It could only last so long. Boy Genius Report received a tip today that T-Mobile USA is making preparations to follow other carriers' foot steps and is going to start charging for tethering on November 3rd. The $14.99 monthly plan is a surcharge on top of an obligatory $19.99 Unlimited Web plan, so don't go thinking you can replace one with the other.
T-Mobile was once praised for turning a blind eye to device tethering and portable WiFi hotspot functionality, but times are tough, so what better way to make money than charging customers for the same data twice? As a blissfully ignorant European resident, this is a slightly alien concept to me, but hey, if all the other networks can get away with it, why shouldn't T-Mo? At least it's not charging $20 like AT&T for iPhone tethering or $30 like Sprint on the EVO 4G. Feel free to leave your Molly Wood-esque rants in the comments.
Leaked info printed below for your parsing pleasure:
Tethering and Wi-Fi Sharing Add-On Feature Launches November 3
On November 3, T-Mobile will launch a tethering and Wi-Fi sharing add-on feature. This feature will allow customers to use their phone as a modem, enabling them to connect a computer or Wi-Fi capable device to the Web using our 3G or HSPA+ network.
By adding this add-on feature, which will cost $14.99/month, customers will gain access to the Web when they are on the go and wherever T-Mobile has coverage. Although most customers will use their laptop to access our network through their device, they will also be able to connect using any Wi-Fi capable device, like gaming devices, non-T-Mobile tablets like the iPad, and music players. Customers can make the phone-as-modem connection using a USB cable, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi sharing.
- Customers must have a 3G or HSPA+ compatible device to utilize the Tethering/Wi-Fi sharing feature.
- Customers must have an Unlimited Web feature with an MRC of $19.95 or higher.
- Customers must add the $14.99 Tethering/Wi-Fi add-on feature.
- This is a separate add-on feature and in addition to the Unlimited Web feature.
- Available for postpaid and FlexPay customers. Note: FlexPay customers will need to change their Unlimited Web feature in order for the new tethering add-on feature to work.
Tethering/Wi-Fi sharing will be ideal for customers who:
- Need occasional access to the Web using a PC or other device.
- Want a connection to the Web on-the-go, wherever T-Mobile has coverage.
- Don’t see the need or want the expense of a complete mobile broadband experience, like T-Mobile’s webConnect. Note: customers who intend to use their laptops to access the Web frequently, or use a high amount of data, should consider a webConnect plan.
- Customers who purchase a T-Mobile mobile broadband product like the upcoming Galaxy Tab should activate with a webConnect plan to ensure the best experience.
- The set-up process will be determined by the type of device customers own and will be different for every manufacturer.
- The data accumulated while tethering will count towards customers’ 5GB data speed reduction threshold limit.
- Because T-Mobile Terms & Conditions have not permitted tethering in the past, those customers who have configured their device for tethering will receive a message on their handset advising them they will need to add the new add-on feature to continue using their device as a modem.
- Be aware dealers can begin selling the Tetherng/Wi-Fi add-on feature beginning November 3.
- Review the Grab & Go for additional information.
- Beginning November 3, refer to policy pages: T-MobileNews > In-Store Polices and Procedures