iPhone 3.0 to support data tethering through Telstra, Optus and Vodafone

Of the many new features in the fresh-baked iPhone 3.0 OS which Apple will release on June 26th as a free upgrade for iPhone and iPhone 3G users one of the traits most welcomed by road warriors will be data tethering.

This piece of technical trickery which has long been a part of most competing smartphones allows the iPhone to be linked to a notebook over USB or Wi-Fi and serve as a mobile wireless broadband modem through which the notebook can access the Internet via the 3G phone network.

The iPhone 3G supports HSDPA 3.6 for real-world throughput of up to 1.5-2.0 Mbps while the new iPhone 3GS can handle HSDPA 7.2 for an average 2.5-3.0 Mbps.

Telstra Optus and Vodafone were all listed on a slide presented during this morning’s WWDCV keynote presentation which showcases the many iPhone carriers around the world which would offer data tethering.

Telstra Optus and Vodafone are among the world’s many tether-friendly telcos for the
 forthcoming iPhone 3.0 OS (pic courtesy of Engadget)

Yay for the home team because for once we’re getting something ahead of the US. Yes AT&T – the iPhone’s sole carrier in the US – was a noticeably absent from the roster of tether-friendly telcos.

Apple’s announcement during this morning’s keynote that AT&T would not support Internet-tethering on the release of iPhone 3.0 software and the 3.0-bearing iPhone 3GS drew a rare salvo of “boos” from the usually upbeat happy-clapper audience.

AT&T says it will offer a “tethering plan” at some stage but even the language indicates it will charge customers extras for a service which other carriers around the world offer for free.

After all as long as people are using the iPhone as a makeshift laptop modem they’re still chewing through the monthly data allowance and moving closer to those lovely excess usage fees.