Almost one full year ago, carriers threw the gauntlet down on tethering applications in the Play Store. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile were among the first to lay down the banhammer, with Sprint following soon after.
Here we are, a year later and guess what? Version 3 of the infamous Wi-Fi Tether for Root Users app just hit the Play Store, sans carrier restrictions. Of course, this is only because carriers haven't yet found out about the app; when they do, however, you better believe its availability will quickly be laid to rest - so you better grab before it's gone. Read More
T-Mobile UK just announced the plan to kill all plans for our brothers and sisters across the pond. It's called The Full Monty and it's everything that you could possibly want in a mobile plan - unlimited calls, texts, data, and tethering all for one price.
The plan has four different variants, each of which is mostly differentiated by applicable devices. Here's a quick overview of what it looks like:
If you notice, the most affordable plan is also the one available on the widest variety of devices, but it also has one hindrance compared to the other choices: it only offers 2,000 talk-time minutes to networks other than T-Mo. Read More
At one point, tethering was a simple process - installing a program from the Android Market would enable the feature and you were good to go. Of course, carriers didn't like this, because instead of paying them an extra $30(ish) a month to use their hotspot service, you were gaining access to the feature for free. So they had many tethering apps pulled from the Market. Not only that, but many carriers put a block directly on devices that disallowed the use of common tethering apps. Read More
A few months ago AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all started blocking wireless tethering apps in the Android Market, making them unavailable for download on their respective devices. At that time, Sprint was the only carrier still allowing tethering apps to be installed without limitation -- but that time has come to an end. That's right, the Now Network has begun blocking the installation of wireless tethering apps from the Market on any device attached to its network. Read More
It seems there's been some renewed interest in the subject of Block C LTE "no locking" provisions after news that the Motorola RAZR will come equipped with a locked bootloader per Verizon's request. About four months ago, I published an article on this very topic. To summarize: Verizon can basically do almost anything it wants with handsets on its network in the name of reasonable network management - subject to a few limitations and caveats. Read More
A few weeks ago, a GSM Nexus S update 2.3.6 (GRK39C) with voice search fixes started rolling out, but it was immediately discovered to break Wi-Fi and USB tethering. After many complaints, Google pulled the OTA, and it seems like they've spent the last couple of weeks making sure everything works as expected.
A new update surfaced tonight, also numbered 2.3.6, but this time bearing build GRK39F. While there is no official changelog, based on the fact that an update with the same exact build hit the Nexus One a few days ago and didn't break tethering, I think it's safe to say it fixes at least that issue (Update: thanks to our buddy Omar for an additional confirmation of working tethering). Read More
It's no secret that providers have been starting to crack down on illegal tethering, but now AT&T is taking a new approach on customers using their device as a hotspot without an appropriate plan.
Back in March, Ma Bell started sending out notices to customers found to be tethering without paying their dues to subtly let them know that their current plan "may need updating." Well, as it turns out, the time for subtleties is over. Read More
Most users accustomed to unlimited data cringe upon hearing the words "tiered data plans" - but they aren't always bad. As our own David Ruddock pointed out, they don't affect most users - and they might even be cheaper for non-data hogs (aka 97% of customers).
However, in the case of the new tiered data plans Verizon Wireless is rumored to be implementing early next month, there's not much of an argument - they don't add any value whatsoever for VZW subscribers, and their sole raison d'être seems to be raping subscribers' wallets further still. Read More
If you've been watching the blogosphere over the last few days, you might have seen an article or two about a "complaint" filed with the FCC over Verizon's block on tethering applications in the Android Market.
The complainant's argument goes something like this: Verizon purchased the 700MHz spectrum ("block C" of the spectrum) back in 2007, and that spectrum is now used by Verizon for its 4G LTE service. That purchase, ala Google and other net neutrality lobbyists, came with one seemingly large caveat: Verizon (or AT&T, or anyone who bought in that spectrum) could not "deny, limit, or restrict" the phones using that spectrum in particular ways: phones must be carrier unlocked, able to access all parts of the web, and run any software. Read More
It's a sad, sad day when we can't use the data that we pay for in a manner that we choose - but that day has arrived. It seems that somebody (perhaps carriers?) is blocking the ability to install Wireless Tether in the Android Market. This is what you get if you try to install it:
You can see that while it's still in the Market, it's not available for installation on any carrier-connected device. Read More