Tethering Still A Long Ways Out For iPhone Users - HotHardware
Tethering Still A Long Ways Out For iPhone Users

Tethering Still A Long Ways Out For iPhone Users

Tethering. The mere mention of the word brings up varied responses depending on what carrier someone has, what smartphone they have, and whether or not they're technically inclined. Mention the word "tethering" to most any iPhone user in America, and you'll probably get a glare, a curse, or maybe even a shove-off.

Despite Apple claiming that Tethering for iPhone was "coming soon" many moons ago, the feature still has yet to be added. It's not even offered for an additional fee! Users can obviously Jailbreak their devices in order to tether, but given that it voids the warranty, many are still waiting for an AT&T-approved solution. In other nations, the iPhone has been tethering for awhile now via official means, but AT&T has been opposed to enabling this in the States due to one main reason: their network and a fear that iPhone users would tether like there's no tomorrow. The company recently released a statement on the status of Tethering for iPhone, and it's not looking too good for those who were hoping for something to change in the near-term:

"We understand that there is great interest in tethering but cannot provide any details at this time. We know that iPhone users love their devices and mobile broadband, and that they're likely to embrace tethering just as they have other features and apps – by using it a lot.  iPhone tethering has the potential to exponentially increase traffic, and we need to ensure that we're able to deliver excellent performance for the feature – over and above the increases in data traffic we're already seeing – before we will offer the feature."


Basically, they're saying that they don't want to weigh their network down any more with tethering, and we get it. What good is having tethering if the network is too saturated to make use of it? But many consumers won't buy the excuse, despite the fact that it costs millions and millions to expand something like a cellular telephony network. In the end, we doubt much will change soon. AT&T will still struggle just to keep up with demand (which is a good problem to have!), and users will still continue to long for more bandwidth at their command. Hopefully the two sides can meet somewhere in the middle, and soon.
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It's so odd that for once, us in Canada have had this feature since day 1, and yet it's unavailable in the States. It's usually the other way around. We can't play Hulu videos, we don't have access to any free TV shows playback from the NBC/CBC/FOX/etc sites, iTunes Store new features usually take a while to be enabled here because of RTC "stuff".

I doubt Tethering is the bad pup AT&T seems to be worried about. I have the 6GB data plan on my phone and Tethering is available, at no extra cost, and uses my data plan. How often do I use it? Almost never; there's wireless access everywhere in the cities, and I usually just check my e-mails and news on my iPhone. I relied on Tethering for 4-5 days last Fall in Calgary because the hotel's network connection was non-existence. Was able to play WoW on Tethering, but it wasn't very smooth. And I used a fraction of my data plan.

So c'mon AT&T, run studies and smarten up.

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I find AT&T's explanation weak. If I am teathered with my iPhone and computer, I am not likely to be using my 3G phone separately. Come on AT&T, use some common sense.

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