The new iPad has new updates and features, including 4G LTE on Verizon and AT&T. Image: Christina Bonnington/Wired
Yesterday, Apple announced its new iPad, which will come in 4G LTE varieties on AT&T and Verizon here in the U.S. There’s even a hotspotting feature — “if your carrier supports personal hotspotting,” in the word of Apple’s Phil Schiller, senior vice-president of worldwide marketing.
That last statement has raised some quizzical eyebrows, but U.S. carriers AT&T and Verizon have since cleared up what eager soon-to-be iPad owners can expect.
Verizon representative Brenda Raney confirmed via email that Verizon would be offering personal hotspotting to 4G LTE iPad owners on its network, as it already does for other 4G tablets.
AT&T, however, will not. AT&T told Wired in a statement, “We are working with Apple to enable this feature in the future, but we currently do not offer it.”
“I would guess this has more to do with them still needing to do the analysis on the expected data usage and developing and launching the appropriate data tier plans to ensure good consumer experience,” IHS analyst Francis Sideco told Wired. Because hotspotting could entice more users to get an LTE iPad, AT&T is likely protecting its burgeoning network infrastructure from collapsing under too heavy a load.
Currently, AT&T has deployed LTE in 28 markets, and it plans to double the amount of people covered by LTE by the end of 2012, AT&T representative Seth Bloom told Wired via email. 74 million PoPs are now covered by the carrier’s 4G LTE network.
Verizon’s network is significantly more robust at the moment: It covers 196 cities and 200 million individuals.