WHAT’S THE MEANING
Tethering is a feature in mobile phones which allows its users to utilize their handhelds as modems, effectively sharing their internet connections with other computers and mobile devices “tethered” to their own. Connections can be done via wireless LAN, physical cable connection, or through Bluetooth connections. This feature can allow mobile devices to be used as portable routers if done through wireless LAN.
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that despite its rather recent popular use, the concept of wireless internet tethering and hotspots were first proposed in 1993? Henrik Sjödin, during the Networld+ Interop conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, proposed the idea of public access and wireless local area networks. Although the term hotspot wasn’t used, it was the first time that the practice was discussed. The first commercial venture which attempted to create public LANs was spearheaded by a firm founded in Texas, known as Public Local Area Network Communications, PLANCOM for short.
Although the firm was dissolved and two of its founders went their separate ways to create MobileStar Networks, public access locations were given initially to Starbucks, Hilton Hotels, and American Airlines. During 2001, the company was sold to Deutsche Telecom, who then promptly renamed the firm to T-Mobile Hotspot, thus solidifying the term hotspot into everyday language which refers to locations where public wireless LAN connections are available.
Nowadays, wireless internet connection and data sharing have become more commonplace, even more widely used than ethernet cables and physical data sharing, oftentimes being used to download applications, stream movies and music, and play games.