Still No Tethering?

On September 6, 2009

 Now that MMS is on the horizon, the only missing service promised is tethering.  Imagine hooking your computer into your iphone and getting on the ‘net.  How handy would that be?

 It was announced last November, and (based on what I’ve read) has been available on many other carriers in many other countries. Except here in the USA. 

 This past week alone, we’ve seen the following “bullet” points (if I may be so bold as to paraphrase many of the articles and blog posts of late)


  • iPhones are the “Hummers” of smartphone data networks (Source:

  • iPhone surfing/data consuming has increased 10% this past month (Source:

  • 3Gs users use up to 4 times more data than 3G users thanks to the increase in processor speeds

  • AT&T can’t keep up with all the data/network demands of iPhones (part of the reason why AT&T is upgrading it’s networks) (Source: several places including

  • AT&T is launching MMS in September—this will increase the amount of data used on their networks (Source: several places including


 Taken all together, it sounds like tethering would just be like squeezing blood from a stone. Would other providers be able to support this? I’m not sure, but with the strain already on the system tethering would be a high price to pay.

 And while I’m speculating, let me also speculate that AT&T wouldn’t gain anything by offering tethering. How many people would join AT&T so they could use their computer anywhere? My guess is not many would join for that purpose; however once they started using it, I’m guessing they’d start to use it a lot. 

 Thus tethering would add to AT&T’s headaches and not give them much on the ‘upside’ . So while I’d like to see tethering supported, I think I’d rather have a stable data network and just type an email on my phone.