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AT&T says official iPhone 3G tethering plan coming "soon"

post #1 of 36
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AT&T Mobility chief executive Ralph De La Vega has disclosed that a carrier-sanctioned method of using the iPhone as a 3G modem for notebooks will be announced "soon."

De La Vega made the comments during an interview with TechCrunch operator Michael Arrington during this week's Web 2.0 Summit, though he reportedly stopped short of providing any form of pricing information.

The executive's remarks confirm rumors of an official AT&T tethering solution dating back to August. At the time, an iPhone 3G owner fired off an email to Apple chief executive Steve Jobs arguing that it was "ludicrous" that a tethering option is not offered alongside "such an advanced device."

He pointed out that AT&T offers a tethering solution to users of Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphones for an additional $30 per month, and said he'd be willing to shell out the extra change each month for the same luxury.

In a response, Jobs reportedly wrote back saying, "We agree, and are discussing it with AT&T."

A $10 application called NetShare by NullRiver briefly enabled tethering for the iPhone earlier this year.

The application was quickly plucked from the App Store, however, and later banned permanently by Apple after AT&T expressed concern that iPhone users would exploit its capabilities to tax the carrier's 3G network without forking over additional data fees.
post #2 of 36
This would be a great option. I use to tether all the time with my old WM phone. I'm hoping that the price is no higher than 30 bucks a month. I don't mind paying the 30 because I tether a lot. Not sure many others will be to happy about that price point.
post #3 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

AT&T Mobility chief executive Ralph De La Vega has disclosed that a carrier-sanctioned method of using the iPhone as a 3G modem for notebooks will be announced "soon."

Hey, this is fantastic news for all of us out in the rural areas with
nothing but super-slow dial-up and very expensive satellite access
to choose from!

Oh, wait. Those are the same areas that are horribly under-served
and ignored by AT&T's "America's largest 3G network".

And that price (although only mentioned by a random customer,
not anyone official) is ridiculously high. I already pay a fortune
for the iPhone data package and get to enjoy it trudging along on
EDGE. Don't even pretend you're gonna offer me tethering for
$30 more.
Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
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Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
-Horacio Verbitsky (el perro), journalist (b. 1942)
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post #4 of 36
This would saver me $30 a month over my current AT&T 3G plan, but I'd have a $150 cancelation fee.
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post #5 of 36
Keep it.

One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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post #6 of 36
What about the Google phone? Tethering available on T-mo?

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post #7 of 36
That's how much it cost with other phones, why would it be any different.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafe View Post

Don't even pretend you're gonna offer me tethering for
$30 more.
post #8 of 36
http://lifehacker.com/5077216/tether...for-web-access
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

What about the Google phone? Tethering available on T-mo?
post #9 of 36
I think I like the $10 option better. My old phone did this for free, and they want to offer this as a service? Ridiculous.
post #10 of 36
Rogers in Canada allows tethering at no additional cost....however due to Apple & AT&T the tethering app was removed from both the Canadian Itunes store and American Itunes store. Guess Apple was concerned once the App was available in the wild, US customers would get their hands on it...so the decision to remove the APP even if it was carrier approved in Canada.

So now just waiting till AT&T gets their act together and itunes posts the tethering app to use at no charge!

Will Apple allow the tethering App to go on-line after they had such a blowout with Nullsoft? Will other improved tethering Apps like iphonemodem go on-line or a new propriety program with some kind of tracking / reporting back to the carrier? We'll get details in due time....
post #11 of 36
I'd like an app that tethers laptops to use the free Wi-Fi access recently given to iPhones.
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post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

AT&T Mobility chief executive Ralph De La Vega [...]

He pointed out that AT&T offers a tethering solution to users of Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphones for an additional $30 per month, and said he'd be willing to shell out the extra change each month for the same luxury.

Luxury? I used to do this for free with my old phone. Somebody's obviously making too much money in their "chief executive" position.
post #13 of 36
What?!!!! Pay an extra fee to use the data component you've already paid for?
post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafe View Post

Hey, this is fantastic news for all of us out in the rural areas with
nothing but super-slow dial-up and very expensive satellite access
to choose from!

Oh, wait. Those are the same areas that are horribly under-served
and ignored by AT&T's "America's largest 3G network".

