So, earlier we told you all about the new AT&T data plans, and mentioned that if you were currently on an unlimited plan, you could keep it, and AT&T will just consider you grandfathered in. Now here is where it gets interesting—after three years, AT&T has finally announced a tethering plan for the iPhone, which will go live with iPhone OS 4.0 is released. The thing is, if you wanna use it, you must leave your unlimited data plan behind, even though the tethering cost is an extra $20 per month. Instead, you have to move to the DataPro plan, which is $25 per month for 2GB of data, and $10 for each additional gigabyte of data used if you go over.
Now, read that again. AT&T is going to charge you $20 for the privilege of tethering. That $20 doesn’t get you any extra data usage—you are still relegated to the 2GB of data that you get from your $25 per month. In other words, AT&T is charging you a fee to use the data you already paid for. That is completely ridiculous. If you pay $25 for 2GB of data, and blow through all 2GB on your iPhone, that is cool with them. However, if you pay $25 for 2GB of data and blow through it while tethered to your computer, they expect you to pay an extra $20, even though on their end, you’ve used 2GB of data—no more, no less—in both scenarios.
This is obviously asinine to anyone on the outside of AT&T looking in. The fact that AT&T wants to charge you an extra fee just because you want to use the data that you;ve already paid for in a certain way just screams that they don’t understand true customer service. If you are grandfathered in with unlimited usage, they won’t allow you to pay the $20 tethering fee. If you switch so that you can tether, the fee is just there to make them more money—and you can never go back to your unlimited plan once you leave it.
So check this out, we’ve been waiting for iPhone tethering since the original device, and when Apple built tethering into iPhone OS 3.0, we figured that was where our dreams would turn to reality—but of course, in the US, this is AT&T we’re dealing with, which means…we are still waiting a year later. However, in the just-released iPhone OS 4.0 beta 4, there’s finally an option to enable tethering, and when you tap it, you are instructed to contact AT&T at 611 or to visit the AT&T website to add tethering to your account.
Obviously, there’s been progress here. Still, no word from AT&T as to when they will give us tethering. Also interesting that this news comes well after the launch of the iPad 3G, as we’re sure that many iPhone owners that bought the 3G model of the iPad would have just gone with a Wi-Fi model if they knew tethering was around the corner, right?
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