Among the slew of new features Apple announced in its latest iPad yesterday was the personal hotspot. Just like with the iPhone, you’ll be able to use the new tablet to share an internet connection with up to 5 devices.

This becomes even more appealing when you consider that the new slate is capable of 4G speeds — which is up to 10 times faster than 3G. But don’t get too excited. It appears that there is confusion among the carriers…

9to5Mac is reporting that it has confirmed with AT&T that the operator is not currently supporting the personal hotspot feature in the new LTE iPad. And a tweet from Verizon’s VZW Support suggests that it’s in the same boat.

Does this mean that the two carriers won’t ever support the iPad’s hotspot? No. They just don’t know what to do with it at this point. Wireless tethering of any kind scares providers because it generally means a customer is going to be using more data. So they have to figure out things like limitations and pricing before they unleash it to the masses.

The bottom line here is, don’t pre-order the new iPad expecting to use it as your main source of internet right away. While we know what the tablet’s LTE data plans look like, we don’t know if the hotspot will be extra or even available come March 16th.

As always, we’ll let you know when we have more information.

Update: 9to5Mac has just received the following response from a Verizon Spokesman regarding the new iPad’s hotspot feature:

“The new iPad on the Verizon Wireless network will have the mobile hotspot feature. Our 4G LTE tablets have the mobile hotspot feature and it is included in the tablet data plans so far example, customers who sign up for the $30 for 2GB plan will also have access to the mobile hotspot feature.”

It looks like if you are going with an LTE iPad, and would like wireless tethering, the Verizon model is the one to go with at this time.

  • Anonymous

    update verizon will offer the mobile hotspot… ATT working on offering mobile hotspot as well

  • LOL I’m a sucker. That was one of the main reasons I went with the 4G. Haven’t use 3G on my iPad 2 since May or June last year. 🙁

  • Anonymous

    what a mess

  • This is one of the reasons why people predicted that The new iPad would not have 4G capabilities.

  • Realllly wanted LTE…. so far chose not to because of the cost of the plans.

  • Can someone explain to me why the Personal Hotspot feature is only available on the new iPad and not as part of iOS 5.1 for all iPad models…?! It already works fine on the iPhone which doesn’t have LTE either so there is no technical reason to restrict it in the iPad — or am I missing something here…?!

  • Imahottguy

    The best part? AT&T will likely charge an additional $20 to add on the hotspot feature. Think about it though; If I had the hotspot and 2GB of data each month, wouldn’t my chances of going over my limit thus having to pay for more data (or be shut off for the remainder) be higher? One would think that carriers would salivate at the thought of such a setup, profit-wise. I am sure that if AT&T does offer the feature, us unlimited folks would not be welcome to that party, though I would love to crash it 😀