to enable the personal hotspot on my iPhone 4. The second sales operator told me there is no fee at all. I’ve emailed them for confirmation. From memory, I’m pretty sure Optus dropped the additional cost after Telstra did but please check for yourself until I get confirmation as mobile plans change all the time.

Update – I have had clarification that it depends on which plan you’re on. For the new plans that were released for the iPhone 4, there is no additional fee as tethering/hotspot is included in the monthly cost. For older plans such as the ones that were promoted when the iPhone 3G and 3GS were released, there is an additional $10 a month fee. If you purchased an iPhone 4 outright but are still on an older plan, you might want to consider upgrading your plan or just paying the $10 extra per month depending on which option is better value for you.


Pre-Paid – iPhone 4 hotspot is supported on Telstra prepaid but you will need to purchase a data pack in order to use it. There is no fee to enable tethering or personal hotspot.

Post-Paid – Telstra support the iPhone 4 hotspot feature on their post paid plans but you will need to ensure you have a data pack to avoid excess usage charges. There is no fee to enable tethering or personal hotspot.


Pre-Paid – No support for tethering or iPhone 4 hotspot ability on the Vodafone prepaid plans.

Post-Paid – Vodafone supports tethering and the hotspot ability on the iPhone 4 on all their post paid plans at no additional cost.

Virgin Mobile

No additional cost to enable tethering or personal hotspot on the Virgin Mobile post paid plans for iPhone 4.

Note – You may need to contact your mobile provider in order to enable the functionality. Many leave it disabled as to minimise the amount of data customers use on the network and will only turn it on upon request. In the most cases, the data you use is depleted from your monthly data allowance so you will still need to ensure you do not go above your quota as you will incur excess usage fees on plans that bill in such a manner.

As for other mobile carriers such as 3, Dodo, Amaysim etc etc, I currently have no information whether they support the personal hotspot ability or not. Given that many of these providers simply resell the Optus network, it’s unlikely but I will update this post as more information is released and confirmed.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan March 11, 2011 at 10:26 am

Personal hotspot works fine for 3 post paid. Tethering has always worked since it was enabled, and I tested it on my phone yesterday after i updated to 4.3 and it was all good.


admin March 12, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Thanks for sharing.


AJ March 29, 2011 at 6:03 am

My question is: If i buy 40$ Pre-Paid Cap+ with 510 bonus credit and 800mb Bonus data, do i still need to buy a data pack to be able to use Personal hotspot on my iphone 4?


admin March 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm

No, you won’t need to purchase an additional data pack. Not all their plans include a data pack but have PAYG instead which can get expensive quickly. Just pays to double check.


Darren April 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm

In you optus one where you wrote “as tethering/hotspot is included in the monthly cost” does that mean its just added to the data package. For example if I have 1 gig for the data. I can use that on tethering or 3 G?


admin April 2, 2011 at 8:00 pm

That’s correct. You can use the data however you wish.


Caitlin April 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I just thought that some people might find this useful: I just got off the phone with optus, and on my phone tethering was part of the plan, so to activate the personal hotspot you need to go to settings – general – network – personal hotspot. Once you have done this, it seems to activate a shortcut, and you can then just go setting – personal hotspot.


Chloe May 27, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Can confirm that Vodafone pre-paid in Spain enables it. I am currently sitting in a bus travelling near Valencia and using my laptop :-)
Perhaps start a table to chart it re: different providers and different countries?


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