And that price (although only mentioned by a random customer,
not anyone official) is ridiculously high. I already pay a fortune
for the iPhone data package and get to enjoy it trudging along on
EDGE. Don't even pretend you're gonna offer me tethering for
$30 more.

Sorry, but I won't buy ATT data conn, as I fell for that once before with their map showing total coverage of the populated areas in Orange County, CA.

less than 3 blocks from Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, forget 3G, and many times EDGE service was non-existent to barely usable, and about 80-90% of the time it was unusable.

Paying for coverage like that is like throwing money to the wind; it doesn't care.

ATT doesn't care. When you talk to their 'friendly folks' at their retail stores you get a blank stare or maybe they try to tell you that tall buildings and power lines disrupt the service, etc.

Whereupon I said "My Verizon cell data connection stays around 1 GB/sec in the same area, and it NEVER drops out, not even once." The ATT people just stopped talking at that point, and obviously wanted me out of their store and out of earshot of customers listening to me.

ATT has some SERIOUS signal problems, and I really don't care why. Verizon does it, and until ATT gets SERIOUS and solves the signal issues, they can NOT have my money.

BoC
post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by wprowe View Post

I'd like an app that tethers laptops to use the free Wi-Fi access recently given to iPhones.

What laptop doesn't already have WiFi?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jongleur View Post

What?!!!! Pay an extra fee to use the data component you've already paid for?

cell phone users have been paying less for unlimited data than laptop uses. The reason is that carriers charge half as much for unlimited cell phone data access than they do for unlimited 3G USB/EC card data access is because you use less data on a cell phone.
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post #16 of 36
I guess the iphone can now be considered an enterprise device.
post #17 of 36
This is a product that defintley lends itself to bandwidth limits / tiers. I just hope they're reasonable.

Ignoring this market for this long is nothing short of ludicrous. How does Ralph explain to AT&T stockholders that people are clamoring for a product only you can deliver - - and you simply don't offer it?
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post #18 of 36
I think the idea of paying for tethering is lame. I already pay for my data plan, I should be able to use it however I want! If there were a third party solution for this, AT&T woulnd't even know I'm tethering, and it would just look like a lot of data going in and out of my iphone. Too much data for your 3G network to handle? Too bad, bring the level of service up to something reasonable un-sucky and maybe I'll give a damn about that aspect. I would love to tether my iphone to my MB Pro for wifi-less laptop internet wherever, but there's no way I'm paying them a thin dime for it. Do jailbroken iphones already have a solution for this by chance? My iphone is not jailbroken, but I might look into it if it'll get me free tethering over the existing data connection I already OVERpay for.
post #19 of 36
The cap for other phones is 4 or 5 gigs, I can't remember which one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

This is a product that defintley lends itself to bandwidth limits / tiers. I just hope they're reasonable.

Ignoring this market for this long is nothing short of ludicrous. How does Ralph explain to AT&T stockholders that people are clamoring for a product only you can deliver - - and you simply don't offer it?
post #20 of 36
Well if they don't charge for tethering, they'll just raise the price of the unlimited data plan. If they don't charge iPhone users, the I'm sure the WM and BlackBerry users would expect the same. Plus while tethering, you can really use up a lot of bandwidth, I know I did several months with my Blackjack.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonyo View Post

I think the idea of paying for tethering is lame. I already pay for my data plan, I should be able to use it however I want! If there were a third party solution for this, AT&T woulnd't even know I'm tethering, and it would just look like a lot of data going in and out of my iphone. Too much data for your 3G network to handle? Too bad, bring the level of service up to something reasonable un-sucky and maybe I'll give a damn about that aspect. I would love to tether my iphone to my MB Pro for wifi-less laptop internet wherever, but there's no way I'm paying them a thin dime for it. Do jailbroken iphones already have a solution for this by chance? My iphone is not jailbroken, but I might look into it if it'll get me free tethering over the existing data connection I already OVERpay for.
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonyo View Post

I think the idea of paying for tethering is lame. I already pay for my data plan, I should be able to use it however I want! If there were a third party solution for this, AT&T woulnd't even know I'm tethering, and it would just look like a lot of data going in and out of my iphone. Too much data for your 3G network to handle? Too bad, bring the level of service up to something reasonable un-sucky and maybe I'll give a damn about that aspect. I would love to tether my iphone to my MB Pro for wifi-less laptop internet wherever, but there's no way I'm paying them a thin dime for it. Do jailbroken iphones already have a solution for this by chance? My iphone is not jailbroken, but I might look into it if it'll get me free tethering over the existing data connection I already OVERpay for.

