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  • AT&T Teeter Totters on Tethering

    image via intomobile


    If you're an iPhone customer who's been waiting on the edge of your seat for an update on when data tethering through the iPhone will become available, get ready to wait longer. Yesterday, AT&T told an anxious mobile community growing increasingly restless that tethering is not yet ready for roll out.

    This comes as a shock considering how prompt AT&T has always been to provide services like MMS (insert sarcasm here).

    If "at some point" is the present response from AT&T to an inquiry as to when we can expect tethering, it could very well prove longer than almost any of us can conceivably wait. But waiting is what we must do. According to coverage of AT&T's non-announcement-announcement by Macworld:
    An AT&T spokesman quoted by the Wall Street Journal said, "For tethering, we need to do some additional fine tuning to our systems and networks." That's pretty much holding the party line for AT&T, which earlier this year said only that tethering support would be coming at some point.
    "Whenever we offer new features, we want to offer the best possible customer experience," an AT&T spokesperson told the WSJ. "Fine tuning," the rep says is in order to "deliver a great experience."

    It's going to be hard not thinking about the reference to "fine tuning" this weekend.

    Whether "fine tuning" means pushing some buttons at an AT&T facility, or spending months—and millions—to upgrade their cellular network remains to be seen.
    Buying time with vague comments is about all the carrier can do these days it seems, as AT&T struggles to maintain their network to meet demands that outpace their upgrades. AT&T, however, is investing heavily in network upgrades that ultimately should make data tethering for the iPhone a positive experience for user and provider alike. The only variable is time. How much longer will we have to wait?

    MMS, which was also announced at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote in June, was targeted for a “late summer” launch and finally became available late last month. But AT&T's remarks seem to imply that there's still no hard date to bring tethering to the iPhone masses.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T Teeter Totters on Tethering started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 68 Comments
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ddfilms View Post
      I knew there was a reason I stayed on 3.0.1 Tethering still works fine.
      Yesssir!
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      The graphic used in this story is in conflict with the article. Seeing the word "finally" on the graphic leads me to think tethering has been approved. It should be changed.

      Since you used teeter totter in your headline, maybe that would be the better choice of school yard equipment to show instead? Unless you have a thing for contradictions.
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      All you people whining about AT&T not offering tethering yet aren't very bright. When they do offer it, they're going to charge for it, and with so many people tethering, it's really going to hurt their network.

      Not to mention you can get tethering NOW for FREE if you'd just look around in these very forums.
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Exactly. $60.00 for one of the modem packages a month and you can bet that the iPhone won't be any cheaper. You would be better off buying their aircard and saving your iPhone battery in the process.
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      Quote Originally Posted by GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL View Post
      You're serious right? You do know that they're half assing it now.. by upgrading the network AFTER the device and features are available. Doing it right would have meant them rolling out a competent 3G network before the 3G launched. Why should they have to put all the money they earn back into improving the network? That's what it seems like because it took them soooo long after the 3G iPhone launched to admit there was a deficiency in their capacity.
      Yes he was serious, and he's right. But you don't know what you're talking about. Why would AT&T spend billions of dollars to upgrade their network before the iPhone was launched when they didn't know it was going to be such a success?

      Rolling out a competent 3G network before the 3G was launched? So you'd rather Apple release all the newest generations of the iPhone to other countries while we'd be stuck on the original iPhone, EDGE-only? Speak for yourself.

      AT&T is CONSTANTLY updating their network, and they're investing billions of dollars to do so. It's just hard to keep up with the demand. You know why Verizon's network is more reliable than AT&T's? It's because most of Verizon's phones are sh!t that don't use nearly as much data as the phones on AT&T. About 1 in every 4 people on AT&T has a smartphone. More than 1/3 of those people have iPhones, which use up over 4 times as much data as the average smartphone. So if you took away the 10 million iPhones on AT&T and added 40 million regular smartphones, you'd have about 55-60 million smartphones on AT&T. That's over half of their subscribers.

      Like I said. AT&T is upgrading their network. They're just having a hard time keeping up with all the data sponges on their network.

