Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?


wingrider01 wrote:

 

makes absolutely no difference, using something that you are not paying for is still a violation of the legally binding terms of service, the additional service is the ability to use it, which requires additional payment. They as the service provider have the right to charge additional for any serivce. The state charges me every year a tax on my cars, I already paid the tax when I bought the car, but to continue to use it you are required to pay for an additonal feature to be able to purchase license plates.


Your taxes on the car compensates the states for additional highway/vehicle related services they render to you that you might not ever typically pay for directly.

 

Exactly WHAT additional "service" does the cellular provider render, for tethering, that they feel they need to be compensated for?

So far as I know all the providers do is effectively 'flip a switch' and start charging more.  There's nothing else needed to support tethering, month after month.  They just sit back and rake in the extra money and not have to do a darn thing after that.

Message 46 of 155 (3,260 Views)

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?


johninsj wrote:

 

Incorrect.

 

It's a feature of the phone that enables the handset to support a service the cellular provider may or may not sell. Like MMS, and SMS. Built right into the phone. Useless without the corresponding service.

 

Look, the phone supports every single possible service sold by the carrier, that you can use on the phone. Saying something is "built right into the phone" is like saying air contains air. It means nothing. Of COURSE the ability to make use of a service you can buy from the carrier is built into the phone, otherwise when you buy the service it won't work.

 


See in the REAL world, when you provide an actual 'service' that is paid for month over month, typically you are actually DOING something ACTIVELY for that actual 'service'.  In the case of tethering, they 'flip a switch' on the phone and that's it.  NOTHING ELSE is required on the provider's end to support tethering.

It'd be like your ISP charging an additional fees to turn on support of the FTP protocol on your cable modem.  All they'd need to do is 'flip a switch', and then nothing else after that.

 

The point really isn't that the phone already supports tethering, phones have supported tethering since the 80's.  The point is this 'supposed' service the cellular providers are charging for doesn't really exist, because there's nothing they need to do to actively support it.  It costs them ZERO to just allow tethering from the minute you get your phone.

 

When you don't actually have to do anything or provide any sort of supporting equipment, you don't get to call it a 'service'...

 

Message 47 of 155 (3,246 Views)
Guru

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

 


DimentoGraven wrote:

Tidbits wrote:

 

A newborn will never at as much as his/her mother will in the same time span.  A computer CAN and OFTEN eat more than 2-3x in the same timespan as a mobile device.  It doesn't fit at all.  It's a stretch sorry, but his comparision is way off. 


Seriously, you have to be being INTENTIONLLY obtuse here.  There's no way that a tethered device will EVER be able to cause the phone to suck in more data than what the phone is capable of drawing in.  If the phone can only receive 50mb/sec, then AT MOST that's all the tethered device will be able to get.  I say "AT MOST" because the cell phone will have it's own overhead in that data draw, so it will be 50mb/sec - cell phone overhead = actual throughput utilized by the laptop.

 

Just like there's no way to turn a 10mb TP network card into a GB TP network card by plugging it into a 10 port switch, you can't make the cell phone give data faster than it's designed or the network provider is capable of putting out.


 

I think you're mixing up "data rate" vs. "data consumed"; true, the iPhone can't pull in data at a rate higher than what it would be capable of pulling if it wasn't in tethering mode (assuming the data rate doesn't fluctuate drastically at any given moment)...but it CAN theoretically pull in more data when tethered compared to when it's not tethered.  Granted, tidbits' analogy may have been slightly incorrect from a technical standpoint, but I think the point he/she was trying to get across is that it is possible to "consume" more data when tethering than one may be able to while not tethered, assuming your usage habits don't change drastically.

 

Case in point--you open the mobile webpage version of a site on your phone...it requires 500 KB of data to render; go to the non-mobile version of the same site on your laptop that is tethered to your phone...it uses 2 MB of data to render the page.  Yes, it may take a bit longer (since data transmission rate is the same, tether or no tether) for the non-mobile version to open on your laptop, but it will open...and it will have consumed more data in doing so.

Message 48 of 155 (3,243 Views)
Guru

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

 


johninsj wrote:

 


DimentoGraven wrote:

 

it's a feature that's built into the smartphone

 


 

 

Correct

 

 


 

that's just turned off to give cellular providers another thing they can charge for. 


Incorrect.

 

It's a feature of the phone that enables the handset to support a service the cellular provider may or may not sell. Like MMS, and SMS. Built right into the phone. Useless without the corresponding service.

