iPhone 3G customers will be able to use their devices as a wireless modem for computers soon, according to an AT&T Mobility executive. CEO Ralph de la Vega, during an interview with InformationWeek, confirmed that the operator is working on an official tethering application, but declined to give a time frame for the release.
A third-party developer, Nullriver, introduced in July a tethering application called NetShare that was pulled by Apple, returned then finally pulled again from Apple's App Store because it violated AT&T's terms of service. The application enabled Apple's iPhone to share EDGE or 3G connections with other devices to create a portable WiFi hotspot of sorts.
AT&T offers tethering plans for many of its smartphones, including BlackBerrys, but not for the iPhone 3G. Unlike the NetShare application, AT&T will likely charge a monthly fee. Naturally, mobile operators aren't very happy about the prospect of these roving WiFi hotspots created by one connection as they don't want users getting a free ride on their data networks. Outside tethering services violate AT&T's terms of service.
- check out InformationWeek
iPhone tethering app pulled minutes after debut, restored again