Mar 18 AT 3:43 PM Taylor Wimberly 27 Comments

AT&T cracks down on unauthorized iPhone tethering, Android could be next

This week AT&T began informing iPhone customers that they would start cracking down on unauthorized tethering. No Android customers have received the warning yet, but this is a sign of what is likely to come.

AT&T currently charges $25 per month for 2 GB of data, but users who wish to tether must subscribe to the DataPro 4GB plan which runs $45 per month. In an email to the offending customers, AT&T warned that users would be automatically enrolled in the $45 tethering plan if they did not contact the carrier to resolve the issue.

As one of the few carriers that offers tiered data, I’m a little disappointed that AT&T requires you to purchase their 4GB plan for $45 in order to tether. It would be nice if customers could tether with the 2GB plan for $25 and then just pay the usual $10-per-GB overage fee if they use up more data than their plan allows.

I would love for a carrier to offer mobile data by the GB and let me use it however I choose, but it looks like that won’t be happening anytime soon. In a perfect world, what types of data plans would you like to see from the carriers?

Via: Engadget

Source: ModMyi

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website TechnoSTIG

    I hope T-Mobile doesn’t start doing this. AT$T, always trying to get the most out of you. Even if you try to use a blackberry, they will automatically add the internet plan.

    • http://Website Tito!

      T-Mobile, FTW! (:

  • http://Website Toha

    AT&T thinks like Apple and controlling customers in what they can do or not is not winning combination in long term. You should be able to use your 2Gb you paid for how you like.

  • http://Website sphericalpuma

    They are not targeting tether users, rather any account with high amounts of data that doesn’t have a tethering plan. My brother who is grandfathered into an unlimited plan, but doesn’t tether got this exact text messgage. Legally speaking in order for them to see if you are tethering, it would require data snooping and how deep they’d have to go would require a warrant. Why do you think the other companies have an app that you first have to fire up to use mobile hotspots or tethering? Its because its the only legal way they can see that you’re tethering. T-Mobile sent me a text message back when they started doing tethering plans because I used a Hugh amount of data, but that month it wasn’t tethering.

    Like I said previously att is sending this to users with insane amounts of data or who suddenly have unusual data patterns, under the assumption that they must be tethering.

  • raydowe

    This is BS! I’m so sick of the mobile space and people telling me how I’m allowed to use the phone I paid for, and how I’m allowed to use the data I paid for. How does it make a different what device is using the data? 1 byte = 1 byte.

    • http://Website Noeleaser

      And that is exactly why I don’t own an iphone.

  • http://Website Austin

    Not really trying to troll or bash ATT but seriously what do you expect? This is what they are known for!

  • http://Website Hector

    Unlimited, that’s it.. that’s the data plan I expect.. .. unmonitored would be good too.

  • http://Website panic

    My Sprint unlimited plan <3

  • http://Website Paul

    From a technical perspective, I wonder how they can detect tethering? If an App on the phone is doing NAT’ing and passing the traffic off as its own, how could they distinguish the difference?

    • http://Website mmalakai10

      i dont think they can tell the difference becuz ur phone doesnt send a message to the carrier. i think they are snooping in ur data useage plan to see how much u really use on a average. then when they find irregular amounts of data being use they assume it just that. i agree with customers these carriers are getting out of control with this pay for every feature business. if i have a 2gb plan or unlimited plan for data i should be able to use it as i see fit. its my data i already paid for and no one should tell me how i should use it u have my cash i have ur data simple. thats like saying they are going to charge u for $20 for 100 mins but u have to pay $5 to use ur 100 mins. thats doesnt making any sense.

  • http://Website clocinnorcal

    WTF ATT? Do you hate your customers or what? Who cares how the data is being used? Why does tethering need an extra fee or upgrade? I am so glad I dont have ATT! What a joke.

  • Andrew

    I hate AT&T, it’s just like the gas companies, they know we are dependent so they take advantage. Screw them, I hope they burn. They will put that law and someone will find a way around it. Or everyone will go to cricket or clear to get the internet and not pay a data plan. Screw them…. I hope they lose all their customers and fail. That’s why I like tmo, they are fair. Geat prices and great service!! Go tmobile

  • http://Website Mr Guzz

    They are trying call high data users bluff. Another way for AT&T to make money.

    …….In most countries making people pay twice for what they payed already is illegal and is called fraud. AT&T doesn’t have enough brand credibility to be milking its customers like this.

