Late last month Microsoft attempted to clarify how Mango’s internet sharing would arrive on existing WP7 hardware. The issue, ultimately, depended on the presence of new drivers to let Mango take full advantage of the phone’s WiFi hardware. Does that mean we might hope to see the feature make it to all WP7 handsets, eventually? Some detective work by the users over at the XDA-Developers forums suggests we could be stuck with one particular WP7 phone that gets left behind the rest.
All Windows Phone models that can already form a wireless hotspot are powered by Broadcom’s 4329 chip. It’s so prevalent, that nearly all the models that don’t yet have drivers available also use the same chip; in these cases, it appears to just be a matter of time before drivers are released, rather than any sort of hardware problem affecting the ability to deploy the feature.
The Dell Venue Pro, on the other hand, uses a Broadcom 4325 chip. Not only does that component lack 802.11 n support, it doesn’t include the AP mode needed to act as a wireless hotspot. That suggests quite strongly that we’ll never see wireless internet sharing working on the Venue Pro. At the least, you could always whip out a USB cable and do some tethered connection sharing.