iPhone ‘tethering’ on its way in US

AT&T has revealed that it is working with Apple to enable iPhone subscribers to hook up their phones to laptops and use them as data modems - an action known as 'tethering.'

The news was revealed by AT&T chief executive Ralph De La Vega speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. Vega said his company would have a sanctioned tethering solution available "soon" for iPhone users.

Tethering is a feature that has been requested by iPhone users since the launch of the handset, and calls for the feature were renewed with the launch of the faster iPhone 3G.

A third-party that enabled this feature called Netshare' was available on the Apple App Store briefly in August this earlier this year, but was removed by Apple without warning after a few days. The program maker Nullriver later revealed on its website that Apple would not allow any tethering applications in the App Store due to it violating terms of service.

However, iPhone users that jailbreak' their phones have access to a range of unsanctioned programs that can provide tethering functionality.

At the time of writing O2 has not responded to our request for comment about whether it would be offering a similar solution to AT&T for UK iPhone owners.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.