      Quote Originally Posted by southfrisco View Post
      Oh you mean like...the super fast 3G speeds...more bars in more places...crystal clear non dropped calls via the great AT&T network that we as customers get to enjoy now from the second biggest mobile wireless company in America?
      Yep! Well, except for the crystal clear calls (though the call quality isn't bad - just OK), but I don't talk on the phone much anyway. For everything else, AT&T has done a great job in my area.
    1. akosko01's Avatar
      akosko01 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      Exactly. $60.00 for one of the modem packages a month and you can bet that the iPhone won't be any cheaper. You would be better off buying their aircard and saving your iPhone battery in the process.
      Not $60 in addition to your iphone plan. $30.00/month just like tethering on all other phones. and if you are using the USB cable it keeps the phone charged.
    1. Zico991's Avatar
      Zico991 -
      I jailbroke 3.0 then updated to 3.1 and still have tethering. :P
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zico991 View Post
      I jailbroke 3.0 then updated to 3.1 and still have tethering. :P
      Is your 3.1 jailbroken as well?
    1. GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL's Avatar
      GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL -
      Tethering was on mine until I tried to use it.
    1. and1gator's Avatar
      and1gator -
      Quote Originally Posted by adp View Post
      Amen to jailbreaking...

      Been tethering using iPhone's setting since June 23rd...and even before that using PDAnet
      I second that dude....
    1. cdement05's Avatar
      cdement05 -
      Enough whining about tethering and how long it's taking. Who cares about tethering? How about getting something that I am already paying for each month? I think before AT&T gets tethering to work on their network maybe they should share the wealth of having a 3G network here where I live!
    1. Luppin's Avatar
      Luppin -
      Quote Originally Posted by southfrisco View Post
      Oh you mean like...the super fast 3G speeds...more bars in more places...crystal clear non dropped calls via the great AT&T network that we as customers get to enjoy now from the second biggest mobile wireless company in America?
      See my previous post:
      Quote Originally Posted by Luppin View Post
      This dropped call nonsense is definitely extremely over-reported. I recently moved over 1600 miles from my girlfriend and to stay in touch until I return we figured we'd talk on the phone every night. The first couple of nights she would call my house phone from her house phone, a landline on both ends, and we were absolutely plagued by calls being disconnected and whatnot. So I figured what the hell, I'll just talk with my iPhone plugged into my computer so it doesn't die in an hour and lo and behold, not one single dropped call since then. Keep in mind that this has been consistently 3+ hour phone calls every single night for over 2 months now, if that isn't an outstanding and valuable service then I really don't know what is. QQ more about your one in a million dropped calls because I can't understand how you experienced them.
      Only difference now is that it's 4 months without any dropped calls and yes these calls are 3G, with a consistent 5 bars.
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      3.0 SB's 6.0 .ipcc FTW!
    1. GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL's Avatar
      GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL -
      Quote Originally Posted by €hR!$ View Post
      Yes he was serious, and he's right. But you don't know what you're talking about. Why would AT&T spend billions of dollars to upgrade their network before the iPhone was launched when they didn't know it was going to be such a success?

      Rolling out a competent 3G network before the 3G was launched? So you'd rather Apple release all the newest generations of the iPhone to other countries while we'd be stuck on the original iPhone, EDGE-only? Speak for yourself.

      AT&T is CONSTANTLY updating their network, and they're investing billions of dollars to do so. It's just hard to keep up with the demand. You know why Verizon's network is more reliable than AT&T's? It's because most of Verizon's phones are sh!t that don't use nearly as much data as the phones on AT&T. About 1 in every 4 people on AT&T has a smartphone. More than 1/3 of those people have iPhones, which use up over 4 times as much data as the average smartphone. So if you took away the 10 million iPhones on AT&T and added 40 million regular smartphones, you'd have about 55-60 million smartphones on AT&T. That's over half of their subscribers.
      I said upgrade the network BEFORE the release, you think AT&T got wind that the new iPhone would be 3G a week before it was launched? Not knowing it would be such a success, that's rich.The subsidization over the 2G, the upgrades and the 3G. You're acting like the iPhone 3G launched and no one bought it on opening week, had anticipation no one would be buying it, and that it would need time to get exposure so AT&T didn't have to spend the money to upgrade their network before launch, because it didn't need upgrading anyway it was perfect before the iPhone, right? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

      "Many of the customers had already camped out for several hours in line to become among the first with the new phone, which updates the one launched a year ago by speeding up Internet access and adding a navigation chip."

      This story about them not knowing is a bunch of baloney, if they didn't know, they had opening week to let them know.

      Only until recently has anything been happening with these upgrades they've been singing about since 08' - Sounds like incompetence to me. Getting more 1900mhz towers up to fill in the gaps would have worked while they we're waiting for the 850.
    1. TooSlo's Avatar
      TooSlo -
      Wha? People touting the 3G network AT&T has?

