If you're a current or prospective T-Mobile customer and you're partial to using that data connection for more than one device at a time, there's good news. The gents at TmoNews got their hands on an internal memo that outlines bumps in T-Mobile's tethering policies that went into effect yesterday. Before yesterday, the $70 unlimited data plan included 500MB of of Smart Phone Mobile Hotspot (tethered data) and an option for a $30 2.5GB add-on. Now you can get 2.5GB for $20 extra, saving $10 a month.


But wait, there's more! The $30 add-on has been bumped from 2.5GB to 4.5 GB, and the $40 add-on now gets 6.5GB of sweet, sweet USB or Wi-Fi tethering action. Existing customers will be migrated to the higher tiers for the same price - you'll have to manually set a lower tethering tier if you want to save a bit of money. That's combined with the 500MB of tethered data that's included on T-Mobile plans by default. If you approach your tethering limit, T-Mobile will call you with an upsell to the next-highest tier.

Even T-Mobile seems a little confused as to when and how the bumped tethering options will go into effect. According to a T-Mobile representative I spoke with, the plans are not actually available yet. An Android Police writer who uses T-Mobile saw no options at all for tethering on his $70 unlimited plan. (Perhaps the carrier is actively upgrading its site.) Throw in the general uncertainty of T-Mobile's data tethering tracking vis-à-vis user agents, and it's more than a little confusing. Give customer service a call if you're having trouble trying to figure out your options, but realize that they may not be able to talk about these new options yet.

Source: TmoNews

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Adam Bell

    Shouldn't "unlimited data" be unlimited with no restrictions on how our use the connection?

    • Skrill Dilly

      It is. Unlimited on your phone. The product you use from them. The other products aren't theirs. The more you use, the more network structure gets used and weighed down by people cancelling home internet = Higher Prices.

      • pfmiller

        In other words, it's not unlimited.

        • kimberly537

          as Catherine answered I am taken by surprise that a single mom can earn $5527 in 1 month on the computer. read this post here w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m

        • Matthew Fry

          In other words, it's limited unlimited not unlimited unlimited. Wireless internet may be the way the peoples of the future connect on all devices to the Internet but for now you get your unlimited phone, your unlimited home, and be happy that we at least have unlimited options available in these two places (I'm looking at your Verizon).

    • PhoenixPath

      Unlimited applies to the mobile device tied to your number only.

      Everyone should know this by now.

      It's not new. It's not a surprise.

  • kabloink

    Meh, it's still ridiculous to pay twice for using data on your unlimited plan.

    • QwietStorm

      All this time I thought it was already included (unlimited). I will never understand why these carriers think it's ok to treat a data plan and tethering as 2 different entities. You're getting my money regardless. Good on T-Mobile for initiating the 'un-carrier' route, but they should have went full circle.

      • Freak4Dell

        It's unlimited for your phone. It's not meant to replace your home ISP, which a lot of people end up doing. I'll get a lot of people saying "unlimited is unlimited" but that's simply not the case. Only on capped plans should phone data and tethering data be one and the same.

        • David Shields

          I drive a truck for a living, so I am on the road for weeks at a time. I use nearly 30GB/month with just my phone. What does it matter what device I use to consume the data? I called them and like stupid robots they keep pushing the line, ”there is only so much data allowed for tethering.” Let the data free T-Mobile. They are even able to detect VPN usage somehow. T-Mobile is the only nationwide carrier with actual unlimited data even though their network is horrible, so what am I supposed to do?

          • Mark Souza

            they have share holders.. theyre just trying to appease those shareholders.. nothing new here

  • Ashish

    Is T-Mobile doing deep packet inspection as AT&T is doing?

    • Simon Belmont

      I don't think so. I think they examine what UA strings are being used, and even then I think they only do it if excessive amounts of data is being consumed (something that can happen more readily on a desktop computer). So, if you're just tethering here and there, they won't care. Just a guess.

      It's actually sort of funny that they use UA strings because they can easily be changed. But, I guess it works.

      • Tim Gueusquin

        More than likely they don't bother doing more than that. The general public has no concept of what a UA string is or that they can even set it up. And the people who do, they know they will just find another way around it. Why waste time and resources.

        • Simon Belmont

          Agreed. It probably blocks out 95% of what they need to (the general public).

          The rest (hardcore users), are in the vast minority. Well said.

  • Maxime MARAIS

    OMG ! This is SOOOOO expensive. In France, you may access plans including unlimited data (3GB/month at full HSPDA speed, then reduced speed) + unlimited phone calls + unlimited SMS + unlimited MMS for less than €20 a month (about $26). These data can be used for any usage : from your phone or from any device connected to your phone (tethering, including VoIP, P2P usages). And this plan can be interrupted when you want (no 12 or 24-month plan).

    • Willie D

      You also have to pay to call another mobile phone, we don't.

