• AT&T Teeter Totters on Tethering

    image via intomobile

    If you're an iPhone customer who's been waiting on the edge of your seat for an update on when data tethering through the iPhone will become available, get ready to wait longer. Yesterday, AT&T told an anxious mobile community growing increasingly restless that tethering is not yet ready for roll out.

    This comes as a shock considering how prompt AT&T has always been to provide services like MMS (insert sarcasm here).

    If "at some point" is the present response from AT&T to an inquiry as to when we can expect tethering, it could very well prove longer than almost any of us can conceivably wait. But waiting is what we must do. According to coverage of AT&T's non-announcement-announcement by Macworld:
    An AT&T spokesman quoted by the Wall Street Journal said, "For tethering, we need to do some additional fine tuning to our systems and networks." That's pretty much holding the party line for AT&T, which earlier this year said only that tethering support would be coming at some point.
    "Whenever we offer new features, we want to offer the best possible customer experience," an AT&T spokesperson told the WSJ. "Fine tuning," the rep says is in order to "deliver a great experience."

    It's going to be hard not thinking about the reference to "fine tuning" this weekend.

    Whether "fine tuning" means pushing some buttons at an AT&T facility, or spending months—and millions—to upgrade their cellular network remains to be seen.
    Buying time with vague comments is about all the carrier can do these days it seems, as AT&T struggles to maintain their network to meet demands that outpace their upgrades. AT&T, however, is investing heavily in network upgrades that ultimately should make data tethering for the iPhone a positive experience for user and provider alike. The only variable is time. How much longer will we have to wait?

    MMS, which was also announced at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote in June, was targeted for a “late summer” launch and finally became available late last month. But AT&T's remarks seem to imply that there's still no hard date to bring tethering to the iPhone masses.
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