Verizon will charge $20/mo to use iPhone as a hotspot

If you want a Verizon iPhone, you’ll have no choice but to sign up for an unlimited data package, and if you want to use that data connection on another device it’ll cost you an extra $20 a month.

That would be a total of $50 every month just for the iPhone’s data service, according to a statement from Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam.

The extra cost for the so-called “tethering” option is not unique to the iPhone. Verizon charges an extra fee to other phones, including Android handsets, that offer the same feature. And if you think about it, $20 a month for a mobile WiFi hotspot is a pretty good deal.

However, the unlimited iPhone data and the tethering data will show up as two separate line items on your Verizon bill. The service provider will track how much data is used on laptops and tablets instead of the iPhone. And that data is limited at 2 GB per month.

So don’t expect to just stand your iPhone next to your computer at home and cancel your broadband subscription. Any tethered data over 2 GB will be subject to overage charges.

This is like Christmas for Verizon. Every one of the millions of iPhones that’ll be activated over the carrier next month is like a little present for Verizon, and it wants to get as much out of those presents as possible.

That’s why, according to a leaked internal document, Verizon will switch its data pricing plans to a requirement that all 3G and 4G customers have to pay for unlimited data. You won’t be able to pay less if you don’t use that much data.