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AT&T says that customers that tether gobble up more data, yet data restrictions still choke those same users
AT&T's Mark Collins says that those who tether use more bandwidth, yet the data cap still isn't raised

Reaction to AT&T's smartphone data plan adjustments have been rather mixed. On the one hand, smartphone users that have greater access to Wi-Fi hotspots or simply don't use much 3G data stand to save $5 to $15 per month on their monthly bill.

On the other hand, those who have grown attached to their "unlimited" data plans took serious offense to the 2GB caps that AT&T is now imposing for new smartphone contracts starting June 7 (it should be noted that those that wish to keep their $30 unlimited data plans can continue to do so, and even upgrade to new hardware while keeping the unlimited data plan).

Our own "unscientific" poll of tech enthusiasts shows that nearly a quarter of smartphone users consume more than 2GB of data per month.

AT&T has offered a tethering option for smartphones in the past (with the exception of the iPhone), so it's not exactly unheard of to charge for the feature. However, with this new 2GB cap in place, one thing that has seemed quite puzzling to many people is AT&T's $20 tethering charge in the face of these lower caps.

Mark Collins, AT&T's senior VP of data and voice products, mobility and consumer products, thinks that it's quite simple:

That capability is enabling something you can’t do today. You can use one device and get multiple connections so it’s more useful to you. You’re going to use more data so the price is based on the value that will be delivered.

Tethering a smartphone to a notebook would no doubt result in an increased rate of data consumption. With the old tethering data plan in place, customers could tether up to 5GB which should be enough to cover most heavy downloaders. However, with these new restrictions in place, it doesn't matter if you are using your smartphone for everyday tasks or tethering; you're still limited to same restrictive 2GB of data per month.

It remains to be seen how long these 2GB data caps will stay in place in an increasingly connected world, but boosted limits for tethering can't come any fast enough it seems.



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Let me get this straight...
By BigToque on 6/3/2010 3:47:47 PM , Rating: 5
You sign up and are limited to 2GB per month (for whatever the cost is ($25?)) and you get charged $20 just for tethering a device, regardless of bandwidth used?

Is this guy fucking retarded?




RE: Let me get this straight...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/3/2010 3:58:42 PM , Rating: 5
I just burst into laughter when I read this post. Made me think immediately of 40-year-old Virgin:

I'm fine.
Are you fine?
Yeah.
You're fine then?
Are you f**king retarded? What the hell's the matter with you?
Do you want me to be f**king retarded?


RE: Let me get this straight...
By The0ne on 6/3/2010 5:14:29 PM , Rating: 2
hahaha I logged on just to rank him up for making my day :) And I had the exact same thought as you did from 40 year old virgin (one of my favorite movies of all time).

Man, sometimes life is good because of people like Bigtoque :D


RE: Let me get this straight...
By Treckin on 6/4/2010 4:22:33 AM , Rating: 5
Commenting removes your rankings...


RE: Let me get this straight...
By rburnham on 6/7/2010 11:32:08 AM , Rating: 2
That was just the kind of laugh I needed. Thanks!


RE: Let me get this straight...
By crleap on 6/3/2010 5:38:18 PM , Rating: 1
No, I think even in the face of mental instability the idiocy of what that exec said would shine through with meaning. They aren't retarded, he's just greedy, rich, and doing everything they can think of to make sure he's still rich next week.


RE: Let me get this straight...
By retrospooty on 6/3/2010 7:33:11 PM , Rating: 2
" You sign up and are limited to 2GB per month (for whatever the cost is ($25?)) and you get charged $20 just for tethering a device, regardless of bandwidth used?

Is this guy fucking retarded?"


You forgot to mention, of the 3 major carriers in the USA - they are by far the worst coverage and connectivity, both data and voice.


RE: Let me get this straight...
By bill4 on 6/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: Let me get this straight...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/3/2010 9:54:13 PM , Rating: 3
Can you honestly sit here with a straight face and say that a $55 AT&T plan costs $150+ on Verizon.

Do you honestly hear yourself talking?


RE: Let me get this straight...
By DM0407 on 6/3/2010 10:05:59 PM , Rating: 5
Probably works for AT&T and is afraid to lose his commissions.
OR
He's slightly retarded.


RE: Let me get this straight...
By Kefner on 6/4/2010 5:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, really. I have a smartphone (with unlimited internet) and a regular cell phone, and my Verizon bill for both is a total of 83 dollars.


By retrospooty on 6/3/2010 10:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
uuh.. i think you need to check you prices and cust. sat #'s again because you are way off on both.


Been tethering for a while now
By rstove02 on 6/3/2010 3:51:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That capability is enabling something you can’t do today.

