It’s Official: iPhone Tethering Coming to AT&T

20 Comments

Many iPhone users will rejoice at the news today from Mobile Crunch that AT&T has officially confirmed the upcoming availability of an official tethering solution from them and Apple. The news comes from AT&T CEO Ralph De La Vega, who, in speaking with Tech Crunch’s Michael Arrington at the Web Summit 2.0 conference, revealed that tethering would be coming “soon.”

Brief-lived application, NetShare, previously offered a way for the iPhone to act as a modem for laptops, but was quickly pulled, briefly re-introduced, and then pulled again. The removal/reinstatement/removal probably had something to do with behind the scenes discussions between Apple and AT&T, which likely concluded in the decision to go forward with an official, sanctioned tethering solution developed by the two.

De La Vega did not provide any details as to the pricing or timeframe for release of AT&T’s official tethering plan. Previous reports indicated that part of the delay stems from AT&T’s fear regarding the additional burden iPhone users with tethering plans would place on their 3G network.

It’s also unclear just how much demand there is for an official solution, especially given the fact that it could possibly come at a steep price.

iPhone users: Is the ability to tether important to you? What do you consider a reasonable price for an official solution?

20 Comments

Ben

Why not tethering? I use it very lightly – and I don’t mind being capped at 2GB or so. It is something I can do with my 2yr old K800i.

neil

I wouldn’t mind a little bonus tethering option for us iPhone users with automatic shutoff after that…but this would degrade the 3g connection if everyone was allowed to tether with the current plan.

brett

What exactly is tethering? I read the article and i still dont have any idea of what it is

Ben

Come on O2!

I need tethering for my Tomtom traffic updates. That really wouldn’t eat up a lot of bandwidth – so I would resent paying for it. Can’t they just cap the monthly usage at something reasonable – and charge for higher limits?

Lack of tethering is the one thing holding me back from buying a iPhone.

Jason

AT&T charges $20 for tethering on their non iPhone plans. So:

$30 data plan
$20 tethering
$15 for 1500 SMS
$59 for 900 min
——-
$124 before taxes and junk fees.

Holy crap, my bill is going to be like $140+. That’s more than I pay for my ridiculously expensive Comcast cable + internet. And way more than I pay for my T-Mobile hacked iPhone bill, which has 1200 minutes a month for $75. Do I really want 3G + tethering that badly?

Ryan Hollis

NO WAY I WILL PAY EXTRA FOR IT!
You know the least they will charge is $10 and I’m already spending $10 for 3G that I only used for the four days I have been in Jackson, MS since I got my phone. Thats $120 I’m not using + $120 more for slow internet = $240 a year i could be saving
rediculous

Dear AT&T,
I will love you forever if tethering free!
Guy that you steal $$ from, Ryan

A.Fruit

I wouldn’t pay extra for it. If it was free, I’d see it as a selling point for the iPhone for those who aren’t already in.

For me, if it cost extra, I’d either just use the web-tools already on my iPhone, or get to a place where my laptop can connect. The former would basically handle anything I *needed* to do, tethering would just bring the convenience towards the latter. Which would be nice.

Ben

I want tethering!
However I am in Australia, where I don’t have unlimited 3G access, I pay for every bit of my data, I should have had tethering from the start!!!

Kelvin

Lack of an official O2 tethering solution in the UK is the one thing stopping me from getting an iPhone.

Peto

I don’t live in the US, but the way I see it I all ready pay for the data, it shouldn’t matter how I use it. Same with my ADSL, I do not pay extra to connect my Linux server to it.

Russo

I’d love to have it but I wouldn’t pay extra for it.
It should have already been implemented and included with the data plan bump of late.

John

I’m with Rando. I think we’re already paying enough as it is for the 3G data plan, tethering should be included. The least they could do after their text message fees…

Alex

I’d love to have tethering, but it wouldn’t be much use to me without actual coverage. The places I’d be most likely to use tethering (friends places where they don’t have wifi, or even a landline) are also the places where I get GPRS coverage instead of 3G. Ick.

Rando

I want tethering and think that it should be at no additional cost considering the monthly cost of the 3G iPhone data plan now. This should be a value add to AT&T costumers, especially since I also pay for AT&T DSL at home.

Jed S-A

I’d love an iPhone, and I’ve been waiting for tethering before getting it. Tethering may be enough for me to make the leap from Verizon to AT&T.

The thing is, that I pay $55 a month for a data connectivity card (or rather, for using it), on top of paying for phone service. The current cost of an iPhone is about $5 more than what I pay right now for phone and data service through Verizon.

I’m willing to pay that extra $5 a month given all the wonderful things that an iPhone does. I’m not sure I’d be willing/able to pay much more per month to make the switch. If AT&T does charge a hefty fee for tethering, I’m not going to be able to make the switch. And I REALLY want to make the switch.

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