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  • Why AT&T Doesn't Support Tethering


    Because their network can't handle the load. That's the reason according to a Macblogz source that is currently working for AT&T.

    According to a previous rumor Apple and AT&T have been working together to build an iPhone tethering plan similar to the one Blackberry users currently have on the AT&T network. It is said that due to AT&T's parinoia of "legalities" that could occur from iPhone tethering on its already overloaded 3g network this iPhone tethering plan has not been implemented.

    AT&T is worried that their already flimsy 3g network will not be able to handle any additional strain caused by iPhone tethering and users will create lawsuits against AT&T. This fear is not with out basis. There are already lawsuits filled against AT&T because their 3g network hasn't been strong enough to handle the iPhone 3g without tethering. If they were to add a tethering plan and the network subsequently failed they would undoubtedly have to deal with additional lawsuits.

    The fix would be to spend more money on the network and make it able to handle more load but according to the source “Regardless of how many billions of dollars AT&T pours into their 3G network, it hasn’t been stable enough to handle all you iPhone users."

    There is light at the end of the tethering tunnel. AT&T does appear to have plans to strengthen the network and release and iPhone tethering plan some time in the future. Of course why wait? We can already tether just fine thanks to some great Cydia apps.

    [macblogz via electronista]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Why AT&T Doesn't Support Tethering started by Cody Overcash View original post
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. KelvinalF's Avatar
      KelvinalF -
      haha poor at&t
    1. Zcott's Avatar
      Zcott -
      What's most annoying about this is that there are iPhone users around the world on well-established and solid 3G networks such as T-Mobile in Germany and O2 in the UK. We're being denied a good tethering solution because you yanks just can't figure it out yet.
    1. mgamber's Avatar
      mgamber -
      AT&T has no more of a plan today than it did yesterday, last week, last month or last year. It's a perfect example of a short-sighted company run by short-sighted people who couldn't possibly care less about it's users until they stop paying their bills. I can't wait until the new Blackberry 3G phone hits the network and drags it down even more.

      But yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel. According to the news, members of congress are going to be given iPhones. A waste of taxpayer money, sure, but when they try to check out intern porn using the iPhone and it doesn't work because AT&T's network is utter garbage, THEN either AT&T will upgrade it fast or congress will bust it for whatever they can make up at the moment, break it up and sell off the pieces to someone who CAN make it work.

      If I end up dumping the iPhone, going to T-Mobile and getting a G1, it will be because of AT&T, not the iPhone. To sum it up: AT&T = money toilet.
    1. WillyDavidK's Avatar
      WillyDavidK -
      KelvinalF: Poor at&t??!! They can't get their sh*t together, they have terrible support, and their advertising is 100% BS. Maybe you feel bad for them, but they have none of my sympathy. Their network has always been terrible, and thanks to the subsidization of the iPhones and the resultant new masses of iPhone users, it's finally being brought into the light. Unfortunately there are a lot of truly ignorant people out there blaming the iPhone simply because of the timing.
    1. Napoleon_PhoneApart's Avatar
      Napoleon_PhoneApart -
      Quote Originally Posted by WillyDavidK View Post
      KelvinalF: Poor at&t??!!
      You didn't catch his sarcastic "haha?"
    1. trevorrawson's Avatar
      trevorrawson -
      Don't blame AT&T...I bet if they knew they wouldn't have any lawsuits they'd do it...blame the idiots who would sue over something so stupid. It's all about me me me these days.
    1. mrsidewayzz's Avatar
      mrsidewayzz -
      oh well. AT&T is covering themselves in this situation.
    1. iCory19's Avatar
      iCory19 -
      It's amazing to see how big and bad people think they are over the internet. Everyone has an opinion and everyone thinks their right and they put others down when they have a different opinion. Why dont you wait to hear a real answer from the horses mouth.
    1. captainjapanicq's Avatar
      captainjapanicq -
      If you got a jailbroken Iphone and are using PDAnet for tethering, how would att&t or other carries know / find out if you are tethering?
    1. thetoothfairy's Avatar
      thetoothfairy -
      Att should have known better with the 3G iPhone.... they knew how popular it was with the 1st generation.... and with the so called price drop and being able to install apps it was only going to get more popular.... they should have been ready or planned better.... so that they could have supported the popularity of the iPhone....

      There probably is no one out there that can support the 3G 100% right now.... Verizon, T-Mobile etc.... if we all jumped on them.....
    1. imode's Avatar
      imode -
      Quote Originally Posted by captainjapanicq View Post
      If you got a jailbroken Iphone and are using PDAnet for tethering, how would att&t or other carries know / find out if you are tethering?
      First they will know it is coming from an iPhone because the first 3 bytes of the MAC address denotes the manufacturer and the device. Then looking at usage patterns and protocols that are not common to the iPhone (such as bittorrent, nntp, voip, etc) will give away the fact that a PC is tethered to the iphone.
    1. alek's Avatar
      alek -
      Quote Originally Posted by mgamber View Post
      AT&T has no more of a plan today than it did yesterday, last week, last month or last year. It's a perfect example of a short-sighted company run by short-sighted people who couldn't possibly care less about it's users until they stop paying their bills. I can't wait until the new Blackberry 3G phone hits the network and drags it down even more.
      called marketing... when iphone 4g comes out with teathering itll bring a new crowd to att, if they put it on iphone 3g which drew in people with the "3g" that would be wasting the new feature marketability
    1. boombasticaudio's Avatar
      boombasticaudio -
      Thanks Yanks!!!