So I can not tether today? That's odd, been doing it for the last year on AT&T using iPhone and Android phones.




RE: Been tethering for a while now
By mcnabney on 6/3/2010 5:10:44 PM , Rating: 4
You have to jailbreak the iPhone to tether. It will be enabled natively soon on the AT&T network.

The reason they are charging more for tethering is because they are considering the tether as a replacement for an installed aircard. Aircards have their own service charges, so they are charging you some of the difference between aircard-only service fees and the smartphone service fee. It is $20 instead of $30 because there is no extra piece of equipment to subsidize.

But it is strange that they are doing this at the same time that they are dropping their data bucket from 5GB to 2GB. You would think that paying the higher rate for tethering would give you a bigger bucket of GBs?


RE: Been tethering for a while now
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/3/2010 5:16:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But it is strange that they are doing this at the same time that they are dropping their data bucket from 5GB to 2GB. You would think that paying the higher rate for tethering would give you a bigger bucket of GBs?


And there's the rub! I still think that paying extra for tethering is a rip in the first place -- it's the same data, so why should it matter?

But it's their service, and it is a convenience, so I can accept that. However, it is inexcusable to charge extra for tethering -- which AT&T even says hogs more data -- and not raise the cap from where the standard data plan is.

I personally think that if you're going to be paying extra for tethering, you should be given a higher cap, or no cap at all.


RE: Been tethering for a while now
By artemicion on 6/3/2010 5:35:18 PM , Rating: 1
It boggles me that you recognize that tethering is a "service" and is a "convenience" yet you find it "inexcusable" to charge extra for it. While dispensing free services and conveniences would be a really awesome thing for a company to do, there's nothing outrageous about trying to charge for it.

I get 700 minutes to use on my family plan. I have to pay $10 for each extra line on my family plan, yet I don't get any more minutes. Is that also outrageous?

Also, as to the hogging more data rationale, I mean, honestly, I bet you if you did a study there would be a correlation between folks that tether and the amount of data they use. Is it $20 more worth of data? Probably not, but whatevers. AT&T can charge whatever they want as far as I'm concerned. There's at least two other viable wireless carriers to switch to. Wake me up when AT&T has a monopoly on cellular data services.


By GaryJohnson on 6/4/2010 9:07:42 AM , Rating: 5
It's not a service or a convenience, it's an artificial software limitation.

quote:
I get 700 minutes to use on my family plan. I have to pay $10 for each extra line on my family plan, yet I don't get any more minutes. Is that also outrageous?

Yes.


By HotFoot on 6/4/2010 10:53:02 AM , Rating: 3
I really think it would just make more sense to just have pricing based on the amount of data you want, not how you use it. If tethering is a service, then why not say watching youtube is a service - and then charge a special fee for allowing you to use it? Rather, wouldn't it just make sense to offer a few different bins - something like the bins used in the survey here on DT. For some people, 50-100MB is plenty. Others might want 1-2 GB. Others might want 5GB or unlimited. Just charge accordingly and it all makes sense.

I wrote yesterday what my service provider does for 3G data pricing. There are no restrictions on what you do with your 3G data service. You can Skype over it, you can tether, you can do whatever the company serves the data and keeps it's nose out of how you use it. That's exactly what I want and I'm a happy customer.

$10/mo for 50 MB
$20/mo for 500 MB
$35/mo for unlimited

If I were happy with 3G speeds for home usage, I could drop my cable internet subscription and just tether - or my phone will act as a wifi access point so I could be using a bunch of devices over the 3G. Right now, it's not good enough for what I want, but maybe 4G or some future generation will have the bandwidth and then I'm down to paying one less bill per month.


By Pitbull0669 on 6/3/2010 5:53:16 PM , Rating: 2
Here here on that 1.WOW makes NO sence.


By keith524 on 6/4/2010 9:02:31 AM , Rating: 3
Actually the rub for me is that AT&T removes the feature from many phones then tries to sell it back as a feature that wasn't there!


RE: Been tethering for a while now
By fotoguy on 6/3/2010 11:32:01 PM , Rating: 2
So, does anyone know if once they enable native tethering on the iPhone, will I still be able to use the jailbreak to not have to pay the extra $20 tethering service fee?


By kmmatney on 6/4/2010 2:39:11 AM , Rating: 2
You'll have to wait and see. I'm waiting for that as well. I only need to tether on rare occasions, so paying $20 a month extra makes no sense, for a service I might use only once every month or so.


By rstove02 on 6/4/2010 9:32:30 PM , Rating: 2
It is possible to tether an iPhone without jailbreaking it.


