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Verizon's 4G LTE iPads will hot spot at launch, but not AT&T's

To clear up some Internet confusion about which provider would support the new iPad hot-spot feature on LTE-ready tablets, CNET's Jessica Dolcourt went straight to the carrier source.

There seems to be some confusion on the Web as to which carrier will support Apple's hot-spot feature for "the new iPad" it announced yesterday morning.

Well, I got the information straight from the horses' mouths. Verizon will support the feature for the 4G LTE iPads it starts selling on March 16, and AT&T won't.

"Yes, we currently have hot spots on other tablets, and we will continue to support it," Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney told CNET in a phone call. "We will support the iPad mobile hot spot at launch."

As with other tablets that Verizon carries, the monthly data plan will include portable hotspot use, unlike the stipulation for smartphone hotspot use, which costs an extra $20 per month. Verizon's monthly data plans for the iPad will span 1GB of data for $20, 2GB for $30, 5GB for $50, and 10GB for $80.

It will take AT&T a little longer to get up and running with this feature, which can supply a 4G LTE connection to a maximum of five devices, but the carrier has every intention of turning hot spots on.

"We are working with Apple to enable this feature in the future, but we currently do not offer it," AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel told me over the phone.

AT&T's data plan covers 250MB for $15 per month, 3GB for $30, or 5GB for $50.

In addition to the hot-spot feature, Apple's third-generation iPad sports a Retina Display with 2048x1536 pixels (yowza!), a souped-up processor to boost gaming, and of course, optional 4G LTE support in addition to Wi-Fi-only options.

Check out how the iPad's specs stack up against the competition.

Article updated at 11:25am PT with more details on monthly hotspot plans.