I don't agree with this. A 3G network is not the same as a cable modem. The problem is they try to lump people together into one bucket, as the cable modem does.

People fear tiers because they assume the starting price will be too high. I expect the worst from Time Waerner cable. If they were to start tiers of bandwidth use I'd expect my current monthly charge of almost $50 to be the starting point. Because I expect the worst from them, as they've conditioned me to behave.

But a tethering plan that started at $10 seems reasonable, as long as it had some bandwidth. I don't even know how much I'd need, because I've never tracked it. And that's another reason people get antsy about limits. We don't know what we need.

A long long time ago people who owned Xerox copiers got mad about paying for each copy they made on a machine they owned. But that was how the maintenance agreements worked. The argument was why should the guy making 1000 copies every month pay the same as the guy making 100,000? When you're the guy making 1000 copies things look very different.

With bandwidth, people who frequent these sites probably lean toward heavy use, and we're afraid we'll be charged way too much. Which could happen.

Bottom line, I don't expect tethering to be free. They sold you a contract for your phone, not your computer.
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post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonyo View Post

I think the idea of paying for tethering is lame. I already pay for my data plan, I should be able to use it however I want! If there were a third party solution for this, AT&T woulnd't even know I'm tethering, and it would just look like a lot of data going in and out of my iphone. Too much data for your 3G network to handle? Too bad, bring the level of service up to something reasonable un-sucky and maybe I'll give a damn about that aspect. I would love to tether my iphone to my MB Pro for wifi-less laptop internet wherever, but there's no way I'm paying them a thin dime for it. Do jailbroken iphones already have a solution for this by chance? My iphone is not jailbroken, but I might look into it if it'll get me free tethering over the existing data connection I already OVERpay for.

The costs of a data plan for a computer is $60 for 5GB so tethering costs the same but you use your phone instead of a separate card. Based on they your getting a better deal with the phone.
post #23 of 36
Enable develop in system preferences for Safari, select it and then select user agent iPhone and you should be able to use it. I haven't tried it.
I'm still using NetShare and overall,love it. If Apple releases a larger 7 inch iPod touch kind of device I'd pay for a tethering plan that could connect as NetShare probably won't, something similar to WMWiFiRouter but unless Apple releases that type of device NetShare is good enough for me.

* I meant to post this in reply to wprowe in response to free ATT wifi.
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post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jongleur View Post

What?!!!! Pay an extra fee to use the data component you've already paid for?


But it's Patriotic to pay a little more, after all, this is the time for you to spread your wealth around! - Obama/Biden '08 -

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post #25 of 36
Tethering is such a stupid name. It's called using your phone as a modem, or accessing the internet via your phone or anything but tethering.

This issue is an example of why I'm sticking to Nokia phones (looking forward to the N85). For functions I actually want to use my phone phone such as internet access, Apple won't let me do it, even if I'm using a carrier that doesn't care, and that would require me to buy an unlocked iPhone anyway.

Apple have gone way too far with their control issues. They need to free up the iPhone.
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonyo View Post

I think the idea of paying for tethering is lame. I already pay for my data plan, I should be able to use it however I want!

I agree with you. Whether a carrier calls their smartphone data plan unlimited or sets a limit with overage rate per KB or MB it shouldn't make a difference if the user tethers on the same data plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonyo View Post

If there were a third party solution for this, AT&T woulnd't even know I'm tethering, and it would just look like a lot of data going in and out of my iphone.

You're correct as the call log would show the same IMEI with SIM card number, not the SIM card being used with a different IMEI such as a laptop data card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonyo View Post

I would love to tether my iphone to my MB Pro for wifi-less laptop internet wherever, but there's no way I'm paying them a thin dime for it. Do jailbroken iphones already have a solution for this by chance?

Most smartphones allow the user to tether the phone to their laptop wirelessly to access the internet via the phone. Unfortunately AT&T believes charging their customers to use this feature should be something their customers would like. PDANet is a free tethering app available to jailbroken iPhones via the Cydia installer. There's also another app called iPhone Modem from the same Cydia installer.
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post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

Bottom line, I don't expect tethering to be free. They sold you a contract for your phone, not your computer.

