Did we just learn AT&T's price for tethering the iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPad Hacks' started by anthonymoody, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. anthonymoody macrumors 68020

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    #1
    We know iPhone tethering has been "Coming Soon" officially from AT&T for quite a while now. We already pay $30/month for unlimited iPhone data. And now we're being asking to pay $30/month for unlimited iPad data.

    $30 + $30 = $60 (duh)

    So maybe they offer a small incentive on an unlimited tethering plan? Say $50 or $55/month?

    What do you guys think?

    [Yes, I know about tethering via jailbreak + MyWi or the like. Just trying to focus here on speculation about AT&T's plans].
     
  2. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

    CylonGlitch

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    #2
    AT&T should just suck it up and allow tethering like every other provider around the world. They SHOULD say that there are limitations though, such as, instead of saying it is totally unlimited bandwidth, set a high cap, say 5GB per month. Something that the average user won't reach, but someone abusing the system would.

    In two years I have sent 466MB (approx 20MB/month), and received 4.1GB (approx. 200MB/month). BUT I am often connected to WiFi. I would think this isn't that uncommon, maybe a bit higher on average. But still setting a cap of 1, 2, 4, or 5 GB / month wouldn't be the end of the world.

    I thought I read that it is only a very small percentage of people who are abusing the system and would be hurt by a cap of 4GB a month. Yes, I think AT&T made a mistake giving "unlimited data", or giving it without a lower price point as well.
     
  3. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    #3
    It certainly would make sense for them to offer a discount to customers with multiple devices. It is not like we're likely to use both the iPhone and iPad at the same time. Since in most instances only one device at a time will require connectivity to the Internet, I would really expect over time for carriers to move to a customer-based plan, rather than the current device-based approach.

    With iPad coming out soon, there will be more and more people raising this issue.
     
  4. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #4
    Great point and I remember this - it's an insanely small % of users who would be penalized at 5GB/mo. I would accept this cap for a decent all-in tethering plan.


    I hope so on both counts!
     
  5. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    #5
    I would expect iPhone tethering to be priced the same as the tethering they offer for every other phone.

    Which i believe makes the $30 unlimited a good deal (because tethering has a 5gb limit from what i read the other day).

    http://www.wireless.att.com/businesscenter/popup/dataconnect-comp-table.jsp

    Yup, Personal Data & Tethering - $60 with a 5gb cap.

    It's not going to get cheaper..... that will take a true "wireless plan revolution" - and that doesn't appear to be happening! LOL!
     
  6. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #6
    I "fear" that ATT is being bullied into opening up their network before it's truly ready for more consumption.

    The iPad will add drain to an already labored network. And ATT is now opening up its pipe to large streaming apps (Today it was announced that slingbox's app will be allowed to stream 3G)

    It won't matter if they don't charge or if they do charge for tethering or whatnot if you can't maintain a connection.
     
  7. bossxii macrumors 68000

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    #7
    I would agree with your theory on 5gig cap, except for one reason... with the approval of Slingplayer mobile, you can easily reach 5gigs over 20+ working days.. I have used Slingplayer via jailbroken mod and it works out to about 250mb per hour of streaming, or 16 hour in a month = 5 gigs. I simply monitored my usage and made sure I was not getting near 5 gigs as I suspected it to be a softcap. March 2009 was the last time I ran it enough to get there myself with the NCAA tourney, but I'm sure their those that would watch a ton more TV than I did.

    Taking an iPad with 3g/slingplayer to work, lunch hour TV would be 20+ hours or nearly 6+ gigs alone. I personally don't see that as abusing the system since AT&t approved the app and their are plenty of video streaming services that will follow.
     
  8. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #8

    Hmm, I guess in a way that's what set the plan price for the iPad. It wouldn't feel reasonable for ATT to charge more for a separate iPad and iPhone plan than they do for other, tethered plans.

    That said, I still hope we get at least a minor discount...

    I do worry about the network. I've been surprised at the VOIP over 3G, Sling, etc. announcements of late. I know ATT was trumpeting improvements they've made to their network of late. Not sure if I am in a position to notice any difference, but hopefully in April the whole system won't be brought to its knees!
     
  9. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    #9
    It is a MAJOR discount if you compare it to the cost of running a "laptop card", and you aren't locked into a contract and can start and stop on a whim.

    Seriously, I realize the AT&T iPhone users feel like they are getting ripped because they are being asked to pay for data twice - but anyone already paying the other prices, or that has been shopping the plans realizes how huge this price deal is (remember, I'm a V user and non-AT&T person - and this might make ME go with them, imagine that!).
     

