AT&T iPhone Official Tethered Modem Solution Coming Soon
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
Of the many potential hang-ups enterprise smartphone users may have over using Apple’s uber popular iPhone as a business device, its inability to connect to computers and be used as an external tethered modem—without hacking, or “jailbreaking,” the device–is very likely near the top of the list for many. But according to AT&T Mobility Chief Executive Ralph De La Vega, iPhone owners will soon get an official AT&T iPhone tethering solution.
Though the AT&T Mobility CEO confirmed that such a feature is on the horizon, he did not mention any specific on when exactly it will arrive or how much iPhone users will be expected to pay per month for the tethering functionality. AT&T currently charges $60 a month for its BlackBerry Enterprise data plan with tethering–$15 more than the $45-BlackBerry Enterprise data plan without the external modem support—so it seems likely that business iPhone users will have to pay a similar premium.
Consumer, or personal, BlackBerry users pay AT&T even more for the ability to use their smartphones as tethered modems; at $60 per month, the current BlackBerry Personal data plan plus tethering is $30 more than the BlackBerry personal plan without it.
iPhone tethering options have been available for some time to those willing to jailbreak their iPhones, including the free PDAnet application. But many have been hesitant to go the jailbreak-route, as it voids the iPhone’s warranty, could damage devices and may even result in deactivation by Apple. Business users in particular could benefit from an official AT&T tethering solution, as corporate IT policies may prevent them from jailbreaking and using an unofficial tethering option.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.