      Holy hell, I've completely lost 3G signal within about 2 miles of my work, even outdoors since MMS was released.

      That's some fan-freaking-tastic service!
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL View Post
      Tethering was on mine until I tried to use it.
      same thing happened to my friends'.... even after using that custom profile from "ben"

      Quote Originally Posted by cdement05 View Post
      Enough whining about tethering and how long it's taking. Who cares about tethering? How about getting something that I am already paying for each month? I think before AT&T gets tethering to work on their network maybe they should share the wealth of having a 3G network here where I live!
      If you don't want to hear about people whining than you should not be reading this thread. Many people like myself included, have good use for tethering especially while i'm at school when the network goes down, or is to slow for internet use, and while at the airport and not wanting to pay $12 for internet access for using it for only 1hr or so...
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Luppin View Post
      This dropped call nonsense is definitely extremely over-reported. I recently moved over 1600 miles from my girlfriend and to stay in touch until I return we figured we'd talk on the phone every night. The first couple of nights she would call my house phone from her house phone, a landline on both ends, and we were absolutely plagued by calls being disconnected and whatnot. So I figured what the hell, I'll just talk with my iPhone plugged into my computer so it doesn't die in an hour and lo and behold, not one single dropped call since then. Keep in mind that this has been consistently 3+ hour phone calls every single night for over 2 months now, if that isn't an outstanding and valuable service then I really don't know what is. QQ more about your one in a million dropped calls because I can't understand how you experienced them.
      And I moved 500 miles from where I was laid off from and can't make a single call inside a building, driving down the road, nor can I get a decent data connection. You are not the entire country, what you experience isn't the final word, and being presumptuous about what other people get versus what you get is stupidity. Just because you have a good connection doesn't mean you can stupidly go around calling people liars and complainers. I loved AT&T where I used to live, but go outside a decent sized city and you're ****** for service quality. You need to get off your high horse and quit acting like you know everything, because you obviously don't.
    1. mdc929's Avatar
      mdc929 -
      oh how great it is to have a jailbroken iPhone with thethering
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      Quote Originally Posted by GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL View Post
      I said upgrade the network BEFORE the release, you think AT&T got wind that the new iPhone would be 3G a week before it was launched? Not knowing it would be such a success, that's rich.The subsidization over the 2G, the upgrades and the 3G. You're acting like the iPhone 3G launched and no one bought it on opening week, had anticipation no one would be buying it, and that it would need time to get exposure so AT&T didn't have to spend the money to upgrade their network before launch, because it didn't need upgrading anyway it was perfect before the iPhone, right? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

      "Many of the customers had already camped out for several hours in line to become among the first with the new phone, which updates the one launched a year ago by speeding up Internet access and adding a navigation chip."

      This story about them not knowing is a bunch of baloney, if they didn't know, they had opening week to let them know.

      Only until recently has anything been happening with these upgrades they've been singing about since 08' - Sounds like incompetence to me. Getting more 1900mhz towers up to fill in the gaps would have worked while they we're waiting for the 850.
      Even if AT&T knew exactly how many iPhones would be sold on its network, which they didn't, you're acting like it would take less than a year to do a full upgrade to support all the new devices. Besides, if that was the case, it's been over a year since the first 3G was released. AT&T should have finished the upgrade by now.

      Do you honestly think you're smarter than a multi-BILLION dollar company?

      Quote Originally Posted by €hR!$ View Post
      Why would AT&T spend billions of dollars to upgrade their network before the iPhone was launched when they didn't know it was going to be such a success?
      Quote Originally Posted by GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL View Post
      I said upgrade the network BEFORE the release...
      So did I.
    1. GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL's Avatar
      GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL -
      You think they started upgrading their network in 2008 to support iPhones? Yeah... you're not gullible at all. If that was the case, they would have been DONE by now with all network issues. People would have been reporting more reception and less dropped calls way before now if that was happening. They sat around until a few months ago then decided to spend a few dollars on fixing their problems.

      I don't have to be smarter than AT&T to know they like making money more than satisfying their customers, it's always been like that at AT&T. If that was the case they'd have 3G similar in size to Verizon's EV-DO coverage which they don't. Telus, Bell both deployed HSPA over their CDMA in less than a year and now the network is ready to be used , granted the area they covered is smaller, it's not ******* impossible to get the ball rolling BEFORE they launch the devices.