They sold you a pipe to transfer bits, a bit is a bit no matter where it originated.
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

What laptop doesn't already have WiFi?

That's not what he's saying. He wants to be able to use Wi-Fi on his laptop for free at all the places that now offer free iPhone access for free (i.e. Starbucks and since AT&T bought Wayport yesterday that number is now going to be over 20,000 US locations).
post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

That's not what he's saying. He wants to be able to use Wi-Fi on his laptop for free at all the places that now offer free iPhone access for free (i.e. Starbucks and since AT&T bought Wayport yesterday that number is now going to be over 20,000 US locations).

So far, the data points to AT&T sending your iPhone an SMS, but I see nothing that will let AT&T determine the source. If you put in the secure web address into your laptop's web browser it may work. You may not even have to change the User Agent.
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post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

So far, the data points to AT&T sending your iPhone an SMS, but I see nothing that will let AT&T determine the source. If you put in the secure web address into your laptop's web browser it may work. You may not even have to change the User Agent.

Could you explain this in more detail. What would I need to do to get my laptop to connect to the AT&T hotspot?
post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tipton View Post

Could you explain this in more detail. What would I need to do to get my laptop to connect to the AT&T hotspot?

I don't know yet. AT&T said that when you log into an AT&T hotspot, you put in your iPhone number. AT&T then sends a free SMS to your iPhone with a special web address that will authenticate you for 24 hours.

It's unknown at this point if you can use that web address on a laptop web browser without any changes. If you'll need to change the User Agent to iPhone first. If you'll need to spoof your iPhone's WiFi MAC address first. Or some other tactic.

My personal feelings about AT&T leads me to think that they won't go to all that trouble.
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post #32 of 36
I apologize for the naive question but would the iPhone still function as a normal phone/gps etc while it is tethered? I have a 3G Sierra card for my MBP with unlimited data from AT&T so I don't really need tethering but I was just curious. I think I pay roughly $75 a month for the MBP's data plan and the about the same for the iPhone's plan.

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post #33 of 36
Rather than bend over and take it from AT&T, I'll just keep my $60/month Sprint EVDO card and completely eschew the iPhone.
post #34 of 36
Why does this require AT&T approval? AT&T doesn't own Apple so they shouldn't have any say whether Apple allows the iPhone to tether or not. Several international carriers already allow tethering with their smartphone data plans including those for the iPhone 3G. Also don't let AT&T fool any of those who are AT&T subscribers into believing they are doing something to benefit their customers. They are simply attempting to profit on ideas already developed by other developers some of which don't charge for their tethering apps (ie: PDANet, etc) and will convince their customers they need to pay more for a special tethering data plan even though they advertised the iPhone data plan as unlimited data. At least here in Canada Rogers states exactly how much data is alloted to a specific plan so it's up to the customer to decide which plan would be best for them if they are going to tether. Rogers was also confused as to why Apple pulled Nullrivers NetShare tethering app from the Canadian App Store instead of just blocking the tethering app from the USA App Store which is used by AT&T subscribers. Especially considering that Rogers sells other competitor products such as RIM Blackberry line which allow tethering and are in direct competition with the iPhone 3G. Apple needs to stop the idiotic censorship of useful apps and start letting the global market decide.
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post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoC View Post

...
Whereupon I said "My Verizon cell data connection stays around 1 GB/sec in the same area, and it NEVER drops out, not even once."

The ATT people just stopped talking at that point, and obviously wanted me out of their store and out of earshot of customers listening to me.
...
BoC

Bullsh!t. There is no mainstream wireless connection on a cell phone at 1 GB/sec. Do you have idea how much that costs with dedicated hardware and antennas?

Now wonder the ATT people wanted you out of the store, you don't even know what you're talking about.
post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by EruIthildur View Post

Bullsh!t. There is no mainstream wireless connection on a cell phone at 1 GB/sec. Do you have idea how much that costs with dedicated hardware and antennas?

Now wonder the ATT people wanted you out of the store, you don't even know what you're talking about.

He probably meant 1Gbps, which is something I easily get on my AT&T iPhone and and my 3G USB AT&T card. Even up to 1.5Mbps.
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