AT&T to offer Wi-Fi tethering for iPhone
Announces 2GB allowance, multi-device Wi-Fi tethering for Android, says 'working on bringing it to the iPhone'
Computerworld - AT&T said on Wednesday that it will allow tethering of multiple devices to Apple's iPhone, and add a 2GB data allowance to the $20-per-month service.
The carrier declined to spell out a timetable for the move, however.
"We are working on bringing it to the iPhone," an AT&T spokesman said by e-mail. "[But we have] nothing else to share at this time."
The move is a counter to rival Verizon, which will let iPhone owners use their smartphone to create a personal Wi-Fi hotspot, which can connect up to five other devices, including tablets and notebooks, to the Internet.
Verizon will provide its tethering for $20 per month, which includes a 2GB data allowance. Each additional gigabyte of data, or a fraction of one, runs another $20 under Verizon's service plan.
Verizon described the Wi-Fi hotspot feature last month when it announced it would sell a CDMA-compatible iPhone 4 starting Feb. 10.
Although AT&T did not confirm a release, it's likely the company will also use iOS' Personal Hotspot rather than release a separate app.
AT&T will also match Verizon's tethering option by adding 2GB of data to its own plan, which previously came with no data allowance of its own. AT&T has bundled iPhone tethering with its Data Pro plan, a $25 per month deal that comes with its own 2GB allotment, since last summer.
For AT&T customers, additional data costs $10 per gigabyte over the amount bundled with its data or tethering plans.
"We want to extend the benefits of an additional 2GB to smartphone customers on our tethering plan," AT&T Mobility's chief marketing officer, David Christopher, said in a statement. "This delivers more value today for the price they're already paying -- and that's what our customers want."
Currently, AT&T's iPhone tethering uses a wireless Bluetooth link between the smartphone and a tethered device, or requires that the user plug the iPhone into a laptop's USB port. Personal Hotspot, however, creates a Wi-Fi hotspot that other devices can access.
AT&T will launch Mobile Hotspot Feb. 13 alongside the $100 Android-powered HTC Inspire 4G -- AT&T's first smartphone to include the app -- and roll out the additional data allowance the same day.
Assuming Personal Hotspot is built into iOS 4.3, the iPhone upgrade expected next month, AT&T won't have to create a version of the Mobile Hotspot app for the iPhone.
Verizon and Apple will begin taking pre-orders from existing Verizon customers for the CDMA iPhone 4 starting at 3 a.m. ET Thursday, midnight PT. The general public can pre-order a Verizon iPhone from Apple on Feb. 9, and retail sales at Apple, Verizon and Best Buy kick off Feb. 10.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Apple's CarPlay vs. MirrorLink: Is there a need for both?
- Apple's CarPlay to spark mobile apps war in your car
- iTunes is almost as big a biz as OEM Windows
- Icahn says 'I can't' and stops $50B fight over Apple stock buyback
- Lenovo-Moto deal's impact on Apple? Zip
- Office 365 turns one, but success is tough to tally
- Everyone bets on bigger iPhone for '14
- Apple's iPod business collapses as revenue becomes a rounding error
- Update: More than 1B smartphones were shipped in 2013
- Cook admits Apple blew the call on the iPhone 5C
Read more about Wireless Networking in Computerworld's Wireless Networking Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Next Wave in Wireless Emerging 802.11ac standard promises a significant boost in performance to support ubiquitous mobility.
- Case Study: Murphy USA Gains Application Visibility Without Agents Murphy USA has more than 700 stores that share a 10Mbps VSAT link. So when something goes wrong with their applications, it's the...
- 25 Business Phone Service Features Your Business Can't Do Without How many features does your business really need in a phone system? Which are worth paying for, and which are over-hyped? Learn how...
- The Great Video Conferencing Debate: Cost Vs. Quality With new video conferencing solutions available for small and medium businesses, it is possible to have a higher standard of video conferencing without...
On-Demand Webcast: 7 Reasons to Choose VoIP
Thinking about a new phone system for your business?
Be sure to watch this informative webcast. Steve Strauss, small business columnist for USA...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Wireless Networking White Papers | Webcasts