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  10. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030

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    #10
    Except that I think that MOST iPhone users don't use nearly that much data across 3G. I'm already paying for 2 data plans (2 iPhones in my house), I can't see paying any more for data that I'm really not using! I think this is how many iPhone users feel because they check their email and do some light web browsing; sort of what they will do on the iPad, and they will most likely be using one or the other, not both at the same time. Thus it feels VERY much like being ripped off. Damn, unless AT&T changes, I feel like I have no other choice but to Jailbreak my phone. :(
     
  11. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #11
    I don't know of any US carrier that includes tethering as a feature of a smartphone data plan. It's always an additional monthly fee to tether.

    It would be cool if AT&T offered reduced-rate, limited smartphone plans for people that don't use that much data. (i.e. $14.99 for 250MB)
     
  12. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #12
    By the way I see that Wired is characterizing the "optimization" of the Sling app that AT&T "helped" Sling with amounts to a reduction in video and audio quality. That's not good if so (to put it mildly). At the very least, hopefully the app dynamically switches the quality if you jump to wifi.
     
  13. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #13
    If I could get a reduced plan on my iPhone, then I would get the 3G iPad and sign up for the $15 plan, keeping my data costs the same.

    But sorry:

    a. I won't pay $45 or $60 a month for data on both.

    b. Data on the iPad isn't the same as 3G access on a full fledged os notebook. People on notebooks tend to use that as their main internet access a lot of the time. i.e. no broadband. I already pay $50 a month for broadband access at home.
     
  14. samcraig macrumors P6

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    #14
    Well people here are saying they would never get a netbook but use their iPad as their main device. So that argument has some holes, no?

    Data on the iPad is very much the same. In fact I might argue data usage could be even more.

    I don't think AT&T is out of line charging $30 for the iPad per month of unlimited use regardless of what other plans you might have. The draw on their network increases with each device you start connecting. No reason they shouldn't charge for that priv. If you don't want to sign up - you don't have to. Go the way of wifi.
     
  15. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #15
    I think Apple/AT&T acknowledged that by offering a contractless $14.99/250MB data plan option for the iPad, no?
     
  16. anthonymoody thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #16
    You know part of the issue here as Roland pointed out is that most (all?) of us also already pay for unlimited broadband at home. Having a separate data plan for our phone has somehow become acceptable to us, and fair enough.

    And now we're being asked to pay yet another plan for yet another device, our iPads, more or less a parallel to, though cheaper than, the dongle-plans for laptops (or those with built-in 3G radios).

    Question becomes whether/when we feel comfortable dropping our home broadband plans and relying on device-only plans.

    ATT 3G coverage in my home is okay... but I use broadband in my house for everything from our household computers to our TiVo to our PS3 to streaming music around the house, etc. So I don't think my Cablevision plan is at risk of me pulling the plug unfortunately.

    It certainly would be nice for a single provider to provide at home and on the road bundled plans. Like someone else said - a customer plan rather than a device plan.
     
  17. lordhamster macrumors 6502

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    #17
    In order for tethering with the iPad/iPhone to make any sense at all, it will need to be cheaper than the iPad standalone. However, even a $5 discount may be enough to make it worthwhile.

    I guess it could also make some financial sense as well. Currently I'm an iPhone user. If I have an iPad with 3G data, all of a sudden I really don't need my iPhone anymore. I may just get an el'Cleapo phone from some other provider for basic voice and texting, then rely on my iPad for other data functions.

    To keep me using and paying for both devices, a little incentive might go a long way. For example, if they charge $15/month extra on top of my iPhone data plan to tether to the iPad, I could see keeping the iPhone vs just getting a iPad standalone and dropping my iPhone voice/data service.
     
  18. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #18
    Yes I understand that, all that I would be asking then is for AT&T to give iPad 3G users a discounted $15 250MB/month plan option for their iPhone as well.

    I pay $50 (55 incl. taxes) for broadband at home. $30 for iPhone data access (no option if I want an iPhone unless I jailbreak or whatever). Now $15 to $30 for iPad data access. God forbid I buy my wife one as well.

    That's $100-115 for data access wherever I might need it, expect on my laptop because with all that I still couldn't tether my laptop to my iPad or iPhone. That's before I even begin paying for any wireless minutes. And oh yeah, AT&T already nickel and dimes me out of $5 a month for 200 text messages and another $0.10 per text for my wife's pos flip phone. So I may decide to go 3G and not activate or just go WiFi but I won't be paying more than $30/month combined data access to AT&T because my use and budget don't justify it.

    The problem I have with that is twofold.

    1. I use my iPhone to sync my MobileMe contacts, calendars, etc. So I really don't want an el'Cheapo that I have to put names and numbers in. I also like merging calls, looking things up while on the phone or using maps when out and about which leads me to number 2.

    2. I don't want to have to carry my iPad everywhere just to get rudimentary info that I use my iPhone for or to have access to my synced calendar, etc.

    I use my iPhone too much to go without it and the iPad really doesn't replace some of its functionality and its ultraportability.
     
  19. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    #19
    I'm curious as to how many people that have issues with the iPad data from AT&T are first time "smartphone" users?

