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MyWi 4.0
AT&T isn't playing games when it comes to unauthorized tethering apps

Things are quickly changing when it comes to internet data plans. While we were used to a plethora of unlimited data plans for our smartphones and even our home internet connections, service providers are now implementing bandwidth caps to curb data usage

When it comes to smartphones, many users feel that that should be able to use that data anyway they please, however, service providers clearly don't feel the same way. For this reason, data tethering -- which allows you to share your smartphone internet data connection with other devices -- is usually a separate charge from your data plan.

Those that get around this extra fee by jailbreaking and using "unauthorized" apps had better start watching your back -- AT&T is beginning to crackdown on users. According to TUAW, AT&T is sending out letters to customers that it believes are using unauthorized tethering solutions. Here's a snippet from the full text (which can be found here): 

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. To take advantage of this feature, we require that in addition to a data plan, you also have a tethering plan. 

Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan…

If we don’t hear from you, we’ll plan to automatically enroll you into DataPro 4GB after March 27, 2011. The new plan – whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you – will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan.

If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required.

One of the most popular apps for jailbroken iPhones is MyWi. MyWi allows a user to tether their iPhone without payingthe additional monthly tethering fee to AT&T. The app allows tethering via USB, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi and is available for a one-time fee of $19.99

The letter doesn't say how AT&T was able to determine that the customer was tethering, but it stands to reason that grandfathered unlimited data plan customers that are using multiple gigabytes of data per month are prime suspects.



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RE: Automatic Contract changes?
By GeekWithFire on 3/18/2011 10:40:45 AM , Rating: 2
I think they only leg they have to stand on is getting to the point of calling Jailbreaking or Rooting a violation of contract (which I think the courts have already ruled on). Otherwise, you are just using software on the phone. So don't call the software tethering, call it data syncing.


RE: Automatic Contract changes?
By theArchMichael on 3/18/2011 11:33:06 AM , Rating: 2
That may be for an Iphone, but for Android I'm not sure rooting your phone violates any agreement. I have also used an open source tethering solution called Barnacle Wifi tether (5 stars btw, it supports a lot of even older Androids) and it can be downloaded directly from the Android Market, I don't think it needs root access.


RE: Automatic Contract changes?
By vision33r on 3/18/2011 12:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
Android's policy does not override the Carrier's policies they are 2 different policies really.

They don't have to give your Android device service if they choose to.


RE: Automatic Contract changes?
By DM0407 on 3/18/2011 2:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
Barnacle requires root.


RE: Automatic Contract changes?
By Jeffk464 on 3/18/2011 4:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
Apple went to court to try to make it illegal to modify the iphone. The court ruled against apple so I don't think they can say anything about rooting or jail braking.


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