And so Vic Gundotra announced tethering and wireless hotspot abilities would be in Froyo, and Android fans rejoiced. But the questions lingered: how exactly will wireless carriers handle said new additions in terms of data plans and additional fees. It’s looking like the carriers will be the ones that get to decide that. Just as they have modified existing versions of Android to be whatever they wanted it to be, carriers will be able to disable or charge for tethering if they so choose, or so the word is from Hiroshi Lockheimer, head of Android engineering.
He says that Android has no built in way to monitor specific data usage in terms of tethering or hotspot use, so it looks like most users will either get all or nothing (or all at an additional price, much like the HTC EVO 4G). Phones that use the Google Experience (stock) version of Android could possibly get tethering for free, and that would include the Nexus One and Motorola Droid (both phones are rumored to be getting the Android 2.2 update in June). I have a hard time believing Verizon would allow such a feature to get through without milking as much money from it as possible, but surely Google’s own phone would have to get the feature. We’ll just have to wait and see how carriers handle it.