 

 


 

Technically, if MMS and SMS are built right into the phone, as you put it--unlike tethering, neither would really be "useless" without the service since unless you explicitly tell AT&T to block SMS/MMS on your account or AT&T eliminates SMS/MMS service entirely (and we know that ain't gonna happen any time soon, if ever), you would still be able to send/receive SMS/MMS, either via the official app or a third-party one.  You can't really be accused of theft of SMS/MMS services because when you sign up for AT&T wireless service you agree to pay for SMS/MMS usage, whether via a messaging plan or a la carte per-message usage.  I guess my point is, tethering may be built into the phone, and if you hack it so that you can tether w/o signing up for the service, you'd be stealing the tethering service...but if you hack SMS/MMS so that you can send/receive SMS/MMS w/o using the official app, you can't be accused of stealing SMS service since like I said, you have to pay for those messages no matter what.

Message 49 of 155 (3,218 Views)

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

 


DimentoGraven wrote:

Your taxes on the car compensates the states for additional highway/vehicle related services they render to you that you might not ever typically pay for directly.

 

Exactly WHAT additional "service" does the cellular provider render, for tethering, that they feel they need to be compensated for?

So far as I know all the providers do is effectively 'flip a switch' and start charging more.  There's nothing else needed to support tethering, month after month.  They just sit back and rake in the extra money and not have to do a darn thing after that.


 

What additional service are they providing? The usage of greater amounts of data bandwidth that tethered devices will use over and above the normal data usage on the iPhone.

 

Oh, and they need to do more than just "flip a switch".  They need to provide greater and greater infrastructure to allow for the larger and larger amounts of data being used.

Message 50 of 155 (3,209 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

 


DimentoGraven wrote:

 

When you don't actually have to do anything or provide any sort of supporting equipment, you don't get to call it a 'service'...

 


 

Of course you do, because you're a commercial, for profit company in a free market economy.

 

Now, we, as consumers, get to vote with our dollars.

 

I really don't get the entitlement mentality. It's mobile data, it's not food & shelter.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 51 of 155 (3,394 Views)
Expert

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

[ Edited ]

DimentoGraven wrote:

wingrider01 wrote:

 

makes absolutely no difference, using something that you are not paying for is still a violation of the legally binding terms of service, the additional service is the ability to use it, which requires additional payment. They as the service provider have the right to charge additional for any serivce. The state charges me every year a tax on my cars, I already paid the tax when I bought the car, but to continue to use it you are required to pay for an additonal feature to be able to purchase license plates.


Your taxes on the car compensates the states for additional highway/vehicle related services they render to you that you might not ever typically pay for directly.

 

Exactly WHAT additional "service" does the cellular provider render, for tethering, that they feel they need to be compensated for?

So far as I know all the providers do is effectively 'flip a switch' and start charging more.  There's nothing else needed to support tethering, month after month.  They just sit back and rake in the extra money and not have to do a darn thing after that.


the tethering charges compensates CARRIER (since all carries charge and cap tethering) for additional bandwidth required to tether and pass data from more then one device - that is the additonal service supplied. No one gives tethering on a phone for free

Message 52 of 155 (3,369 Views)
Scholar

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

You tied up two hours of company time to be explained that you are charged for services? You should use your unlimited Internet to research business models instead of watching funny YouTube videos.
Message 53 of 155 (3,341 Views)

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

[ Edited ]

archermoo wrote:

 

What additional service are they providing? The usage of greater amounts of data bandwidth that tethered devices will use over and above the normal data usage on the iPhone.

 

Oh, and they need to do more than just "flip a switch".  They need to provide greater and greater infrastructure to allow for the larger and larger amounts of data being used.



wingrider01 wrote:

 

the tethering charges compensates CARRIER (since all carries charge and cap tethering) for additional bandwidth required to tether and pass data from more then one device - that is the additonal service supplied. No one gives tethering on a phone for free


Wow...  I mean really, wow...  You guys are just, I don't even know if I can put the words without them being filtered.

 

Let's put it this way guys, as I've read somewhere the MAXIMUM data bandwidth supported by AT&T's 3G network is something on the order of 7.2mb per second.  That's it, just 7.2mb, MAXIMUM.  Ok, IF (and it's a big IF because at some point AT&T had limited the iPhone to something like 1.4mb per second, though they may have changed that), you have the best possible signal at -50db, ZERO interference and you're just darn lucky then your smartphone will be able to receive data at that rate, typically transmission rates are half, or less, the downstream speed, so we'll say you'll be able to upload at 3.1mb per second, best case, period.

 

So AT&T's current architecture has already been built to support that, and tethering a laptop, main frame, or Cray Super Computer to your iPhone will in no way EVER be able to exceed the 7.2down/3.1up limitations of the network, and certainly operating within those limitations will in no way add any unplanned load on the net, or require some imagined theoretical additional equipment to support, that AT&T needs to be compensated for.

 

The fastest recorded down stream 3G speed I've got on my speed test apps is 1.19mb.  Fastest up stream .04 mb.  If I'd had a loptop performing that test, tethered to my iPhone, there'd have been ZERO difference.

