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Tethering for free with rooted phone? AT&T does not like that

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 18 Mar 2011 13:28 User comments (19)

Tethering for free with rooted phone? AT&T does not like that AT&T has moved to bully tactics in an effort to stop smartphone owners who are using wireless tethering without paying extra for a data plan.
Tethering allows users to turn their phone into a wireless hotspot using their 3G connection and allowing other devices to connect to it.

Hundreds (if not more) of AT&T subscribers received the following email this week, in which AT&T practically says "start paying for tethering or we will force you to."

Reads the email:

We've noticed your service plan may need updating.

Many AT&T customers use their smartphones as a broadband connection for other devices, like laptops, netbooks or other smartphones- a practice commonly known as tethering. Tethering can be an efficient way for our customers to enjoy the benefits of AT&T's mobile broadband network and use more than one device to stay in touch with important people and information. To take advantage of this feature, we require that in addition to a data plan, you also have a tethering plan.

Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.

If you would like to continue tethering, please log into your account online at www.wireless.att.com, or call us at 1-888-860-6789 Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. CST or Saturday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. CST, by March 27, 2011 to sign up for DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering. Here are details on the plan:

DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering
• $45 per month (this gives you 4GB in total, combining both your smartphone data plan for $25 and the tethering feature, $20)
• $10 per each additional GB thereafter, added automatically as needed
• Mobile Hotspot capabilities are included for compatible Smartphones

If we don't hear from you, we'll plan to automatically enroll you into DataPro 4GB after March 27, 2011. The new plan - whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you - will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan.

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19 user comments

118.3.2011 14:07

I do this with my Incredible thru Verizon, but it's not rooted and they haven't asked for anything yet. Funny that they would re-charge you for a data plan that you're already paying for just to access it from your computer

218.3.2011 14:25

I haven't found a need to tether yet. But I don't really feel like having such a message sent to me either.

This is similar to black cable boxes. People got away with that for a while till a method to find people was discovered. Regardless, the solution for them was tight security (all 'digital' cable boxes) and law enforcement.

I would really hope this isn't the slope we are about to follow when it comes to cell phone usage. Just imagine police tracking you down (yes, they put GPS in these phones for a reason) for using 'stolen' tethering service, or any other service.

I cannot believe we are getting charged for features that should not have been locked down in the first place.

318.3.2011 15:34

Originally posted by tatsh:
I haven't found a need to tether yet. But I don't really feel like having such a message sent to me either.

This is similar to black cable boxes. People got away with that for a while till a method to find people was discovered. Regardless, the solution for them was tight security (all 'digital' cable boxes) and law enforcement.

I would really hope this isn't the slope we are about to follow when it comes to cell phone usage. Just imagine police tracking you down (yes, they put GPS in these phones for a reason) for using 'stolen' tethering service, or any other service.

I cannot believe we are getting charged for features that should not have been locked down in the first place.
This is nothing like the little black cable boxes. The black boxes were used to illegally receive channels you did not pay for. Tethering lets me use the unlimited 3g service I pay $30 a month extra for. Also I should say, I bought my $30 unlimited data plan and used tethering before they decided to start charging a tether fee.

418.3.2011 17:13

Glad I'm on T-Mobile. I've been tethering from my G2 for the past 4 months with no additional fees or data caps. I usually use around 5GB.

AT&T is the worst for plans/pricing and value. Their customer satisfaction is already the lowest among the 4 major US carriers. I guess people don't want to leave their iPhones or unlock them for T-Mobile and give up their 2GB limited 3G data.

Expect Verizon to follow suite on this move shortly as AT&T is usually the first to set new anti-consumer policies while they follow.

518.3.2011 17:36

Originally posted by ZeusAV:
Glad I'm on T-Mobile. I've been tethering from my G2 for the past 4 months with no additional fees or data caps. I usually use around 5GB.

AT&T is the worst for plans/pricing and value. Their customer satisfaction is already the lowest among the 4 major US carriers. I guess people don't want to leave their iPhones or unlock them for T-Mobile and give up their 2GB limited 3G data.

Expect Verizon to follow suite on this move shortly as AT&T is usually the first to set new anti-consumer policies while they follow.
Unlimited plans are available, but even as much as I use my iPhone, I never eclipse 1gb let alone 2gb, so I dropped down to the cheaper plan.

WTF could you possibly download off a 3g network that would require more than 2gb anyway? You might as well get AOL dialup for the cost/performance!

618.3.2011 18:10

My business requires me to use the internet on my laptop sometimes on the go. But I know there are some people with AT&T who tether and attempt to use their 3G data plan as a replacement for home internet. That's when you get people who rack up 15-20GB of data in one month. Using the phone only it's pretty hard to go over the 2GB limit.

The best way for this to work out for both AT&T and the consumer is to allow their users 2GB to do whatever they want with it. If they want to tether then so be it, just stop them once they hit 2GB and it won't slowdown the network.