    Call AT&T and explain that he received a message about something called “tethering” and to act dumb….Just tell them you are using an app that uses a large amount of data. ( Sirius, netflix, pandora, etc) and they accept your answer.

  • http://www.JimFareycom Jim

    I’m in the UK and I’d like to see 2gb data only sim packages for my Tab for less than £10/month!

  • http://Website Mark

    I’m afraid T-Mobile is going down this line as well. Your “unlimited” really isn’t unlimited. Once you go past 5GB, they slow your speeds down so ridiculously low that EDGE is actually a faster option. I’m thinking of moving to Sprint when my contract is up as they are the only ones left that have “real” Unlimited. Fuck T-Mo. Fuck AT&T. Hope they all rot in hell.

    • jian9007

      True. However they do not include tethering, as this is what this particular article is about. It states on the terms of the simply everything plan that phone as modem or tethering is not included.

    • http://Website Dude

      No. Sprint is not unlimited as they charge you for roaming or will cancel your account if you go over 300mb while roaming. Tmobile is unlimited regardless of whether you roam or not.

  • Nathan

    $25 a month for 2GB of data with no tethering? Wow. I’m used to being ripped off for pretty much everything in the UK but you guys in the States have a pretty raw deal when it comes to cellphones and their monthly tariffs.

  • http://Website Nate

    Im grandfathered into an unlimited plan with my at&t nexus one and if they try to switch me over to that tethering plan they’re gonna lose someone who has been a loyal customer for 10 years.

  • http://Website Epic Beaver

    Sounds good to me.

  • http://Website (un)Satisfied customer

    F*ck att. How many billions of dollars do they need?!?! Iphone exclusivity for what, 5 years, no more unlimited data plans…I mean seriously?!?! And it’s not like they reinvest any of this profit into the company, because the service just keeps getting shittier!!! Oh no…these greedy fuckers keep it in their pocket until they want to buy out another shitty cell company in their efforts for global cellular domination. How in the world can you get a 3G deadzone in the middle of Los Angeles?!?!? Oh, yeah, have At&t…how easily I forget. And now they want even more effing money for tethering?!?! What percentage of their clientele do they think can afford such bullshit?!? 3%…tops?!?

    I’d like a lawyer to take a look at this idea of theirs to automatically switch data plans. Isn’t that what a fucking CONTRACT is for??!?!!! Here’s a hypothetical explanation for the phone plan equivalent, “Well sir, I see that you have unlimited night and weekend, but because you take advantage of this free feature, and only use your phone between 10pm and 4am, we’re going to ignore the CONTRACT you signed, and automatically switch your plan to $45/mo.”

    At&t didn’t give a rats ass about people tethering for free until they decided to enter the market. Sorry assholes, we were here first, and you’re going to have to deal with it.

    I have to go now. I have a doctor’s appointment to have the giant stick removed from my asshole that At&t continues to impale me on.

    Fuck them.

    Plain and simple.

    Greedy cunts!

    • http://Website Joe P.

      That was awesome.

    • http://Website Kourtney

      I agree, that was well said. I say we rally for the government to take over and provide free Internet for everyone. The phone companies do a horrible job at providing a decent infrastructure anyway.

    • http://Website Vlad


  • http://Website Dannyjayfuller

    Ugh. This is why I’m hightailing out of T-Mo for Sprint. When AT&T’s takeover is complete, shit can and likely will hit the fan in similar fashion to this. I actually asked a Sprint rep and she told me the company doesn’t really give a damn about free tethering as long as you’re not eating up some insane 20gb+ amount of data in one month. She even told me that if I need to tether and I can’t afford the tethering plan, just use PDAnet or Barnacle with the MAC filtering and NAT on. Don’t get me wrong, I love T-Mobile, but this agressive takeover is going to throw eveything down the toilet. I even got a txt yesterday saying they would be willing to let me jump on a contract because I’ve been a loyal customer for almost a year. The G2X is pretty damn sweet, but the slightly inferior EVO 3D is looking even sweeter, given that I’ll actually be able to use it.

  • http://Website bl1300

    I have argued with AT&T all morning regarding this. I have never tethered but they are telling me the “network” says I have. I love my iphone but this harassment from AT&T is not worth it when I’m not doing anything wrong. Think I’m heading to straight talk for a while.