So if you are an iPhone user, you would have to purchase a separate device with its own data plan to use on your laptop or other computer with the 3G network. Nonetheless, enterprising hackers developed (albeit complicated) methods for tethering the iPhone 3G.
Hopes arose with the release of an app from NullRiver called NetShare, which debuted in the iTunes App store for $9.99. The application appeared in the iTunes Store, vanished returned once more and then vanished yet again.
People lucky enough to purchase, download and install it, including in-house staffers, report that it worked and continues to work remarkably well.
So, AT&T and Apple, why can't we tether?
One analyst suggests that because AT&T?s network has exhibited poor reliability for voice calls with the iPhone 3G, tethering has been blocked as a means of obviating network overload.
An informal poll of users of cellular data cards for mobile laptop use tells us that most people tend to select Sprint, Verizon and then AT&T for these services. Their 3G version of the CDMA wireless networks are more mature and better at handling a load than AT&T?s 3G services. There is also better coverage for these services. While AT&T is trying hard to get these services up to speed, it's going to take a while. We reported on coverage issues here and here.
Rumors hold that Apple is in talks with AT&T regarding sanctioned tethering. According to Gizmodo Steve Jobs is quoted as saying, in response to complaints about tethering, "We agree, and are discussing it with AT&T."
Now the question is: Can AT&T?s network handle the load or will it just cause more drama for iPhone 3G users?
We would like to get feedback from cellular and/or users of phones that tether on AT&Ts 3G network. Drop your experience in the comments section below.