      • Maxime MARAIS

        We don't neither. Mobile phone calls in France are included and unlimited as well as and many international calls like all European countries and both mobile and fixed lines to USA (including Alaska and Hawaii)

    • Eli Staroverov

      We get it your shit is cheap. What's the point of your post again? Oh and btw this includes a little something called 4G LTE. Yes, it's more expensive to live on the cutting edge.

      • Maxime MARAIS

        We also have 4G LTE this being deployed here in several frequencies : 3.1 GHZ, 1800 MHZ, 900 MHz, 800 MHz and soon in 700 MHz. All this more or less for the same price. Do you, too?

        • Eli Staroverov

          Look I'm not saying your service is inferior. As far as I'm concerned all U.S. telecoms overcharge tremendously, but our government refuses to get involved so there is no alternatives. That being the case IMO T-Mobile has some of the best value/$ but I understand that doesn't apply to everyone as I live in an urban environment and my understanding is TMO is not so good for rural residents. My point still stands though, you mentioning what service you get and what price you get it for has nothing to do with this article/T-Mobile/U.S.A.

          • Maxime MARAIS

            You did. Weren't you talking about a cheap shit? :) Regarding the fact US operators overcharge is not linked with the fact the US Government may get involved or not. Here, in France, there was enough space in the frequency spectrum to let a new operator (the 4th) operate a mobile network. This new operator broke the market with very aggressive prices and other operators had not choice but reduce their prices in order to remain in the race (2 years ago, the same plan was more than €100 a month). There was no government intervention for this. The government even worried about the effects of so low prices on employment.
            By the way, it has something to do with this article. As you may know, France is a tiny country compared to the USA. This means there are less customers for the same amount of infrastructures (emitters, networks...). And as most of the mobile networks are now full IP networks, it costs almost nothing to carry data, even mobile, and I still can't understand how and why US operators charge for tethering: the cost to produce 1 Gb of data is the same, whether it's used directly by your phone or indirectly by a device connected to your phone through a shared connection.

          • Eli Staroverov

            I'm not disagreeing. Charging for tethering is the main reason I root. And I'm sorry if you misunderstood what I said, but I was not calling your service "shit". I was just talking about it in general. You could easily substitute my "shit" for "service"

    • jesuguru

      Yeah but we have cheaper gas ("petrol"). So there.

      • Maxime MARAIS

        There was a TV commercial in France in the 80's : "Here in Switzerland we don't have cheese, but we have ideas". :) Same today in France were mobile phone is the cheapest in Europe. :)

  • Jeremy David Sandock

    What a ripoff! In Israel I pay 99 Shekels a month (about 27.50$USD). This give me unlimited phone calls, unlimited international calls, and unlimited SMS/MMS. The data plan is 3GB but if I pass the 3GB, they just lower my speed. No one here charges me an extra $20-$60 for f-ing tethering. How can they get away with such theft!?!?

    • Cory_S

      Well... this is for the Unlimited plan. All the tiered plans work in the same way yours does.

    • harhar

      Israeli talking about theft, lol.

    • Mark Souza

      because people are willing to sign the agreements.

  • PhineasJW

    Tethering still works just fine on my Nexus 4 -- without their special plans.

    • Rey Perez

      I wonder if this is specific to tethering a PC? As a test, I tethered my Nexus 10 to my Nexus 4 well beyond the free 500MB given under the $70 plan. I mean, I was purposely doing it, since I never really use the tablet away from home. On my bill the usage showed up as normal usage. Netflix, Google music, youtube, all worked fine. I probably used about 1GB. It's nice to know that I can but I rarely will.

      • Andrew

        I think you are correct. They are mainly looking for PC/Mac web browser user-agents to detect as tethering.

        • hjkhy

          If you use Chrome they cant seem to spot you, especially on linux. IE gets caught right away

  • ケビン ボウイ

    I love my unlimited plan. People shouldn't be paying for things like this. I work around the system , I rooted my phone and use a 3rd party app called 'WiFi tether(root)' and for chrome, I use a custom user-agent to fool the T-Mobile servers in thinking that I'm using my phone. Fight the system!

    • wjrandon

      Thanks for sharing, we'll block that method tomorrow.
      - Regards T-Mobile

      • ケビン ボウイ

        Haha, T-Mobile can damn near try. If they do, do it, I would have to applaud them. Then the next step that I would take is completely hide my IP address.

    • H@P

      I *hate* mobile themed web pages on my phone, so I changed my Chrome user-agent to a desktop. After a few months, I start landing on a T-Mobile HotSpot sign-up page. Took me a bit to realize it was the user-agent getting flagged. Really, T-Mobile? You use the user-agent to tell if I'm tethering? That just... sad.

      • ケビン ボウイ

        You could also try using Hotspot shield apps. They get the job done and Completely take you off the grid. Sometimes I use the app for friends who need to use my Wi-fi(sharing is caring) The only down-side to it, is that you can download torrents while the hotspot is running.

