When AT&T resurrected unlimited data plans, it also introduced a feature it had shunned the first time around: letting subscribers use their phone as a mobile hotspot (AKA “tethering”), but only up to 10 GB per month. But there’s a flaw in AT&T’s execution that prevents users from knowing how much tethering data they’ve actually used. [More]
Tethering is using your smartphone as a mobile wi-fi hotspot. It’s a handy way to get online when you’re, say, stuck at the dentist’s office and need to turn in some work. It’s also against the rules for customers with legacy unlimited-data plans from AT&T, for obvious reasons. One customer who has one of these plans is currently fighting with AT&T: they want him to stop tethering, and he says that he isn’t. [More]
Heads up, mobile data hogs: T-Mobile is on to your tethering shenanigans and your testing the limits of what “unlimited data” means. In a blog post, CEO John Legere says that the company plans to go after its biggest “network abusers,” and it will begin today. What’s “abuse,” according to Legere? Using as much as two terabytes of data per month. [More]
Amy may be the first reader in Consumerist history to complain about being left on an unlimited mobile data plan. She has tethering on her smartphone, which lets her use her phone as a mobile Internet hotspot. Yes, apps exist that can help you get around this limitation. Officially, if you want to tether, you generally have to pay for a data plan that includes it. Amy was paying for a $30/month plan, but learned that she was grandfathered in, and a cheaper plan existed. Sure, the cheaper plan only includes two gigabytes of data, but she never uses that much anyway. It costs $10 less. She wanted to alert her fellow Sprint customers to this change, and complain that the company didn’t let her know she had an opportunity to give them less money in exchange for capped data.
Good news for people who enjoy tethering their smartphones, but dislike having to pay their phone company extra for the privilege. Well, as long as those people are customers of Verizon. Who have Android devices. And aren’t grandfathered onto an unlimited data plan. Yesterday, the Federal Communication Commission announced that Verizon Wireless has to allow customers access to third-party tethering applications. Verizon insists that they totally never told Google to withhold tethering apps from their customers in the Android Market/Google Play. But they’re “voluntarily” paying a $1.25 million fine as a result of the investigation, and have agreed to train all employees on why they can’t block users from downloading any (legal) apps.
Since the iPhone was introduced, people have been jailbreaking the device so they can tether their computers and other devices to it to access the internet. But in the last few says, a number of readers have written us after receiving an e-mail from AT&T indicating that the Death Star is onto their jailbreaking ways and would kindly like you to stop.