iPhone gulps AT&T network capacity

IPhone gulps AT&T network capacity 'Tethering,' multimedia messaging service for 3G S version delayed

By Leslie Cauley USA TODAY

NEW YORK -- AT&T's wireless network is having a hard time keeping up with the Apple iPhone, a top wireless analyst says.

That's the reason AT&T isn't offering multimedia messaging and "tethering" options for the new $199 iPhone 3G S -- lack of network juice, says Roger Entner, head of telecom research for Nielsen.

When the iPhone 3G S was unveiled last week, Apple said it would offer both those features. "Tethering" allows a wireless device to serve as a broadband modem to provide over-the-air support for laptops, PCs and the like. Multimedia messaging, or MMS, enables users to attach video clips, audio files, pictures, etc. to text messages.

But when the list of global carriers offering the features was unveiled, AT&T wasn't on it. AT&T is the exclusive U.S. distributor.

AT&T says it plans to offer MMS "by the end of the summer," but it has so far declined to say when tethering might become available. As of Tuesday, that was still the case. The 3G S goes on sale Friday.


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