    Because i'm guessing that also makes the pricing hard to swallow, despite it being a more than fair deal in my eyes given the rest of the prices they charge normally.

    They have in effect created another class for the iPad with these prices - I'm sure the pressure will be on for it to trickle down to their laptop cards and netbooks. Time will see how long it takes.

    But the gist is, AT&T doesn't owe "you" anything because you own an iPhone. You deserve to be treated like all their other customers. And you are, except they haven't enabled tethering. But that being enabled wouldn't be free "just because you have an iPhone" - because then it would have to be free for the other Smartphone users.

    I seriously think that this deal was worked out as a compromise to saying "sure, tether your iPad to your iPhone - that will be $60 a month instead of $30. Instead, this way they can allow you a cheaper plan with more data then they offer on their other plans, at a PAYGO option.

    Have you seen the PAYGO option for cards, netbooks & MIFI at Verizon?

    http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/mobilebroadband/?page=plans (if that doesn't work i'll post a screen shot)

    Can you see why this plan is enough to drive me to AT&T and think it's good? Can you see why Verizon would be balking at matching AT&T's offer for PAYGO on the iPad? AND, you have to pay FULL PRICE for the card/mifi (i think the mifi is almost $300 - which is why it makes it basically "cheaper" for me to get the 3g iPad than to buy a mifi). You can do the Verizon plans month-to-month, but you will pay that $40 or 60 every month. I only need the $15 plan i'm sure.

    So while i seriously can appreciate the feeling of "getting the shaft" - it's really is the incredible deal that Steve touted it to be....

    As for the monthly data plan costs..... i have my own feelings on them and they should be priced how these plans are, and with the same conditions. I'm happy using my Smartphone as a dumb phone right now, saves me $30 a month! But i have an old phone and am out of contract... i don't agree with mandated data at all.
     

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  20. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    ^^ You are absolutely right. Thank you for bringing me to my senses. I now realize that I have really no need whatsoever for the 3G model of the iPad no matter how convenient it might be (because at the end of the day I would really rather be inconvenienced so I can complain about it to the one I love) and I don't want any opportunity to needlessly pay any more per month for ridiculously unnecessary things that I have lived fine without until this point in my life, and that is it totally unfair of me to ask my data provider to make any distinction between me and any other user of smartphone data plans when they are willing to do so on the iPad. Now that you have cleared that up for me, I can continue on with the realization that the only solution I can think of that would be more of a waste than paying double for iPhone and iPad 3G data access and having 1 portable device and 1 ultra-portable smartphone would be to have 3 devices: an iPod touch that replaces my iPhone but gives me all the Apps that will be on my iPad and not enough storage and at the end of the day would be better served by an iPod Classic, a smartphone that I don't use as a smartphone except that it is my phone, and an iPad with 3G. What will I carry these three things around with, a Batman/Wonder Woman belt... or a very large purse which will have lots of space since I won't have any feminine products in it.

    I feel so much better now that I don't fee lthat I am owed anything.

    I think I'll just get a 32GB WiFi only and wait for carrier exclusivity to end so I can jump the AT&T ship altogether.
     
  21. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    #21
    I can't tell how sarcastic you are being - if at all...

    But I do carry a Touch for my main "pda" - and I spend a bunch of time wishing that it was able to get on the net in places without it... then my Treo without data (because, well, the browsing experience was never great! LOL!!), and now that i have the 32gb Touch, i have been able to STOP carrying my iPod Classic (a 30gb video).

    It's a pain, but i'm pretty sure you will never be able to convince me to EVER willingly fork over $30-60 for data on a contract. My financial situation has changed drastically in the last 3 years - I just won't lock myself into a contract.

    I can only hope that this works well and forces carriers to give us these types of options on ALL DEVICES. Or at least a similar $15 lower use option.

    I get jealous when i hear about all the plans for pre-paid stuff in other countries... we are so tied to the current crap from the companies i'm not sure we will ever break free.

    BUT, i'm still willing to bet on Apple pushing HARD for this option, and AT&T not excited about it at all....
     
  22. RMXO macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Thanks for showing us Verizon's plan & pricing. Whether, AT&T comes out with a tethering plan is to be seen. AT&T $30/unlimited is actually a good deal compared to Verizon'z pricing. Maybe I missed reading it in this thread but another thing to factor in is there is no contract & you can cancel at anytime.
     
  23. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #23
    Sarcasm aside I will wait until fall at least, hoping a minor revision or iPhone/iPad OS 4.0.
     
  24. bossxii macrumors 68000

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    #24
    I hope in 2 or 3 years when LTE is mid or fully rolled out we have the option to pay for a data plan and have a wireless/microcell device at home for broadband and the ability to use it with our mobile devices. I'll pay 60, 80 or even 100 bucks for an all inclusive plan with the speeds LTE can provide. I hope this is what the future holds and may the best carrier win.
     

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