My biggest issue with this is the additional charge just to be able to tether. Allowing tethering costs AT&T nothing at all so an extra fee for it is just pure profit. It's similar to the way they overcharge their users for text messaging. Their pricing is why I dropped them a couple of years ago.

718.3.2011 18:18

Originally posted by ZeusAV:
My business requires me to use the internet on my laptop sometimes on the go. But I know there are some people with AT&T who tether and attempt to use their 3G data plan as a replacement for home internet. That's when you get people who rack up 15-20GB of data in one month. Using the phone only it's pretty hard to go over the 2GB limit.

The best way for this to work out for both AT&T and the consumer is to allow their users 2GB to do whatever they want with it. If they want to tether then so be it, just stop them once they hit 2GB and it won't slowdown the network.

My biggest issue with this is the additional charge just to be able to tether. Allowing tethering costs AT&T nothing at all so an extra fee for it is just pure profit. It's similar to the way they overcharge their users for text messaging. Their pricing is why I dropped them a couple of years ago.


They work like a bank. Banks don't really stop you from going negative. If they did, they would not be able to charge you a fee. Similarly, it's not in AT&T's interest to block after any limit has passed.

818.3.2011 18:59

They are trying call high data users bluff. Another way for AT&T to make money:

1.-I told AT&T that I stream Sirius all day. They said my plan can stay the same since i don't "tether" lol

2.-I helped my boss through this one... I had him call AT&T and explain that he received a message about something called "tethering" and to act dumb and explain that he is a heavy pandora and Netflix user and doesn't understand why he's going to be billed more for it. Bottom line they couldn't prove it so they apologized and removed issue from his account with no changes.

Good luck to everyone. (my boss was on 4.2.1 and he is using about 25gb per month)

AT&T is hoping people will either ignore the message or call to apologize (Don't act guilty and you'll be fine)

Just tell them you are using an app that uses a large amount of data. (netflix, pandora, etc) and they accept your answer.

3.-I use up way more data than the average person. I run radio through my iphone ten hours a day. I have an unlimited plan. They can suck it.

.......In most countries making people pay twice for what they payed already is illegal and is called fraud. AT&T doesn’t have enough brand credibility to be milking its customers like this.

An App called MyWi allows you to tether without explicit permission.

Using your iPhone visit this website
http://whatsmyuseragent.com/
Copy the string you get (That's your useragent)

Go to your computer, open Firefox and use this addon to modify your UserAgent
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-...
Now AT&T will think you're using your iPhone..

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Mar 2011 @ 20:45

Live Free or Die.
The rule above all the rules is: Survive !
Capitalism: Funnel most of the $$$ to the already rich.

918.3.2011 20:23
atomicxl
Inactive

It stinks that they're charging you twice to access something that you've already paid to access. They should come up with a new plan that takes into account the usage someone would get with unlimited internet that was their primary source of internet vs what a smartphone only user would typically use.

1018.3.2011 22:29

Wow...and im sure AT&T still wonders why they ranked where they are in customer satisfaction.

1118.3.2011 22:34

Originally posted by SProdigy:

WTF could you possibly download off a 3g network that would require more than 2gb anyway? You might as well get AOL dialup for the cost/performance!
I stream netflix movies to my laptop with my rooted droid...they are not even in the lowest quality...but they are not the highest quality either...but they look decent enough on a laptop screen. One time I used about 20GB in 3 days because my cable internet was down, and I was just streaming movies for background noise because the cable tv was out too.


1218.3.2011 23:28

Youtube videos and Pandora I putting my damn 3G unlimited plan to use!

1319.3.2011 1:20

Wait so you have to pay to use their service that you already pay for but to use it on a different device? That makes sense...

1419.3.2011 1:26

like srsly again a company telling the consumer how you cant use something your paying for.

1519.3.2011 5:34

Sony should release their PSphone on AT&T; they have similar positions on what you are allowed to do with the things you buy from them.



1619.3.2011 9:07

Originally posted by Mrguss:

Go to your computer, open Firefox and use this addon to modify your UserAgent
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-...
Now AT&T will think you're using your iPhone..
That link is broke, didn't work for me.

1720.3.2011 0:14

Originally posted by xnmalletx:
Originally posted by Mrguss:

Go to your computer, open Firefox and use this addon to modify your UserAgent
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-...
Now AT&T will think you're using your iPhone..
That link is broke, didn't work for me.
Try:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/user-agent-switcher/
http://techpatterns.com/forums/about304.html
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Mar 2011 @ 0:22

Live Free or Die.
The rule above all the rules is: Survive !
Capitalism: Funnel most of the $$$ to the already rich.

1820.3.2011 9:27

Much better, thanks.

1921.3.2011 10:15

I've tethered with MyWi for 2 years on my iPhone and I didn't get a warning email. I guess they are just going after those who really "abuse" it. I'm usually under 5GB a month but I've hit close to 10GB a few times.

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