updated 04:25 pm EDT, Thu October 23, 2008
iPhone Tether Limit by ATT
Plans to implement iPhone data tethering have been held back by AT&T's concerns for its network, an as yet unverified rumor floated by MacBlogz claims. The site refers to a purportedly reliable source at AT&T who appears to corroborate an earlier report that Apple is discussing using the iPhone as a pseudo-modem with the provider but is primarily encountering opposition over AT&T's fears for its network, which has reportedly remained unstable due to the sheer load of iPhones and other 3G devices saturating its service.
AT&T is said to be especially worried about "legalities" that could arise from customers using tethering on an already heavily-loaded network. The company as well as Apple have both faced multiple lawsuits over the performance of the 3G network that have accused the two of knowingly overselling AT&T's capacity.
Tethering is a staple of many smartphones as it provides makeshift Internet access for notebooks without requiring a separate PC card, but has so far been excluded entirely from the iPhone and actively banned from the App Store. AT&T hasn't had similar objections with BlackBerries and other devices in the past but also hasn't had to contend with such large sales numbers, the alleged source says.