AT&T: iPhone Tethering Not Coming Anytime Soon

iPhone tethering not coming soon

Is AT&T a better network today than it was a year earlier? 

Executives at Ma Bell would definitely say so. The company is noted to have been working on improving the network infrastructure in several high iPhone density areas in the past few months. The results have been positive with many of our readers noticing fewer dropped calls and better reliability on an average.

Despite the improvements seen in AT&T's network, the company is yet to allow iPhone tethering to their customers. The feature, that was introduced in iPhone OS 3.0, allows users to connect their iPhone as a wireless internet modem to surf the internet on other devices like the laptop. AT&T has noted that iPhone tethering may lead to a terrific rise in network data usage that could potentially cripple the company's wireless infrastructure. This is despite promises made by AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega in November 2008 that tethering on iPhone shall be made available "soon".

Apparently, AT&T users are still some time away from seeing the functionality enabled. In a recent conversation with Engadget, an AT&T spokesperson has said:

"We understand that there is great interest in tethering but cannot provide any details at this time. We know that iPhone users love their devices and mobile broadband, and that they're likely to embrace tethering just as they have other features and apps – by using it a lot. iPhone tethering has the potential to exponentially increase traffic, and we need to ensure that we're able to deliver excellent performance for the feature – over and above the increases in data traffic we're already seeing – before we will offer the feature."

This could come as a huge disappointment to iPhone users who may have expected the feature to be made available soon. 

AT&T is also Apple's exclusive partner for iPad 3G, which will be available from tomorrow. With several hundred thousand iPads expected to be sold over the next few weeks, AT&T has its task cut out in ensuring that their wireless infrastructure is not crippled due to the excessive data usage. 

Though we agree with AT&T that it should not release the feature until it has the required infrastructure to support it, it has been more than 10 months since the feature was introduced in iPhone OS 3.0 and it is disappointing that they haven't addressed the infrastructure issues to bring one of the most requested features to its iPhone customers. It might be the reason Apple is working on two new iPhones, including one for Verizon as non-availability of such features will end up affecting them as well. 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments

[via Engadget]

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  • Crap, Crap, Crap!

    Well, that is crap!

  • JP

    …and that's why we jailbreak our phones.

  • 1hihum

    I haven't noticed fewer dropped calls. If anything, i have noticed MORE dropped calls! I think it's kinda crappy too that they jump all over the iPad bandwagon, and give it the same service that they are withholding for the iPhone, even though we have been with them for years already, and as stated, the service was announced almost a year ago! But i am not surprised at all, after all, it IS AT&T. Welcome to more bullshit in more places.

  • bigmack

    I've been waiting to see what happens for sometime now. My contract on both iPhones ends soon. Looks like I will finally jailbreak them and go to another carrier.

  • Steve L

    Jailbreak and tether – screw them.

  • Tolurodo

    Don't u mean unlockin it?

  • Jay

    Who cares? Install MyWi and tether for free instead of paying an extra $30 a month

  • Franky j

    So tomorrow the ipad 3g comes out. Let's see if my calls start dropping.

  • So, I had tethering which I used for a whopping 15 minutes last three months as well as unlocking which helped me use the phone in Europe without loosing my shirt. Once Apple bricked the phone and basically forced me to upgrade to 3.1.3 I am streaming video to my phone 24/7 just to use bandwidth. I'm such a twit.

  • Richard

    AT&T allows tethering on their other devices, so what's the problem? Especially since they LIED and told Apple that 3G on iPad would be not problem.

    Carriers outside the US allow tethering on their networks so what's the problem AT&T.

    I'd rather you spent more time fixing your network than changing your inept slogan and logo. Your service and network are still a joke.

    Thank you Apple for partnering with AT&T: lousy network, high prices, dropped calls and no choice in providers.

  • AT&T

    The dropped call thing is an iphone issue. It only happens on 3g with data and voice being used. It doesn't matter what att does its a iphone thing. Tethering with mywi is awesome and if your jailbroken you should look into it.

  • AT&T

    How did apple brick your phone

  • Harsha

    iphonehacks editor… someone made a really good point… which i think you guys should include in your thought process; future articles.. WHY does att allow Apple to release more products which eventually will be tethering.. ipad… why are ATT supporting ipad then?? it will also be sucking their data… haha… its becoming a joke …

  • Chuck C

    @1hihum: what r they giving ipad that us iPhone users have been waiting for. R u refering to tethering. Hey genius, ipad isn't getting it either. The article clearly states that no one in AT&T is getting tethering. Pay attention and make sure u have all the facts before u start making illogical and immature arguments.

  • Chuck C

    I meant to say no one within AT&T and Apple is getting tethering. AT&T does offer it on other items just not any apple items.

  • luigy

    i think that good idea for the ipad is that they let you clone you phone sim card to micro sim to use with ipad and the phone same time. if you want to use your phone use the data of your phone and if you use the ipad use the phone data too. that will be a good. one for call and data and other to data only. any way i used mywi to get internet on my ipad. the bad thing is that the batery on the iphone drain quickly.

  • 1hihum

    Alright wise ass, what I'm referring to is the ipad adding more data usage to AT&T's network, which is what US iphone users have been waiting for. So instead of allowing iphone users to tether, almost a year after it was introduced to iphone users. Get it Genius? And the article doesn't say shit about no one on AT&T's network getting tethering…just us iphone users. Next time pay attention and get YOUR facts straight…dipshit.