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 will 'set the world on fire' with iPhone 6 sales
- The other Apple economy: $2B in devices on eBay
- Apple sends users scrambling for OS X Yosemite
- Apple grows Mac sales by 18% on the back of the MacBook Air
- What to listen for during Apple's earnings call today
- Timeline: How Apple's iOS gained enterprise cred
- Apple and IBM: A winning combo for IT
- IBM and Apple ties go way back
- Apple quickly counters China claim of iPhone spying
- China calls the iPhone and iOS 7 threats to national security
Read more about Wireless Networking in Computerworld's Wireless Networking Topic Center.
- 802.11ac Non-Disruptive Migration Strategies Emerging 802.11ac standard promises a significant boost in performance to support ubiquitous mobility.
- City Solved Network Mystery - Saves $30K The City of Jacksonville put their hunch to work and not only solved a mystery, but found a new and innovative use for...
- SANS: Next-Generation Datacenters = Next-Generation Security This whitepaper takes a look at some new technology that may allow security teams to implement more flexible and capable protection models in...
- SANS: Protecting Virtual Endpoints with McAfee Server Security Suite Essentials SANS review of McAfees Server Security Suite Essentials that address some of the emerging challenges of securing virtual platforms and cloud environments.
- What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience? The Two Top-Rated Online Retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, Share Their Secrets Discuss practical CX tools and service methods such as contact center agents and the use of realtime speech analytics to help contact center...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily... All Wireless Networking White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!