According to a recent tweet from O2 Germany, Palm's Mobile Hotspot application, the company released earlier this year for its Verizon Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus, should become available as a public download from Palm's AppCatalog soon. While no release date was given, the Mobile Hotspot simulates a real access point, unlike other applications (for instance HTC's Mobile Wi-Fi Router which only works in ad-hoc mode). So the benefits are clear: Palm's Mobile Hotspot can also be used with devices which aren't supporting ad-hoc connections but need a real access point instead (for instance Microsoft's Zune HD or some of the Eye-Fi cards).
It's not a surprise at all that O2 Germany will offer Palm's Mobile Hotspot as a free download because O2 Germany allows tethering without requiring extra tariffs or charging extra fees and the German carrier already enabled - unlike its sister companies in the UK and Ireland - Bluetooth tethering on its Palm Pre. Like a Novatel MiFi or the Huawei E5/E5830, Palm's Mobile Hotspot application turns the Verizon Wireless Pre Plus or Pixi Plus (and soon O2 Germany's Pre) into a WiFi router for up to 5 simultaneous connections which can use the phone's 3G connection.
O2 Germany hasn't yet unveiled an exact release-date but Palm's Mobile Hotspot should be available soon from Palm's App Catalog. Maybe it will go alive as soon as Palm will also enable commercial apps for Europe (rumored is anytime next week)?
Cheers ~ Arne