Apparently ATT has decided to see (some) of the light when it comes to user accessibility and has upped the cap from 2 GB of transfer of month in the DataPro plan, to 4 gigs. As an iPhone 3GS user on ATT, with both the DataPro plan and tethering enabled, I’m very happy about this. I spend about $45/month on the “data” portion of my plan which is complete BS. While it is capped, I don’t nearly use enough of that bandwidth– I think my lifetime stats over two years is something like 3 gigs total.
I use my tethering mainly when I’m out of town– when we head to the beach for a weekend to veg out, or when I’m traveling globally for work it comes in very handy. Lately I haven’t done either of those things so I’m definitely not getting my money’s worth on that use. However, in reading some of the forums at Engadget you’d think these people were looking for an unlimited cap or something….I don’t get it. The speed is definitely nowhere near fast enough to do what I want– downloading videos, transcoding, uploading of digital assets, and having enough speed available to be pumping a lot of data down the pipe. Why one would attempt to push all that down a 3G pipe rather than say, a speedy home Comcast pipe…I don’t get it.
Finally, ATT also seems to be readying WiFi tethering which sounds great.
This is a feature many other mobile devices have had for years, and I understand ATT’s reluctance to offer it– they’ve been forced to play ball with Verizon because the playing field is about to get much more level. With two huge telcos offering the same device, and in theory operating the same technologies for “4G” the only thing left to differentiate the two is network features. Oh, and can I make a bet here and now? The iPhone 5 will have a slight edge on ATT, because they’ll pay for a timed exclusive. After all, Verizon is just now nabbing the iPhone 4 or 4.5. In 6 months I fully expect to be holding a new iPhone 5, and I doubt that Verizon customers will be excited to see a new device coming their way ater plunking down for that shiny 4.
With WiFi tethering comes an interesting loss on the iPad side. Previously while you could tether your iPhone over Bluetooth to a device, the iPad was not one of them. ATT instead opted to sell you their selective data plan over 3G which made the top end iPad very expensive. I’m hoping with the launch of WiFi tethering that I could put out a network to get my iPad some connectivity as well. THAT is what would keep me as a happy ATT customer.
Anyway…I guess I should be out there using my phone more!