AT&T: No iPhone Tethering Launch Date Yet

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AT&T may have lifted its block on using services like Skype on its wireless network, but that doesn't mean the company is ready to let iPhone owners use its tethering service. AT&T confirmed it is still working on letting iPhone owners share their wireless Internet connection with their computer, but isn't ready to flip the switch yet, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"For tethering, we need to do some additional fine tuning to our systems and networks so that we do deliver a great experience," an AT&T spokesperson said.

Apple included tethering support in iPhone OS 3.0, but AT&T hasn't yet implemented the feature. The company also left iPhone owners waiting for about three months before enabling MMS messaging, another feature included in iPhone OS 3.0.

AT&T is remaining tight-lipped about when it may finally enable tethering for iPhone owners and for now is sticking with its "We're working on it" position.

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For my colleagues who are much more saavy, I have a question. Isn’t tethering simply a matter of port forwarding so that the iPhone’s network connection gets “forwarded” to the laptop when tethered? My point is, if El Gato can get port forwarding from a computer to the iPhone (not to mention the hackers that have already enabled tethering on the iPhones), why can’t AT&T do the reverse and have the iPhone forward back to the computer?

If I’m way off base, I’ll understand and appreciate the lesson.


@Tiger - Not port forwarding so much. The iPhone is recognized by the computer as another network interface, like your Ethernet port. Akin to a modern day modem (essentially it becomes a modem).

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