Tethering with your iPhone? Not quite yet

Tethering with your iPhone? Not quite yet
Now that AT&T has pressed the magical button that allowed iPhone's MMS capabilities to work, owners of the Apple touchscreen device are at it again. They want to know when they will be able to tether with the handset like they were promised earlier this year. (Can you imagine the gall of that group? Hey, you just got MMS and now you want...more? Didn't you guys and gals ever see "Oliver"?) On the more serious side, an Apple spokesman told the WSJ that, "For tethering, we need to do some additional fine tuning to our systems and networks." Of course, fine tuning could be as simple as turning a knob or as intensive as spending millions on hardware.

The problem is that the carrier is getting touchy about the amount of its pipeline that ends up used for iPhone data. As we just mentioned in Friday's News Bits, AT&T Wireless CEO Ralph de la Vega has been making some noise about how iPhone users end up using a disproportionate amount of the operator's bandwidth. He cited his company's own research that 3% of AT&T customers (read iPhone users) use 40% of smartphone data, use 13 times the amount of data as the average smartphone customer but are only 1% of AT&T's postpaid customer accounts. Mr. de la Vega has been talking about "managing" the network so that iPhone users don't crowd out other users belonging to the cellular operator. That could mean rationing bandwidth and putting restrictions on those who hog the pipelines. AT&T could slow down the network for some heavy users at certain times of the day. During his keynote address at CTIA, the exec said, "“We have to manage the network to make sure that the few cannot crowd out the many.” To make sure everyone knew what he was talking about, he said the words “crowded out” at least five times in that part of his speech. And just like Oliver was rebuked for wanting more food, there is nothing that AT&T can say to iPhone users inquiring about tethering at this moment other than , "More? You want...more?" Unlike the orphan, users of the handset will eventually get what they are asking for even if there is no specific date being given by the cellular carrier.

Apple iPhone 3GS Specifications | Review

source: WSJ via iPhoneCentral (Tethering), (Bandwidth)



1. nick315

Posts: 17; Member since: Feb 27, 2009

at&t is slow on EVERYTHING, They suck, Just switch to Verizon

3. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

i totally agree. :-)

4. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

now why did nick get minus 1 but i get minus 3? haha you guys are funny :-).

6. Kiltlifter

Posts: 742; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Helped ya out! :D

10. moss500a unregistered

verizon all day long baby...

2. knuckleballer34

Posts: 119; Member since: Jul 27, 2009

I guess EDGE will have to be good enough after all.

5. Kiltlifter

Posts: 742; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Personally I feel the reason they don't have the network capacity to add tethering is becuase they don't have the financial capital to invest in their network to make it better because of the iPhone. AT&T subsidizes like 60% of the cost of the phone to apple in order to sell it for $199.99, then Apple gets a premium on the monthly data service fee on each iPhone... Now imagine if AT&T had just stood up to apple and said, no on the data... all that revenue could be pumped directly into the network, and VZW couldn't exploit the lack of their 3g network... Those "Map for that" commcercials are funny and true. But like KB34 above said... even if they allow tether, unless you are directly in a major market, get ready for that EDGE dial-up 56k goodness.

7. vmatikov

Posts: 55; Member since: Jan 28, 2009

It's true... Subsidizing a phone is neccesary for sales, but the data premium isn't. It's bullshit what's happening at AT&T... Don't get my wrong I have an iPhone and I use the data plan (like around 2-300 mb/mo) and all, and I'm just fine with AT&T's coverage where I live. And anyway, I'm on Wi-Fi most of the time so it rly doesn't make a difference (AT&T states that the reason for a slower 3G network is because phones like the iPhone can be connected to Wi-Fi, including AT&T hotspots for free... it's true.. I'm on Wi-Fi probly 80% of the time...).. And most ppl don't need that blazing fast data everywhere on their phone. It's just the idea that AT&T could be a better network than they are, and it wouldn't be as easy for their competitors (cough..VZW..cough) to exploit their problems. That having been said, I'm not switching from AT&T unless it becomes absolutely necessary to get a future iPhone. I'm happy with their service as-is.

11. moss500a unregistered


8. trentsinmypants

Posts: 324; Member since: Jan 29, 2009

Haha....i totally forgot that this is going to be a feature for us iPhone users. I got so excited for MMS.....I guess i still have something to look forward to. I just hope they dont up the data plan in order to tether.......

9. moss500a unregistered

at&t SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.