      Going right back to blackberry in 2009...
      IPHONE WAS A MISTAKE

      The more I expect to hear great things is the more I hear b&lls&^t about reason they didnt implement this and that..
      Rather sell my Iphone get a ipod touch and a blackberry bold so much happier!!!
    1. ajustcircle's Avatar
      ajustcircle -
      Quote Originally Posted by imode View Post
      First they will know it is coming from an iPhone because the first 3 bytes of the MAC address denotes the manufacturer and the device. Then looking at usage patterns and protocols that are not common to the iPhone (such as bittorrent, nntp, voip, etc) will give away the fact that a PC is tethered to the iphone.
      i thought the purpose of tethering with the newer apps is because they use socks proxy and it is believed that with the currently deployed tech of at&t that they can't/couldn't distinguish between tethering and normal usage...
    1. WillyDavidK's Avatar
      WillyDavidK -
      Well if you download 2GB in a day from your 'iPhone' you might get red flagged by ATT. Its not hard to tell when someone is downloading the latest season of Heroes using their iPhone as a modem. An 'unlimited' plan DOES have a limit (5GB I believe) and if ATT flags you and suspects you of tethering, you can hit with BIG charges.

      The best rule of thumb is just to use tethering sparingly, and only for web browsing, email, etc. Try not to download big files if you can avoid it.

      lol, Napoleon, you're prolly right, I totally missed the sarcasm.
    1. taylortap's Avatar
      taylortap -
      Quote Originally Posted by imode View Post
      First they will know it is coming from an iPhone because the first 3 bytes of the MAC address denotes the manufacturer and the device. Then looking at usage patterns and protocols that are not common to the iPhone (such as bittorrent, nntp, voip, etc) will give away the fact that a PC is tethered to the iphone.
      This is very flawed, first if you tether over PDAnet the traffic will still appear as if it is your iPhone doing the requests. Second, you are able to use VOIP, NNTP and other such protocols on your iPhone without giving it away.

      The only way AT&T can see that it is your laptop or desktop requesting the data is if your getting Windows Updates or downloading something only a PC would request.


      Beyond that, there is nothing AT&T can or will do.


      Also, AT&T is full of **it when they say their network can't handle it, they are currently deploying UVerse (fiber to your door) and for them to be able to do that, means they need to have a hell of a strong backbone (which they have). AT&T is using that boilerplate argument because they want to figure out a way to charge you extra when they do finally implement a solution.

      Take the $.15 per text charge... That charge used to cost $.05 then got bumped up to $.10 and now $.15 per text. It's all a big racket!!!
    1. khaoticsquirrel's Avatar
      khaoticsquirrel -
      AT&T sucks. That is the only reason why I have not gotten the 3g is because I refuse to sign on another plan with AT&T. My calls get dropped continuously, when I have full service, I can't call out. I never had a problem like this with Nextel. It is beyond frustrating, and I am just waiting for the dev team to unlock the 3g before I update to it. The day my contract is up with AT&T, I am done paying their bill.
      And I tried the 3g network with my friends' phones, and when I was "racing" my friends testing the network out, my 1st gen was actually faster? Go figure that one out. AT&T has been nothing but a nightmare to me, and they obviously can't get their sh*t straight. I do not pity them whatsoever.
    1. thetoothfairy's Avatar
      thetoothfairy -
      khaoticsquirrel: I never had a problem like this with Nextel.

      Hate to say this but Nextel sucks! My husband has it and he has to go outside to talk all of the time and his calls get dropped all of the time... I always tell him that he is nuts to keep that company.....
    1. midnite's Avatar
      midnite -
      look guys I own and work a wireless store and there isn't a perfect network out there. You just got to get the network that is work best in your region like where you work, lives, party etc... Some area verizon is good some tmobile and some at&t. As the fastest network would be Sprint since they own the largest amount of backbone in the U.S. I have tether my wm6 sprint pda with pda net and clock it at >600kps and over 300kps down... I phone 3gs tether which I am using right now doesnt come close. Get the aircard and clock it and you will see evdo 3g are insanely fast gsm 3g no where nearly close unless hspa which at&t dont have yet... ANYONE HAVE THE PROBLEM OF YOUR 3G IPHONE WONT chARGE WhEN TETHERiNG? MY JUST WON"T CHARGE AND IT GET CRAZY HOT....

      PS I am writing in a hotel while tethering and my battery is dead now so i have to turn off and recharge
    1. jonathanp2008's Avatar
      jonathanp2008 -
      it sucks