Eventhough AT&T’s own Ralph de la Vega mentioned all the way back in November 2008 that you would be able to tether your iPhone to your personal computer and use it as a modem “soon” it looks like we are still quite a ways away from seeing this functionality. Even with many iPhone carriers around the world deploying this tethering feature as soon as Apple had it ready it seems that AT&T’s silence is saying more than they want it to. Tech website Engadget reached out to AT&T and received this feedback concerning iPhone tethering on the AT&T network:
"We understand that there is great interest in tethering but cannot provide any details at this time. We know that iPhone users love their devices and mobile broadband, and that they're likely to embrace tethering just as they have other features and apps – by using it a lot. iPhone tethering has the potential to exponentially increase traffic, and we need to ensure that we're able to deliver excellent performance for the feature – over and above the increases in data traffic we're already seeing – before we will offer the feature."
While it does make sense for AT&T to ensure their network can handle the increased load that would accompany iPhone users being able to use their phone as a modem for their personal computers they better hurry up and figure out a solution quickly or risk losing business customers to Verizon. Verizon recently announced that their Palm Mobile Hotspot app would be a free add on with the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus that is sure to draw the attention of many business customers and frequent travelers that would benefit from being able to use their mobile device as a mobile hot spot while on the road.