Tethering tutorials take off while carriers mull options

Tutorials on turning smartphones into modems via tethering are springing up on the Internet, but some wireless carriers are still debating whether to allow the feature on their most popular smartphones.

Tethering guides for Apple's iPhone and Palm's Pre have been posted by popular gadget blogs such as Gizmodo, according to the Wall Street Journal. Since smartphones have always-on wireless connections, users connect can connect them to laptops for wireless Internet access.

So far, though, AT&T Mobility and Sprint Nextel have not officially allowed tethering for the iPhone and the Pre, respectively. AT&T has said it will add tethering functionality for the just-launched iPhone 3G S sometime later this year, but has not said when or provided details on what it will charge. A Sprint spokesperson told the Journal that the carrier is not offering Pre tethering, and declined to comment on whether it would introduce the service at a later date.

Sprint's comments are notable in light of action at the Pre Dev Wiki webOS developer site, which recently agreed to a request from Palm to stop talking about tethering for the Pre--because, according to the Pre Dev Wiki website, such discussions would probably cause Sprint to complain to Palm.

Interestingly, Sprint and other carriers currently offer tethering for other smartphones such as Research In Motion's BlackBerry devices, charging up to $60 per month.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

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