      • Simon Belmont

        That's pretty sad. I wonder how long you have to be using a desktop UA string before they notice (by the looks of it, in your case, a few months).

        Especially considering you weren't tethering in your situation. Pretty hilarious, actually, considering how easy it is to change UA strings in pretty much all browsers (mobile and desktop).


      can you give me directions on how to do this?

      • ケビン ボウイ

        On how to what?

        • JAKE LIPTON

          have unlimited data while tethering

          • ケビン ボウイ

            For this method you have to have a truly unlimited plan with T-Mobile FYI. But if you do have a truly unlimited plan(includes unlimited data) I would gladly help you set it up.

          • JAKE LIPTON

            yes i do have truly unlimited

          • dudewhere’smybong

            i actually figured it out through another forum...but if i have any trouble ...i will let you know...thanks for being an awesome dude...fuck the system

  • PhoenixPath

    Wow. Just...wow.

    They offer more data without raising prices and all we have in comments is people complaining...

    What have VZW, ATT and Sprint done to give anyone more for the same or less lately?

    Yeah, there's no entitlement here. :-S

    I almost think that when these people see "unlimited" in a headline they go into full-retard mode, becoming incapable of processing or responding to the rest of the information provided with any sense of reason.

    • kabloink

      Actually, we complain about the extra tethering charges even with capped data plans.

      Could you imagine your home internet provider charging more if they detected something other than a PC using your account? Oh, we see your smartphone is using your home internet, that will be an extra $30.

      • PhoenixPath

        I might understand the complaints if it was a surprise, but seriously...

        Unlimited applies to the mobile device tied to the number only.

        This is not news, people.

      • Rudy Belova

        Comparing wireless with a home internet provider.. Not remotely the same.

        • kabloink

          The technology is different, but your still paying for a certain amount of bandwidth.

          I can remember when some cable internet providers were allowing only one computer to connect to the internet through the rented cable modem with the base plan. You had to pay extra for additional device. Home routers were not allowed. It sounds somewhat similar to the wireless situation today.

          • Rudy Belova

            and yet the capacity between the two technologies are completely different. That's the issue. You give everybody unlimited full, tethered or not internet and capacity WILL be an issue with wireless. It's not that easy.

          • Rudy Belova

            Oh, and my cable model STILL only allows 1 device. If i change the attached device, i am forced to reboot my modem to get back online.

          • Anthony Beachboy

            For someone with such a strong opinion shame you have no clue what ipconfig /release and ipconfig /renew are used for, lol have to reboot my modem... N00B!!!

  • Derrick Hodges

    I just called T-Mobile and was informed that changing my plan to the newer plan would boost my free tethering from 500mb to 2gb. I called and spoke to another rep who confirmed that this is what my plan now reflects. We shall see.

  • missinginput

    No wonder your confused that screen shot is from april when they bundled the tethering with the unlimited socs because reps were only adding the unlimited data not the free tethering add on.

    Also why does the title of the article say 6.5 GB for $60 where does that number even come from?

  • impulse101

    People actually pay more for tethering? You don't just root your phone and get free tethering? WHo actually buys this?

    • Skrill Dilly

      T-Mobile has figured i out and blocks it now. They block PDAnet as well.

  • yankeesusa

    What are these plans anyway? My current plan allows up to 5gb of data as a hotspot then it throttles it. I have the simple choice plans. Isn't that better than paying extra for a hotspot? I'm lost. Is it just me or are tmobile plans still a little confusing?

    • Brandon Fletcher

      I'm really not sure either. I have the 2.5GB $60/month plan, and the T-Mobile store informed me that I can tether all I want for no additional charge, it just comes out of my 2.5GB allotment. I've tethered some here and there and never got a charge or dirty notice or anything, so I assume it's true. That really puts alot of value into the $60/month plan, because if I wanted to go unlimited, I'd pay another $10 a month but then another $30 if I wanted to tether a GB or two.

      I think we're in a predicament where carriers have had to change, rename, and adjust their plans that so often that they don't exactly what's going on as well.

  • Hc

    Not happy then go with att see how badly they rape you with no lube.

  • master94

    Meanwhile VZW and At&T are trying to lower the caps and justify it

  • Keldon Alleyne

    I smell price fixing. All carriers blocking access that conveniently opens up a new pricing tier that doesn't reflect service cost but rather user context suggests a coordinated decision, otherwise at least one carrier would have become competitive ... Instead they've all utilised a device in game theory that allows price fixing in oligopolies with high barriers of entry by implicitly agreeing via their inactive response to the competitive opportunity.

  • JE

    they should justkeep it unlimited tether but throttled down if limit reached, I've been tethering to my laptop for more than a decade at Edge speed, now I got nothing after 2.5gb. Time to switch to Sprint?