Easy way out
By spathotan on 6/3/2010 6:00:26 PM , Rating: 2
Its alot easier to do this than it is increasing and expanding their network capacity. Congrats on taking the easy way out AT&T. Btw, Tmobile and Verizon are embarassing you.




RE: Easy way out
By bill4 on 6/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: Easy way out
By spathotan on 6/3/2010 9:36:39 PM , Rating: 3
My T-mobile bill with an Android device (MyTouch) was $72 a month for unlimited text and data, and 400 minutes (I dont talk alot, mostly data/email). I had good coverage and 3G speeds were great.

My Verizon bill (just switched) with a Droid Incredible is $80 for unlimted data, 200 text and 450 minutes. I have full coverage EVERYWHERE here in Virginia (Hampton Roads), also great 3G coverage.

Clearly T-Mobile is a better deal due to unlimited texting being part of the unlimited data package with an Android device, and both would be hitting $100 if you needed more minutes than I do.

As far as AT&T goes....my friends bill is over $130 a month with an iPhone. iPhone data plan (whatever that is), 900 minutes and unlimited text. Take away that iPhone data plan at $30 (read using any other phone) and youre still sitting at $100. His coverage is spotty and 3G speeds are flat out god awful.


RE: Easy way out
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/3/2010 9:52:23 PM , Rating: 3
Umm, I just checked on Verizon's website and 450 minutes + unlimited data for a smartphone is $59.99. Only $5 more that AT&T, but you get unlimited data.

Where are you getting $99 from?


RE: Easy way out
By DM0407 on 6/3/2010 10:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I guess if you consider "embarrassing" as "charging way way more" in Verizon's case.

It's like at LEAST $99 for a smartphone plan on Verizon. ATT can now be had as little as $55. Guess who's not getting my business? Verizon.


Try to avoid stating facts that start with "It's like at LEAST".... makes its a tad harder to believe the unresearched lie.


RE: Easy way out
By Calin on 6/4/2010 3:05:48 AM , Rating: 2
iPhone subsidy?


RE: Easy way out
By DM0407 on 6/3/2010 10:15:13 PM , Rating: 1
This asshat has already posted incorrect information twice.

Avoid reading posts unless you enjoy the National Enquirer and enjoy being misinformed. Or if your a fan of Glenn Beck.


RE: Easy way out
By chick0n on 6/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: Easy way out
By Malak on 6/5/2010 12:44:40 PM , Rating: 1
It is impossible to get a smart phone on ATT for $55. All smart phones require minimum $30 data plan, on top of the lowest calling plan which is $40. And that's all without texting. 6 months on the job, and you know how many cell phones I've sold? 5.


LOL at AT&T
By HrilL on 6/3/2010 3:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
You've got to be kidding me from that response. Do these execs really think people are that retarded. Lets see we can pay more for less or we can illegally tether and keep our current unlimited plan? I'll take option 2 since I've tethered for years. It was supported on my first 3G phone a LG CU500. The directions on how to set it up are on the AT&T forums. Also they never offered a tethering plan for that phone. Just the $10 a month unlimited data family plan. Or $15 without.

I'll be ditching At&t soon enough though just 1 more month of contract =) Now days there a lot better phones than the iPhone so there is no reason to stay. They don't even have a good Android phone.




RE: LOL at AT&T
By BaDaBooM on 6/3/2010 3:59:48 PM , Rating: 2
FYI, I don't think it is illegal to enable the tethering. You bought the phone and it is legal to use all of it's feature (though I'm sure the cell phone execs would like to change that). You may violate their terms of service and they could terminate your service though.


RE: LOL at AT&T
By corduroygt on 6/3/2010 4:58:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That capability is enabling something you can’t do today. You can use one device and get multiple connections so it’s more useful to you. You’re going to use more data so the price is based on the value that will be delivered.

Let's see:
1. I can tether today, I've been able to tether for 3 years on AT&T 3G now, 2 years on nokia n95, 1 yearon jailbroken iphone 3GS. It's my phone, it's my data, so AT&T can go suck it.
2. I'm going to be using more data? It's capped at 2GB (if I buy your stupid plan, which I won't). I can use the 2GB however I want and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it.

Seriously it doesn't take an MBA to just say "this is our service, this is our prices, we believe it's fair for the value we offer, have a nice day." and avoid controversy and backlash.


RE: LOL at AT&T
By JDHack42 on 6/4/2010 8:53:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do these execs really think people are that retarded.

Oh yes, people are that retarded.


I think Wayne Brady
By Quadrillity on 6/3/2010 4:00:20 PM , Rating: 3
is gonna have to choke a bitch...




