AT&T won't 'speculate' on plans to match Verizon's iPhone Wi-Fi tethering

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
With Verizon announcing plans to offer its iPhone 4 customers the option to tether several devices to the handset's 3G connection over Wi-Fi, rival AT&T is remaining mum on whether it plans to match that offer for its own iPhone customers.



As part of its iPhone announcement Tuesday, Verizon said that each iPhone 4 for its network will come bundled with a free 3G Mobile Hotspot app for tethering the handset's data connection over Wi-Fi to up to 5 devices, such as notebooks, iPads, iPods and other mobile devices.



Upon closer inspection following the announcement, it appears that the Hotspot app is actually a native component built into the yet-to-be-released iOS version 4.2.5, which was running on the CDMA iPhone 4 handsets present at Verizon's presentation Tuesday.



Verizon is likely to charge a standard monthly fee for the actual tethering service, though pricing details were note made available as part of Tuesday's announcements.



Nevertheless, the offer promises more flexibility than AT&T's existing tethering option for iPhone customers, which offers tethering only via Bluetooth or USB for $20 per month. That means AT&T iPhone users can't have their iPad (and most other devices outside of Macs and PCs) piggyback on their handset's data connection.



When asked by AppleInsider whether it has any plans to turn around and match Verizon's WiFi tethering, AT&T wouldn't confirm or deny a move in either direction.



"As you can appreciate, I am not going to speculate on what we might or might not do in the future," said AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel. "For iPhone users who want the fastest speeds, the ability to talk and use apps at the same

time, and unsurpassed global coverage, the only choice is AT&T."



Apple's CDMA iPhone runs iOS 4.2.5 with a built in Hotspot setting | Source: ArsTechnica



Recently, AT&T has been unwilling to be upstaged by its largest rival. For instance, it took the carrier only a matter of hours last January to match a $30 reduction on its iPhone unlimited voice plan after Verizon announced the cut for its own mobile customers.



The big question for AT&T this time around is whether its already overburdened 3G network has the capacity to keep pace Verizon when it comes to unlocking larger pockets of bandwidth for its customers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    AT&T has nothing to gain from doing this because it will cannabalize their DSL market. This technology will allow Verizon and other companies to go into competition for Home Networks especially since 4G will eventually be faster than DSL and Cable data connections.
  • Reply 2 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by phoebetech View Post


    AT&T has nothing to gain from doing this because it will cannabalize their DSL market. This technology will allow Verizon and other companies to go into competition for Home Networks especially since 4G will eventually be faster than DSL and Cable data connections.



    You do realize that Verizon has FiOS, right?
  • Reply 3 of 32
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,774member
    ATT has always given me good service.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post


    You do realize that Verizon has FiOS, right?



    There is no new groundwork for laying down fiber optics. It's a dead technology. It just costs too much money to maintain. Verizon can catchup with AT&T without having to lay down new cables while AT&T is stuck with their large network (which they may be in charge of their removal as well). You realize in the near future they will go up against other companies such as DishTV, Viacom and Cox for those same customers? Also, why do you need cable t.v. if you can stream HBO/Showtime from your Mifi or phone with WiFi/DLNA?
  • Reply 5 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by phoebetech View Post


    There is no new groundwork for laying down fiber optics. It's a dead technology. It just costs too much money to maintain. Verizon can catchup with AT&T without having to lay down new cables while AT&T is stuck with their large network (which they may be in charge of their removal as well).



    Fiber optics is a dead technology and old copper isn't? I agree that fiber is too expensive to maintain, at least right now, but I wouldn't exactly classify it as a dead technology.
  • Reply 6 of 32
    They will wait until Verizon's data plan pricing is revealed.



    Hot Spot tethering is not free, mind you! That service is costly. And someone (users) has to pay for it.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    I really hope AT&T allows tethering over WiFi so I can use my iPad when travelling, although I could definitely see that hurting iPad 3G sales.



    I'll say though, I will often check Google Maps or an internet site when I'm talking with someone, but since I don't travel but 2 or 3 times a year, I hardly ever have a need to tether my phone. In this case AT&T is a clear winner for me.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by phoebetech View Post


    AT&T has nothing to gain from doing this because it will cannabalize their DSL market. This technology will allow Verizon and other companies to go into competition for Home Networks especially since 4G will eventually be faster than DSL and Cable data connections.



    tethering is for when you are away from home or traveling, not to replace DSL at home. The data caps become a problem if you try to use it at home. I just upgraded my iPad to an iPad 3G, something i wouldn't have to do if my iPhone worked as a hot spot. I got this for when I'm away from home but not traveling (i.e. at an appointment, riding in the car, etc.), I have a myfi for when I travel. The hotspot feature could replace two data plans and could make it cost effective to pay an early termination fee. I'm going to give AT&T until my myfi subscription expires to offer this.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    I just read the Verizon published FAQ's and at first glance, there seems to be more "Yes's" than "No, you can'ts."



