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AT&T to Unauthorized Tetherers: Pay Up or Else

stewp97

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Don't know how many of you have already seen this:

AT&T to Unauthorized Tetherers: Pay Up or Else: Mobile Technology News «

From Gigaom:

AT&T is tired of giving customers who are sharing their smartphones’ data plans via unauthorized tethering a free ride, BGR reports. The company is sending out emails, letters and text messages to users who are tethering their devices without paying for the service, letting them know that their free ride is over.

The news first came via users, who received emails explaining that AT&T had noticed that, though they have tethering capabilities, they aren’t subscribed to AT&T’s official tethering plan. AT&T confirmed this, and outlined three options for users who tether their smartphones without a plan:

-Stop the unauthorized tethering and keep your current plan.
-Sign up for the DataPro 4 GB Smartphone Tethering plan, which costs $45 per month ($25 for smartphone data and $20 for tethering) by March 27.
-Do nothing and be automatically enrolled in the DataPro 4 GB plan beginning March 27.

Users who have grandfathered unlimited plans will have to either give up the plan in order to get tethering, or discontinue the practice altogether to keep their unlimited usage. AT&T doesn’t explain how it’s discovering which customers are using tethering, or why it’s policing the practice now. It may be fairly easy to spot heavy usage patterns or identify the source of traffic on AT&T’s end, and it might also be that the company was content to leave things alone until unauthorized tethering became a significant problem. The availability of MyWi for jailbroken iOS devices makes it incredibly easy to tether an iPhone, for instance, and it’s also not hard to root an Android device and install a tethering app, no matter your network provider’s restrictions.

AT&T must be confident about its methods for identifying tethering users since it’s planning to automatically switch users to its official tethering plan beginning March 27 if unauthorized access continues. I don’t see this going down so well with customers, many of whom could try to argue that they weren’t tethering, or that someone else had enabled the feature on their device without their knowledge (“My kid jailbroke my iPhone to get network access on his iPod touch while we were on vacation,” for example).

I understand AT&T wanting to protect its network and its bottom line by cracking down on bandwidth hogs, but it’ll be interesting to see whether this hardline approach ultimately does more to harm customer goodwill than it does to hinder unapproved usage.
 

Gregoris

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what do they care how the data is used? squeeze every cent out of you att users
 

alleballe

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I am wondering if anyone that have tethered without abuse have not gotten any letter or text from at&t regarding tethering.

I stayed at a hotel that charged $25 for wifi so I ended up using mywi and used 7gb that month february 2011 and I just got a text from ATT saying following.

AT&T Free Msg: Did you know tethering your Smartphone to a computer requires a tethering plan? Pls call 866-679-7118 for details or visit att.com/dataplans.


I'm courious if by using tethering reasonably would go undeteected by ATT.

Personally I rather have a 2gb plan with tethering capability than unlimited without.

How do ATT tell that I am tethering other than abusive usage?
 

Ponderous

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As far as I know they can't. Strictly by amount of data. Kinda hard to do 7gb on the phone alone.
 

gray_mouse

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It's like an ISP company charging you more if your DSL is connected to a router. Been there, done that, it's all crap. They'll get sued over it soon enough.

For you enterprising kinds, this is a major opportunity. Create websites and offer your unlocking services.
 

beckyandjustin

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I'm with Verizon and I jailbroke my iphone and installed tether me. Do you think Verizon will crack down also? I know a couple of my friends that do it too and so far they haven't heard anything from Verizon. Tell me what you think??????
 

Gregoris

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you never know but if AT&T have done something i bet Verizon will also if it gets out of hand and they lose lots of money from enough people doing it.
 

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