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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 theArchMichael on 3/18/2011 11:42:50 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly, smartphones that have full support for flash 10 can access just about any site that a pc can (unless it is disallowed... like Hulu), so who's to say which device was the termination point?

What are they going to do? Intercept your data packets and read the browser request headers to determine the user agent. If that's the case, I think they may be overstepping their bounds of being a wireless transmission provider. I would rather my wireless carrier THAT I PAY not root through my (self) important work and also have knowledge of the weird porn that I watch.


RE: Automatic Contract changes?
By DM0407 on 3/18/2011 2:53:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What are they going to do? Intercept your data packets and read the browser request headers to determine the user agent.


The dolphin browser allows you to spoof your device to look like a PC so websites think your using a normal browser.

I think they are mass sending this letter to high usage subscribers in an attempt to kick them off unlimited data plans and hope that most will choose to stop tethering or get the tethering plan.

19.99 is a rip off for a tethering app, it just shows how misinformed (or rich) apple users are.


RE: Automatic Contract changes?
By tayb on 3/18/2011 8:21:05 PM , Rating: 3
Misinformed or rich Apple users? I've never even heard of this app or known anyone who tethers to do so using this app. Just because an Anand article states that's it is popular doesn't mean it is popular.

If I was a customer who received this letter I would call them and inform them that I do not authorize them to change my plan and, if they do, I shall be canceling my plan immediately. Prove that I'm illegally tethering.


RE: Automatic Contract changes?
By mherlund on 3/21/2011 3:37:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I've never even heard of this app or known anyone who tethers to do so using this app. Just because an Anand article states that's it is popular doesn't mean it is popular.


Just because you have not heard of it does not mean that it is not popular. I have heard of MyWi, pretty much every article I have read about mobile phone tethering mentions it.


RE: Automatic Contract changes?
By mherlund on 3/21/2011 3:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
19.99 is a rip off for a tethering app, it just shows how misinformed (or rich) apple users are.


What are they misinformed about? What is the alternative? Paying $20/month vs a $20 one time fee? I think the $20 fee is the cheaper way to go...a "rich" person would be the one paying the extra $20/month.


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