While US iPhone users are stuck waiting for AT&T to get their act together, Rogers in Canada has stunned iPhone users by not actively trying to screw users right out of the gate as they did when announcing the data plan pricing for the iPhone last year. After a high-profile backlash, Rogers was forced to offer more reasonable data plans for iPhones, and it appears they've learned their lesson this time.
As we all know by now, tethering is built in to the iPhone 3.0 firmware, and as long as you are on a data plan that gives you at least 1 GB of throughput per month, you can use iPhone tethering for no additional charge in Canada until at least the end of 2009. It's unclear what will happen next year, and it seems that Rogers isn't sure yet either. But rather than simply not allow it while they figure it out (as AT&T is doing), they chose to allow it.
My guess is the execs at Rogers are doing a few things here:
- Looking to increase goodwill after the disastrous data plan fiasco last year
- Wanting to watch usage patterns to see just how popular tethering turns out to be, to help them determine price points
- Using the drug dealer method of marketing -- get people hooked, then jack up the price
Of course, this is assuming they will revert to their evil ways; it would be nice to think that Rogers has actually turned over a new leaf and wants to provide reasonable service for a reasonable price. My guess is that most users of tethering are like me in that they want to have access to it for emergencies, but don't actually need it on a day-to-day basis. In that regard, allowing tethering as part of the not-inexpensive <1 GB data plans that Rogers provides makes reasonable sense.
So, does anyone think Rogers will continue to do what makes reasonable sense next year when it comes to tethering, or will the lure of a few extra dollars be too much for them to resist?