Bluetooth Internet Tethering Just Saved the Day

iphone-internet-tetheringI met a old colleague and friend this morning at Starbucks before work today. Now that he’s off to his job, I can start mine. At least, that’s what I thought. Since I’m still on the fence about keeping a dedicated EVDO plan, I’ve been leaving the USB adapter at home. I usually use the Boingo Wi-Fi network, which is a much less expensive $10 a month. For some reason, the Boingo client isn’t recognizing the Wi-Fi network at this location. My Wi-Fi adapter can see the attwifi network, but Boingo can’t. I’m sure it’s a one-time glitch, as the Boingo software is usually quite reliable. But when you need connectivity and can’t get it, that one-time glitch can be painful.

Since I do have both my iPhone 3GS and my Palm Pre, I already have two 3G devices with me. Seems a shame that we seem to need different 3G devices for specific purposes, but that’s the way of the cellular world these days. At this point, I’m online using the non-supported iPhone Internet Tethering feature of the 3GS. I enabled it as a backup plan, and I’m so glad I did. It’s perfect in this particular case. I was listening to music over Bluetooth with my iPhone, so switched that function over to the Pre. This way, I have wireless tunes to go with my wireless Internet. ;)

iphone-3gs-speedtestA quick speed test of the Internet Tethering over Bluetooth yielded very usable results. I’m seeing downloads of 1.65MBps and uploads of 310kbps, which is perfectly fine for my web work. I didn’t even need to bring a USB cable with me, either. Personally, I can’t wait for AT&T to nail down its pricing plan for the feature. While I’d love for it to be free, I am willing to pay for a value-add service. The experience has me really reconsidering the entire 3G space, though. Is there really a need to have 3G in multiple devices when the connection can simply be shared or used for another purpose? I’m getting tired of multiple 3G data plans and devices…

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