RE: I think Wayne Brady
By rburnham on 6/7/2010 11:33:17 AM , Rating: 2
Brady will save us from fees!


iPhone
By btc909 on 6/3/2010 4:10:32 PM , Rating: 2
Ahhh so another revenue source for Apple. The iPhone OS update is suppose to support teathering so hey lets tack on another $20 to your data plan. Oh wait, AT&T is having major data performance issues so lets put a 2GB cap on the data plan & punish anyone with a $10 surcharge per 1GB of overage. This will thwart the jailbrake iPhone users since they won't be able to get around the 2GB cap. Plus legit users are crying for teathering support. Both problems are solved.

Apple don't try & BS me into thinking you didn't have your hands in these data plan changes. This was the agreeded upon changes not to switch to Verizon until LTE is rolled out. You won't see a Verizon iPhone until mid-late 2012.




RE: iPhone
By MySchizoBuddy on 6/3/2010 5:04:20 PM , Rating: 2
iPhone can already tether, just look outside US and iphone had tethering for a long time.
It has been said a million times already that iphone OS can already do that, it was AT$T that hasn't allowed it so far. But apparently, it's falling on deaf years.
the new rates are for ALL smartphones not just iphones. Even blackberry and Android phones will have to use these new rates.


RE: iPhone
By icanhascpu on 6/4/10, Rating: 0
As an AT&T Customer...
By kmmatney on 6/4/2010 2:35:22 AM , Rating: 2
Overall, I think this sucks. I'm OK with the 2 GB cap, but not paying extra for tethering. In my case, I only need tethering occasionally - maybe at an airport once a month - to send out a few MB's worth of emails. Would be nice to at least be able to tether occasionally, for free.




RE: As an AT&T Customer...
By Tommyguns on 6/4/2010 3:44:16 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone who is complaining, does realize you can tether for free... It takes all but 3mins to setup. You don't need any software, or apps. Just a BB phone, BB desktop manager and windows xp or above. To pay an additional $30 ontop of my $110/month is just stupidity.

Been doing it for a year or so and it works great. I don't abuse it or anything. Most data I've used total in one month was 4.2GB. Of which 1.2 was tethered...


Ahh just spent 6 min watching this
By Blood1 on 6/3/2010 4:03:12 PM , Rating: 2
Something you can't do today?
By ICBM on 6/3/2010 7:49:24 PM , Rating: 2
A problem the exec doesn't seem to realize, is they have taken tethering away from the US iphone users. When did Apple officially implement tethering? Last summer, year before? AT&T specifically had them remove it. So they take something away that the device manufacture offers everyone else in the world, then give it back to you but charges? WTF

I am a big fan of the unlimited data(when unlimited actually means unlimited), but the cost savings with these new AT&T plans isn't bad. I could actually live with them, as long as I could use my 2GB however I wanted, whether streaming Youtube on my iphone or streaming to my tethered laptop. 2GB of data is 2GB of data, period.




Go europe!
By DrLudvig on 6/4/2010 4:27:19 AM , Rating: 1
Am i glad i don't live in the USA..
I'm currently paying the equivalent of 60-65 bucks a month, and get unlimited SMS+MMS, unlimted calls of all kinds and UNLIMITED data (Yes actually unlimeted, have downloaded well over 100GB) including tethering :)
I feel sorry for those of you who have to deal with those greedy basterds!




Where's My money?
By Sazabi19 on 6/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: Where's My money?
By msheredy on 6/3/2010 4:06:08 PM , Rating: 2
It's actually "Choke a Bitch," that episode aired just last night :) Definitely my favorite episode.


RE: Where's My money?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/3/2010 4:08:15 PM , Rating: 2
Watching it last night too (for the fourth or fifth time), hence the use of the image in the article :)

"I didn't know you liked to get wet?" ;-)


RE: Where's My money?
By Sazabi19 on 6/3/2010 4:09:30 PM , Rating: 2
I failed my quote! Sorry, that was from seeing it once, and I'm at work, looking up stuff for it wouldnt have looked the best :).


RE: Where's My money?
By bill4 on 6/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: Where's My money?
By hypocrisyforever on 6/3/2010 9:40:19 PM , Rating: 2
Quiet troll boy. Chapelle has you on lock.


RE: Where's My money?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 6/3/2010 9:56:52 PM , Rating: 4
No worries, this bill4 guy is the same person that in one post above says that a $55 AT&T smartphone plan costs the equivalent of $99 on Verizon, then turns around in another post and says it costs $150+

Troll, troll, troll your boat :)


RE: Where's My money?
By DM0407 on 6/3/2010 10:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
He lives under a bridge.

I wonder if he tethers to get online?


RE: Where's My money?
By Sazabi19 on 6/4/2010 8:18:16 AM , Rating: 3
youtube --> college humor bridge troll. That is all


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