Free portable hotspots are available from cellphone carriers such as Verizon, Sprint and AT&T, as of 2015. Obtaining a free device requires signing a service contract and paying a monthly fee for service.
Some existing phones and service plans can be used as portable hotspots for no additional fee. This requires an Android or iPhone device that supports tethering and an eligible mobile data plan. Shared data plans intended for use across multiple lines of service, such as AT&T's Family Share plans, are intended for this use. Older plans intended for one device may block this feature or require an additional monthly fee for use.