AT&T: 'Fine Tuning' Still Required Before Offering Internet Tethering Via iPhone

The Wall Street Journal reports that, given AT&T's recent move to allow VoIP services over its wireless network for the iPhone, users are wondering whether support for Internet tethering via the iPhone may also be launched in the near future. Tethering and MMS were promised as future features by AT&T when iPhone OS 3.0 was launched in mid-June, and MMS was finally enabled late last month with no update on the tethering situation at that time. AT&T is continuing, however, to reiterate its position that additional network upgrades are required before it can support tethering via the iPhone.

An [sic] spokesman for the wireless carrier, however, said that tethering remains unavailable and stuck with the company's prior statement: "Whenever we offer new features, we want to offer the best possible customer experience. For tethering, we need to do some additional fine tuning to our systems and networks so that we do deliver a great experience."

He declined to say when it would be available, though Ralph de la Vega, who runs AT&T's wireless unit, has previously said that iPhone tethering would be possible sometime this year.

Tethering is officially supported on wireless networks in some countries, and allows users to connect their computers to the Internet via their iPhone's mobile connection via Bluetooth or USB.