Apple iPhone: AT&T's Tethering to Cost $55?

Includes: AAPL, T
by: TechCrunch

By John Biggs

Gruber found some information that the AT&T (NYSE:T) tethering plan would cost $55 a month and suggests - but cannot confirm - that this will be in addition to the unlimited data plan already in place, potentially hitting the $85 per month for data. I, like him, find this outrageous and can only pray that this number will be more like $55 total.

On the aggregate, traffic on wireless networks is fairly low. Major carriers built out quite a bit of bandwidth - they just needed the right customers, applications, and phones to use it correctly. When I was a telecom consultant back in 1999 we were already talking about 3G but no one wanted to start up the pipe for fear of - what? I don’t know. Maybe they were afraid people would use it, downloading WAP pages willy-nilly.

I can’t speak for AT&T but in my experience as a billing and “service modification” analyst, the biggest hurdle here is probably a list of millions of names they have to provision with certain services - MMS, for example - and the refusal of marketing to cannibalize on current WWAN dongle sales.

A little insult to injury?

And our Scandinavian friends are all sharing a good laugh at our expense. Unlimited data plans with tethering run about US$20/month in Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

Mmmm, tasty pain!

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