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 crowdout the many.” To make sure everyone knew what he was talking about, he said the words “crowded out” atleast 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.

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

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