    Proof will be in how Verizon prices the plans compared with ATT. Hopefully, they will be aggressive and force ATT to reduce prices to match Verizon...but I'm not holding my breath on this one!
  • Reply 10 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    I don't especially like Verizon but if they price WiFi bridging right I will move to Verizon come Feb. Tethering would be acceptable but sadly AT&T wants to charge $20 for nothing. That is no extra data just the privilege of tethering. We all know what sort of "joke" that is (quoted joke because it is nicer than using the proper word)



    So AT&T step up to the plate and convince me that there is a reason to stay with your service. Don't go on about how great your system is because honestly you have been better in most regards than Verizon locally. It is just the fact that charging $20 for nothing isnt acceptable. 3 years ago when I switched to AT&T I was actually very displeased with Verizon for numerous reasons so understand I really don't want to go back.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post


    Fiber optics is a dead technology and old copper isn't? I agree that fiber is too expensive to maintain, at least right now, but I wouldn't exactly classify it as a dead technology.



    Off topic: Speaking of fiber optics and cooper the first LightPeak systems will probably be all cooper. They will offer the same protocol-independent features, but be slower than fiber, though faster than USB. This would be a bad way to transition to this tech, but I hope they use the USB-A port interface to make it backwards compatible.
  • Reply 12 of 32
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by phoebetech View Post


    There is no new groundwork for laying down fiber optics. It's a dead technology. It just costs too much money to maintain. Verizon can catchup with AT&T without having to lay down new cables while AT&T is stuck with their large network (which they may be in charge of their removal as well). You realize in the near future they will go up against other companies such as DishTV, Viacom and Cox for those same customers? Also, why do you need cable t.v. if you can stream HBO/Showtime from your Mifi or phone with WiFi/DLNA?



    because with CDMA you can't stream in HD and the way cable sends the signal is more efficient than TCP/IP streaming.



    verizon is laying FIOS all over NYC now. it's a huge cost savings for them since they dump their old legacy phone system in the process



    nice thing about fiber is you can change out your switches and double or triple your bandwidth
  • Reply 13 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,523member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Off topic: Speaking of fiber optics and cooper the first LightPeak systems will probably be all cooper. They will offer the same protocol-independent features, but be slower than fiber, though faster than USB. This would be a bad way to transition to this tech, but I hope they use the USB-A port interface to make it backwards compatible.



    I thought LP was for peripherals i.e a replacement for USB and or FW, are you saying it is also a protocol for internet connectivity from ISPs to clients? Or am I reading the wrong thing into what you are meaning as it is off topic as you say.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,523member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post


    I just read the Verizon published FAQ's and at first glance, there seems to be more "Yes's" than "No, you can'ts."



    Proof will be in how Verizon prices the plans compared with ATT. Hopefully, they will be aggressive and force ATT to reduce prices to match Verizon...but I'm not holding my breath on this one!



    The more I think about the pricing, shouldn't Verizon charge less than AT&T given you get less, i.e. no concurrent voice / data.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by phoebetech View Post


    There is no new groundwork for laying down fiber optics. It's a dead technology. It just costs too much money to maintain.



    It is down right stupid to expect every household to connect to the Internet with some sort of RF connection. There simply isn't enough spectrum available no matter how much the cell phone companies can steal from other users.

    Quote:

    Verizon can catchup with AT&T without having to lay down new cables while AT&T is stuck with their large network (which they may be in charge of their removal as well).



    You must ascribe to the rantings of the global warming crowd too. Explain to me how you can cover every user in a dense neighborhood with RF technology. Especially if every user wants to stream from his one preferred source at 8:00PM.

    Quote:

    You realize in the near future they will go up against other companies such as DishTV, Viacom and Cox for those same customers? Also, why do you need cable t.v. if you can stream HBO/Showtime from your Mifi or phone with WiFi/DLNA?



    Simply because if you take everybody off Cable or DSL you then have to accomodate that bandwidth on the available RF spectrum. The cell companies are already complaining about the need for more bandwidth and there is only so much they can steal from other users. Beyound that cable broadcasts don't load the internet as the "channels" can be picked up by many users at the same time. Go to a system where everything is done with Internet protocols and everybody streaming their own content, will result in a ballooning of bandwidth demand.



    There is no magic here to sugar coat the real problems with these pipe dreams.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    ! would love to completely "cut the cord" from my cable company. I already have cancelled my CableTV but need Internet service. Are we getting close where you can just have your ATT iPhone 4 "tether" your wifi iPad, an MBA, iMac and ATV for less than my cable bill of $30/mo.



    If I walk out the door with my iPhone 4, Wifi iPad, and MBA....I take my internet with me! Pretty cool.



    I hope this happens. I hate cable companies with their monopolies, high prices, fatuous commercials and clunky boxes/remotes/interfaces!



    I recently bought the TomTom App because I was so unimpressed with the stand alone GPS unit's design and clunky interfaces. Their mounts have suction cups the size of a cheeseburger stuck on your windshield! Ugggh!





    Best
  • Reply 17 of 32
    Although I don't see myself switching to Verizon for foreseeable future, I love the competition. AT&T will have to respond somehow, either with better plans, better infrastructure, or most likely, both.



    If you are an AT&T user considering a switch, first check to see if Verizon does indeed offer better service in your area. One of the more reliable sources (other than talking to neighbors and coworkers) is: RootMetrics
  • Reply 18 of 32
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    There is no magic here to sugar coat the real problems with these pipe dreams.



    I like the way you did that.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    Even if AT&T may have reasons to limit or charge for tethering computers, AT&T should allow iPhone customers free MiFi access for their iPads and iPod touches...
  • Reply 20 of 32
    If I tether and download few gigabyte file, I can't receive any calls while that download is taking place ?? That's scary.
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