AT&T has finally revealed how much it will cost to tether an iPhone or another smartphone to your laptop to share a 3G data connection: About $20. But that’s only part of the story, because that’s $20 you’ll have to spend on top of a $25/month data plan that provides you up to 2GB of data transfers per month. In other words, the total cost is $45 per month.
And it turns out that is also only part of the story. Because on June 7th when AT&T introduces its new data plans which include a tethering option, the company will also be phasing out its unlimited data plans.
Existing users don’t have to make the jump to a new, limited data plan — unless they want tethering capabilities.
AT&T suggests that 98% of their users won’t be affected, because they regularly use less than 2GB of data per month. But that’s largely because even streaming audio doesn’t use up all that much data and there aren’t a ton of streaming video solutions for mobile devices. Once iPhone OS 4.0 is released and customers actually start using their iPhones as modems for their laptop, we could see data usage climb pretty sharply as people try to use their laptops to watch videos, download large files, and do all those other things people like to do on a laptop.
You can find a full breakdown of the new data plans at AT&T.