15
May
htc-sensation

Remember the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the HTC Sensation 4G that we told you about yesterday? Turns out that it does more than just bring ICS - it also kills free tethering.

Wait, what? T-Mobile had free tethering? Technically, no. But in reality, yes. Here's how it used to work: T-Mobile offered a tethering service for around $15 per month. Somehow, though, there was a "technical limitation" that actually prevented them from charging for the service on Android devices (though Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T have never had a problem taking our money for the same thing). With the Ice Cream Sandwich update, however, they finally figured out how to put the nail in that coffin, so users who want to continue using the tethering service will have to start actually paying for it post-update.

2012-05-15_11h23_52

So, basically, if you frequently use the tethering service on your Sensation 4G, get ready to shell out some extra money each month, or learn to live without your hotspot. Welcome to the new world.

This change goes into effect with the Sensation's ICS update, with other devices to follow.

[PCmag]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/K7L3BIL7OSAYG4QQTPQYB4RY7Y Mark

    Or just root your phone

  • http://twitter.com/WillieFDiazSF William Diaz

    I can honestly say this..

    MyTouch 4G never worked for free tethering, and even when I paid for it, it didnt work. Thats one reason I was able to get out of my contract, since my actual rate plan had the smartphone hotspot included. Cant provide the service, then they must release you. 

    My friend on Prepaid Monthly4G however stated that on his WildFire he was ALWAYS able to use free tethering without paying for the plan. 

    T-Mobile in reality has no idea how to fix the issue, because some of the issue is software, others hardware and even more are network/billing issues that prevent or allow tethering. Id like to see how many people update for ICS the T-Mobile way...rather than use Cyanogenmod.

    • Goldenpins

      Ive had a mytouch 4g since launch and always had free tethering. Its not updated to ICS but even when they started this around the gingerbread launch my tethering has worked. When i went from 2GB to 5 they added "free tethering". Which i thought was strange because mytouch 4g was advertised for having it built in for free... just using your own data allowance. Ive had free tethering since forever

    • nmw407

      I have a MyTouch 4G and since I've never had a problem tethering, and never had to pay for any extra tethering plan. I know someone who had the HTC Amaze and his wifi hot spot wouldn't work unless he was on the $15 plan. 

      Any new phone I get will have to have an unlocked bootloader, rooted, and wifi tether for root users in it if I decide to upgrade.... but I'm going to be clutching my MyTouch 4G with free tethering for a long time! 

    • GazaIan

      "
      MyTouch 4G never worked for free tethering, and even when I paid for it, it didnt work. "

      Nope, nope, nope. Mine worked just fine, and I don't get charged for using it. I've used almost every tethering tool, ranging from the ones bundled with the myTouch 4G, and the Sensation 4G, and I've been able to use tethering all I wanted, no charge at all.

  • T-Mobile

    It is just a system apl that runs in the background. Root, and disable it. Not a big deal.

  • GazaIan

    T-Mobile doesn't charge me for tethering. This is one of the biggest reasons I just can't leave T-Mobile, they're too nice. And they're a GSM Carrier.

  • http://meatcastle.com/ Youre My Boy Bloo

    Cameron,

    What exactly does this mean:

    "they finally figured out how to pull the nail in that coffin"

    This phrase confuses and frightens me.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Should've said "put the nail in that coffin." 

      Fixed.

  • Cuvis the Conqueror

    This is why God invented Cyanogenmod.

  • http://profiles.google.com/scottoldfield Scott Oldfield

    I've got free tethering on my GNex on T-Mo. I'm pretty sure it's in my contract...I guess I'd better check, huh?

  • tB

    I have unlimited everything + free tethering for 89.99 (minus my discount) that they put onto my contract when they were running a promo a few months back. I doubt & hope this doesn't effect that?! I'm thinking this is to prevent people from using things like easy tether & the like, yes?

  • hdperez37

    Hi! I have an HTC Sensation 4G and have a T-Mobile Plan of everything unlimited (minutes, text and data (data is until I reach 5GB then it slow down for the rest of the month, but free of charge)) Will this update and the tethering/hotspot new charging affect me too??? Thanks and sorry for my english.

  • hdperez37

    Hi! I have an HTC Sensation 4G and have a T-Mobile Plan of everything unlimited (minutes, text and data (data is until I reach 5GB then it slow down for the rest of the month, but free of charge)) Will this update and the tethering/hotspot new charging affect me too??? Thanks and sorry for my english.

  • Cutiepie-100-dede

    So what happens if you don't upgrade to ICS? Will you still be able to use it for free? And how do you root the phone and what are the Pros/Cons to it? I really want to root my one. :P

  • Cutiepie-100-dede

    So what happens if you don't upgrade to ICS? Will you still be able to use it for free? And how do you root the phone and what are the Pros/Cons to it? I really want to root my one. :P

    • Simon Belmont

      Answer to first question: Yes.

      Answer to second question: Research, research, and research some more.

    • Simon Belmont

      Answer to first question: Yes.

      Answer to second question: Research, research, and research some more.

  • Simon Belmont

    At least that clears up whether it's mandatory or not. A lot of sites have insinuated that adding the $15 a month plan was REQUIRED to get the ICS update for the Sensation 4G.

    I find it odd that T-Mobile couldn't charge for tethering pre-ICS though. Weird.

  • Simon Belmont

    At least that clears up whether it's mandatory or not. A lot of sites have insinuated that adding the $15 a month plan was REQUIRED to get the ICS update for the Sensation 4G.

    I find it odd that T-Mobile couldn't charge for tethering pre-ICS though. Weird.

  • Chris

    For some disquieting reason, my Galaxy Nexus (unlocked, of course) on T-Mobile just started telling me to sign up for tethering to use the internet, literally right in the middle of browsing. It will no longer let me tether, just sending me to the redirect page every time. No update was installed, nor should T-Mobile be sending me updates.

  • http://twitter.com/MattLavieri Matt

    I am currently in Bellevue and for some time yesterday all I got was a redirect to go add their 15 dollar tethering plan, It has since been fixed.

  • Todd Copeland

    I'm not sure this article is correct:

    http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/cell-phone-plans-detail.aspx?tp=tb1&rateplan=Classic-Overage-Free-Premium-Plan

    "Share on the go with your tablet, netbook, or laptop."

    and

    http://support.t-mobile.com/message/136686#136686

    " In our system, we have to provision your device to allow it, even if the
    application is built into the phone. That being said, our 5GB data package does
    include tethering at no additional cost. "

    • Chris

      I have the 5 GB plan and they've blocked my tethering access to everything except Facebook, it seems (on my GNex). From what I've seen posted though, the filter seems to be extremely inconsistent, and changes by the moment.

  • Tacomaphil

    Just updated my Sensation 4G to ICS and tethering continues to work same as before. I have Unlimited plan on Tmobile and to not pay for tethering. 

  • Jay Ryan

    gsm galaxy nexus FTW

  • mnmsparks

    I'm currently using tethering to connect @ the house now since AT&T does not even offer 1.5 DSL in my part of town. I am sorely tempted to go with a Galaxy note2 and t-mo's unlimited plan...
    but will I have to pay? Does the note 2 have tethering? even @ $15.00 that's cheaper than $33 I used to pay when they did have service here...

  • Roberto V

    Pretty much all tethering apps worked on my galaxy s 2. Until I decided to use an app that tethers my phone to my laptop as soon as I connect them via USB. Then 2 minutes later t mobile put my tethering on lockdown :(

    No matter what tethering app I used, I would get redirected to a page telling me that in order to use tethering I have to upgrade my plan to include tethering.

    coincidence?

    I think NOT >:#

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