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iPhone tethering held back by AT&T network?

updated 04:25 pm EDT, Thu October 23, 2008

iPhone Tether Limit by ATT

Plans to implement iPhone data tethering have been held back by AT&T's concerns for its network, an as yet unverified rumor floated by MacBlogz claims. The site refers to a purportedly reliable source at AT&T who appears to corroborate an earlier report that Apple is discussing using the iPhone as a pseudo-modem with the provider but is primarily encountering opposition over AT&T's fears for its network, which has reportedly remained unstable due to the sheer load of iPhones and other 3G devices saturating its service.

AT&T is said to be especially worried about "legalities" that could arise from customers using tethering on an already heavily-loaded network. The company as well as Apple have both faced multiple lawsuits over the performance of the 3G network that have accused the two of knowingly overselling AT&T's capacity.

Tethering is a staple of many smartphones as it provides makeshift Internet access for notebooks without requiring a separate PC card, but has so far been excluded entirely from the iPhone and actively banned from the App Store. AT&T hasn't had similar objections with BlackBerries and other devices in the past but also hasn't had to contend with such large sales numbers, the alleged source says.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Titanium Man

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Like I've always said

    AT&T stinks. This whole fiasco just proves it again.

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not just AT&T

    I've been using 3G data dongles for nearly a year (on t-mobile - so no iPhone causing the problem) and the performance has got worse - presumably as more people sign-up.

    Basically, it's going to take a lot of investment before 3G can give consistent good speeds (rather than the high peak speeds quoted now) - I can be sat with full signal strength but waiting 30 seconds for a response.

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