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Summary:

This might be hard to believe with today being April Fools Day and all but Verizon appears to be giving away 3G tethering with the purchase of a webOS phone. The $40 monthly fee is currently $0, essentially giving customers a free 5 GB for tethering.

Palm webOS thumb

This might be hard to believe with today being April Fools Day and all, but Verizon appears to be giving away 3G tethering with the purchase of a webOS phone. Prices on the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus have fluctuated throughout the day, but one constant is the Mobile Hotspot service — instead of $40 monthly, it’s nada. I don’t see any official press release from Verizon, but I did just run thorough the purchase process and here’s the feature showing at no monthly cost:

The official Palm blog also confirms it. The software for sharing your webOS mobile broadband connection was always free, but the service wasn’t, so this is an unprecedented and great deal. Without any additional fee, you can use the phone’s 3G data on five devices: say a netbook, notebook or one of those iPads that all the kids are talking about today. Remember though — there’s a 5 GB cap on data with the 3G Mobile Hotspot. The smartphone data plan is unlimited, but tethered usage isn’t. Of course, you’re getting that 5 GB for free now, so don’t start complaining about bandwidth caps, ‘k?

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  1. 5GB free is a great deal indeed – but my concern is what happens when you go over that cap. I really wish US carriers would take their horse blinkers off and bump that cap higher. In Europe I can get a 14GB plan on T-Mobile there for around US$35/month.

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  2. I wish they would have done so from the start? When will carriers just stop caring about tethering and just charge for data. Unlimited makes no sense but paying for what you use or want to use is only good if you can use it on whatever devices you want…tethered or not.

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  3. Rick Huizinga Thursday, April 1, 2010

    I’m so tempted to sell my iPhone 3GS and pickup a Palm Pre with this deal. I think I’ll wait a week to see if Apple reveals iPhone OS 4.0 next week after the iPad is released.

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  4. Is the tethering speed faster than when this feature was first introduced on the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus? Wonder if Verizon will keep tethering free or will re-institute the monthly fee at some point.

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  5. Time to go back to the WebOS family Kevin! :) no reason a Pre cannot replace your broadband card :) and the Pre Plus is definitely a big improvement over the Sprint Pre.

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  6. this is a great deal.

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  7. so why not Sprint…

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  8. It is a sign of desperation by palm who is probably subsidizing this for Verizon. There is a massive excess inventory of unsold Pres and Pre Plusses.

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    1. The massive excess inventory is owned by the carriers.

      Palm has sold 1 million devices, but the sellthrough to customers is 500,000. That means that the devices are sitting in the carriers’ warehouses, and I don’t blame them one bit for lowering the price to get rid of them.

      I am shocked at the free 3G tethering, and while I’m currently using a hack on my original Sprint Pre to have tethering for free, I hope that it becomes official there as well. Either way, this is a huge deal.

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  9. Is this 5GB per month? Or 5GB during the life of the contract then you pay per MB?

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    1. 5GB per month. If you go over the cap, you’ll be charged for each MB over the 5GB.

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  10. Jacob Varghese Sunday, April 4, 2010
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