I find it disturbing that AT&T is STILL testing the Playbook bridging app. I believe it is because they (AT&T) want a way to charge users an extra fee above and beyond what is being charged now for smartphones and data packages and tethering fees.
I located this article from xfm news. The article is from 5/10:
AT&T may be putting the kibosh on an application for BlackBerry smartphones that allows users to connect their new BlackBerry PlayBook tablets to AT&T's 3G wireless network for free.Greed, the american big business Standard Operating Procedure.
AT&T has confirmed that the app that allows BlackBerry users to pair their RIM smartphones with the new PlayBook tablet is not currently available on AT&T BlackBerry phones, a fact that limits the functionality of the device for AT&T BlackBerry customers.
AT&T said the app isn't supported yet on its network because it hasn't fully tested the app. But some people suspect that AT&T may be unhappy with how the app allows BlackBerry users to bypass its $20 tethering fee.
"We are working with RIM to offer the 'bridge' app to AT&T customers," AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said. "We've only just received the app and we're testing it now to make sure it will deliver a great experience to our customers."
The "bridge" app, as RIM calls it, allows PlayBook users to pair their tablets with their BlackBerry smartphones. In essence it lets them get their BlackBerry e-mails, calendars, tasks, and contacts. It also offers access to the BlackBerry Messenger service. When the devices are separated, all of that potentially sensitive content stays on the phone and isn't left on the tablet. RIM says this is an important security feature for corporate IT managers.
One of the perks of the bridge app is that it allows users to tether their BlackBerry smartphones to the PlayBook to get 3G wireless data access. The initial version of the PlayBook, which went on sale today, only offers Wi-Fi access.
Last week at the launch party of the new PlayBook in New York City, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said that the "bridging" app for the PlayBook was a big differentiator for the Playbook over either the iPad or other Android tablets that are sold through carriers, because the "bridge" app allows BlackBerry users to get 3G data access on their tablets without paying an additional fee.
AT&T charges $20 for tethering, which is in addition to the $25 2GB data plan for the smartphone data plan. Verizon also charges an additional $20 a month for 2GB of data to tether a tablet to its smartphones. This is in addition to the $30 a month data plan that's required for the smartphone....
I have found this article on several different sites that deal with wireless technology.