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ECT News Community   »   MacNewsWorld Talkback   »   Re: AT&T Finally Supports Tethering - Why the Muted Applause?

Re: AT&T Finally Supports Tethering - Why the Muted Applause?
Posted by: Kimberly Hill 2010-06-04 09:34:24
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AT&T -- the iPhone and iPad's exclusive wireless carrier -- has announced a set of tiered pricing plans for access to its 3G network through Apple mobile devices. It's a move designed to allow customers more choice over their pricing plans and usage, according to the company. Critics, though, are not so sure. On the heels of the announcement, websites are buzzing with lists of pros and cons of switching to one of the new metered plans.

The solution is Wi-Fi!
Posted by: SteveWebb 2010-06-04 10:41:04 In reply to: Kimberly Hill
The industry needs to make public Wi-Fi available in more places, and make it as easy to use as 3G.

In particular, they need to make computers so secure that users won't feel the need to encrypt their wi-fi networks.

Seeing as how Apple and Lucent developed wi-fi in the first place, maybe Apple and AT&T should collaborate on improving it.

One possible solution would be to offer a discount on Broadband to 3G customers. I don't know how feasible this would be, as I imagine such a move would require the government's blessing, because the wireless company associated with the local land line monopoly would have a distinct advantage over its competitors. The equitable solution would be to make the discount available to customers of ANY wireless company, but I don't know how willingly the land line companies would go with that.

Too bad that the recession killed efforts like "Wireless Philadelphia".

AT&T's new tiered pricing
Posted by: tessab13 2010-06-04 10:28:38 In reply to: Kimberly Hill
I do feel that one point does need to be made that contradicts Kimberly with regard to AT&T's new tiered pricing.

I currently have a cell phone through Verizon as well as a USB data card plan for my laptop. The Verizon data plan (for my laptop only) is 5GB for $59.99. However if you go over the 5GB limit, you are then charged .25 cents for every minute over the 5GB. Now how minutes translate into MB/GB, I'm not sure. What I do know is that during a 1 month period, when I exceeded the 5GB limit by 2GB (used 7GB total during the month), my monthly bill for just my USB data card was $250. So under AT&T's new tiered plan (including the extra $20 charge for tethering) if I were to buy an iPhone and sign up for tethering to use as a wireless modem for my laptop, I would still pay less than I did during the month I exceeded my limit with Verizon. ($29.99 for 2GB, $20 for tethering option, $10 a GB for extra data usage = approx $80 for data usage of 7GB total in one month.) I would ask that you keep this in mind when judging/rating AT&T's new plan as it is a lot easier than you might think to exceed the 5GB limit if you are streaming movies/tvs and you are not using a free WiFi hotspot.

Since I still have 6 mos left on my data plan contract, I will watch to see if Verizon comes out with some sort of tiered plan like AT&T's and if not, I will consider moving to an iPhone with tethering capabilities so that I have a phone, but also have a wireless modem for my laptop. (I didn't even mention above that I also separately pay $39.99/mo. to have my cell as tethering capabilities weren't available when I first signed up for the USB wireless modem plan.)

Another item to keep in mind is that not everyone wants to leave their house at night to go to a coffee house or bookstore that offers a free WiFi hotspot. Nor do they have access to a free hotspot from their home. Again in cases where it is necessary to use your data plan AND a person is a high data user, AT&T's new tiered service seems like it could actually save a person money.

I do make these comments with the caveat that I'm not an AT&T customer and until a person actually signs up for these new plans and tests them for a month or two everything is hypothetical.
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