New source claims $55 iPhone tethering plan (Update: Denied again!)

Appmodo says a source tells it that rumors of a high price on AT&T’s forthcoming iPhone tethering plans are true.

The controversy over tethering pricing remains the same. Tethering for iPhone will cost $55 on top of the current iPhone data plans.

MMS will be included with the current text messaging plans.

There you have it folks.

If it pans out, hats off to Appmodo. But AT&T specifically denies this: “rumors of $55 tethering plan on top of an unlimited data plan are false.”

I know what you’re thinking: that AT&T might be stupid enough to do it, but not stupid enough to lie about it.

Update: AT&T re-issues its denial: “an AT&T spokesman said the company will charge for a tethering plan but still has not determined how much it will cost or when it will become available.” [Gadget Lab]

Apple iPhone MMS Delayed, Coming Sept, Tethering $55 Extra [Appmodo]

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com

 

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8 Responses to New source claims $55 iPhone tethering plan (Update: Denied again!)

  1. Clay says:

    I do not recall the origin of this far-too-reasonable-to-work suggestion, but what AT&T really should do is include a gigabyte (heck, 256 megs) of tethered data in every plan. Because most of us who would tether would be using it only to download the occasional Keynote presentation and not for torrenting entire seasons of Ugly Betty while hanging out on Stickcam.

    Even if a low-cap tethering plan were something like $5, I think they’d sell a lot more of those than $50 “unlimited” tethering that magically runs out in the aforementioned scenario anyway.

  2. jonathan_v says:

    Verizon charges $40/month/250MB , $60/month/5gb
    http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/hpnetbook/plansaccessories.jsp

    AT&T charges $60/month/5gb dataconnect plan.

    So $55 doesn’t seem off or out of character — it just depends on how much they want to ‘upgrade’ iPhone customers to a new revenue stream without giving their mobile laptop plan holders an incentive to switch phones for a cheaper plan.

  3. Rob Beschizza says:

    The explicit claim here is that the tethering $55 is ON TOP of whatever you pay for data.

    Not $55 for data+tethering, as you get on thos data only plans.

  4. Poor Americans! I just did a quick comparison to prices in Europe. Orange Austria wants € 2 on top of their iPhone plan!

  5. Awemaker says:

    I am only going to say this once:

    An ATT family plan gives you $10 Data Plan(5 gig) per line.

    The Samsung Impression phone can USB tether to my netbook.

    = $10 per month tethering plan. “Unlimited” & fast.

    True, and the Impression is an impressive almost smart phone with a nice slide out keyboard and a big, beautiful touch screen.

    I have felt the outrage, but I won unless millions of you ruin it for me. Don’t.

  6. jonathan_v says:

    This is apples and oranges though — the other devices are ‘tether only’ devices – so it’s a $40-$60 fee to have monthly wireless on your laptop.

    It’s entirely reasonable for AT&T to bill tethered services separately. $55 for unlimited tethering would still be better than $60/month/5gb laptop card — and you wouldn’t need to buy / carry a modem.

    I’d love to see this as free, but I totally understand the reasoning behind AT&T — unlimited data for an iphone is totally different than hooking that iphone up to a computer and competing with their divsions that sell: mobile device modems, cafe wireless access, business/home dsl, etc.

  7. Rob Beschizza says:

    Jonathan, you’re missing the point. On those other devices, you’re paying $60 for data, simple as that. They’re only “tethered” in the sense that there is a radio in your laptop, either hardwired or in an expansion card.

    The right analogy with the 3G modems would be if you go them for $40 or $60 a month as you say, but then had to pay another $55 a month to turn on “Internet connection sharing” in the operating system. As the carrier enforces bandwidth limits anyway, it is literally getting something for nothing with “tethering plans.”

    Put simply, it’s unreasonable that there would be any charge for tethering. Indeed, worldwide, tethering is usually a nominal charge. Only in the US is it charged at $15 or more per month.

    So, if Appmodo’s claim is right (unlikely as that it) it would be ridiculously expensive unless the basic data plan was next to free, meaning that AT&T is just working numbers. A $55 additional charge simply to use bandwidth you’ve already paid for is outrageous.

  8. murray says:

    I don’t get it. Why does this only apply to iPhones? I’m on AT&T, I have a $15 unlimited data plan (yes, I said $15), and I tether for no extra cost with my Nokia phone. If they let me tether, why don’t they let iPhone users tether? Do they restrict it on the iPhone just because they can? Is it because the iPhone software environment is so rigidly controlled?

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