PDX Cell Tech, beginning tomorrow June 12, MetroPCS, will allow customers to use their phones as hotspots at no extra charge. Metro currently charges $5/month to enable hotspot.
Customers on MetroPCS' $60/month plan, with includes unlimited talk and messaging and unlimited, unthrottled data for on-phone use, will be allowed 6 GB of full speed hotspot data. After 6 GB, hotspot will still work at the throttled speed of 128 Mbps.
MetroPCS' less expensive plans will also allow free full speed hotspot up to the plan's high speed data limit, with unlimited 128 Kbps hotspot after the limit is reached. In addition, customers on the $60 plan who purchase the $5/month hotspot add-on will get an extra 1 GB of full-speed hotspot data for a total of 7 GB/month.
These changes, and similar ones coming the MetroPCS's parent T-Mobile, take effect June 12, which also happens to be the day that the FCC's new Net Neutrality rules will go into effect provided AT&T and Verizon don't manage to block them.
While the Net Neutrality rules apparently prevent operators from blocking the installation of 3rd party hotspot apps, they don't seem to require operators to enable hotspot for free. However T-Mobile (and Sprint) have been generally supportive of Net Neutrality. Enabling hotspot is in line with the principle of Net Neutrality and I wouldn't be supprised to see John Legre, T-Mobile's CEO, announce whole-hearted support for Net Neutrality as the company's latest "uncarrier" initiative.
AT&T and Verizon already allow hotspot use on their prepaid smartphone plans. Free hotspot coming to T-Mobile and MetroPCS, should put pressure on Sprint which still charges for hotspot on all its Boost Mobile prepaid plans and most of its Virgin Mobile ones, to do the same.
Update 6/12/2015: The MetroPCS plans page has been updated to say that hotspot is included in all plans. Fine print on the page defines the limits: "Requires capable device. Certain restrictions apply. For data capped plans, full available speeds apply to monthly data allotment, then speeds slowed for remainder of payment cycle. For unlimited smartphone LTE data plan, full available speeds apply to 6 GB of hotspot data per payment cycle, then speeds slowed for remainder of payment cycle."
T-Mobile to Allow Hotspot on All Prepaid Plans With Data
Prepaid Operator Profile: MetroPCS