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
There's been a lot of talk about AT&T's crusade against rogue tethering lately, and it all comes back to this AT&T text message sent to some poor iPhone customer(s):
AT&T Free Msg: We’ve noticed you’re continuing to enjoy the tethering feature with your smartphone service. Remember, you need a tethering plan ($45/mo, incl. 4GB) to use this feature, so we’re planning to update your line with the required plan soon.
Yes, the carrier everyone loves to hate is cracking down on unauthorized tethering - and they are automatically switching violators onto AT&T's 4GB data plan with tethering access, at a steep $45 a month. Read More
AT&T users who have been tethering their phones' data plans under the radar (either using MyWi on a jailbroken iPhone, or one of many apps like Wireless Tether for Root Users on a rooted Android phone) have been receiving a little nudge from AT&T asking them to sign up for a tethering plan - or face possibly getting signed up for it without consent.
In a lengthy email, AT&T writes "Tethering can be an efficient way for our customers to enjoy the benefits of AT&T’s mobile broadband network and use more than one device to stay in touch with important people and information. Read More
If you began drooling from the very first murmurs of a "Pure Google" tablet running Android 3.0 'Honeycomb', to the buzz at CES, through the anticipation building up to launch: your day has arrived and you likely now have a Motorola XOOM in your hands. Congratulations. Of course that would be the $800 Verizon Motorola XOOM that's in your hands. But what about that $600 Wi-Fi-only XOOM? Not only is it not in anyone's hands, but there has yet to be a confirmed release date either. Read More
Carriers' official tethering plans never cease to amaze us - $15 to $30 per month for something that users with rooted phones can enjoy for free via Wireless Tether or Tether for Android (not to mention the free tethering app that comes built right into stock Froyo). Nevertheless, T-Mobile's gone ahead and announced that starting this Sunday, November 14th, its users will be charged $14.99 per month for the feature. This will buy you unlimited data for your laptop/netbook to choke down, although there will also be a $10 monthly plan, which will get you just 200MB of data. Read More
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? Read More
I was about to go to sleep, but, of course, when I heard of a possible G2 OTA report, and one that brings such important new features as WiFi calling,
otherwise known as UMA, and native tethering, I had to stay up just a bit longer.
: T-Mobile's implementation is not exactly UMA - it doesn't transfer your calls between WiFi and T-Mo towers.
Thanks, people in comments!
The number 1 Android app for rooted phones out there is undoubtedly Android WiFi Tether, which is a free alternative to all those carrier-bundled WiFi hotspot apps. In fact, it is the primary reason I root every Android phone I own - 2 hours of commute on the train suddenly become extremely productive because of always-on laptop connectivity. I've excitedly written about the app before, especially after it added support for Infrastructure mode and WPA2 on the EVO 4G. Read More