 

So again, if you're doing nothing, providing nothing 'additional', how can you call it a 'service'?

 

'Service' is defined as follows:

 

  1. work done for somebody else: work done by somebody for somebody else as a job, duty, punishment, or favor
  2. helpful action: an action done to help somebody or as a favor to somebody
  3. work for customers: work done for the customers of a store, restaurant, hotel, or similar establishment, often with regard to whether it pleases them or not

All of these imply something ACTIVE taking place.  Providing cellular data is a service.  Turning on a function of the phone is a one time activity, not needing to be done more than once.  The act of turning it on 'could' be a service, but once it's on, nothing else need by done by the provider. 

 

The service has been rendered, past tense, so why continue to charge becuase 5 years ago, you 'flipped a switch', and haven't done a darn thing since?

 

Now, that's not saying that if you should exceed the 4gb data allotment that AT&T shouldn't charge you.  By all means AT&T should charge for data usage, and actual REAL services rendered (not the imaginary ones), but that's it.

Message 54 of 155 (3,323 Views)

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?


johninsj wrote:

 

Of course you do, because you're a commercial, for profit company in a free market economy.

 

Now, we, as consumers, get to vote with our dollars.

 

I really don't get the entitlement mentality. It's mobile data, it's not food & shelter.


Well I guess that's the idea, charge as much as possible for doing as little as possible.

 

In this case, cellular providers are charging extra, every month for the duration of your contract (or at least as long as you maintain an active tethering feature) and they're not doing a darn thing at all, after turning the feature on on your phone.

 

It's not 'entitlement mentality', I just think it's disingenuous (more like out right lying) of anyone to say they're "providing me a service" when, in reality, they're not doing a doggone thing.

I'm not arguing that AT&T should or shouldn't charge extra for tethering, especially the way they have it structured now, it makes more sense and is more honest by charging for 4gb of data per month with the tethering feature on.  At least that way you're paying for the potential service of using 4gb data of AT&T's bandwidth, regardless whether it's used on a tethered device or not.

 

How it was structured before the change was just rediculous though.

Message 55 of 155 (3,315 Views)
Mentor

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

 


DimentoGraven wrote:

johninsj wrote:

 

Of course you do, because you're a commercial, for profit company in a free market economy.

 

Now, we, as consumers, get to vote with our dollars.

 

I really don't get the entitlement mentality. It's mobile data, it's not food & shelter.


Well I guess that's the idea, charge as much as possible for doing as little as possible.

 

In this case, cellular providers are charging extra, every month for the duration of your contract (or at least as long as you maintain an active tethering feature) and they're not doing a darn thing at all, after turning the feature on on your phone.

 

It's not 'entitlement mentality', I just think it's disingenuous (more like out right lying) of anyone to say they're "providing me a service" when, in reality, they're not doing a doggone thing.

I'm not arguing that AT&T should or shouldn't charge extra for tethering, especially the way they have it structured now, it makes more sense and is more honest by charging for 4gb of data per month with the tethering feature on.  At least that way you're paying for the potential service of using 4gb data of AT&T's bandwidth, regardless whether it's used on a tethered device or not.

 

How it was structured before the change was just rediculous though.


 

Isn't that what they are doing?  No matter how you word it... It's all the same.

 

4GB for tethering and data

or

 

2GB for data and no tethering.  If you end up using 4GB of data then you pay the same as the 4GB with tethering.  I guess people should just get the 4GB with tethering right?

 

It comes out to the same price no matter which way you look at it or word it.

 

So you want them to tell you 2GB for data for your device, and 2GB for tethering of your device and keep it seperate?  I mean seems like a lot of word play.

Message 56 of 155 (3,310 Views)
Expert

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?


DimentoGraven wrote:

archermoo wrote:

 

What additional service are they providing? The usage of greater amounts of data bandwidth that tethered devices will use over and above the normal data usage on the iPhone.

 

Oh, and they need to do more than just "flip a switch".  They need to provide greater and greater infrastructure to allow for the larger and larger amounts of data being used.



wingrider01 wrote:

 

the tethering charges compensates CARRIER (since all carries charge and cap tethering) for additional bandwidth required to tether and pass data from more then one device - that is the additonal service supplied. No one gives tethering on a phone for free


Wow...  I mean really, wow...  You guys are just, I don't even know if I can put the words without them being filtered.

 

Let's put it this way guys, as I've read somewhere the MAXIMUM data bandwidth supported by AT&T's 3G network is something on the order of 7.2mb per second.  That's it, just 7.2mb, MAXIMUM.  Ok, IF (and it's a big IF because at some point AT&T had limited the iPhone to something like 1.4mb per second, though they may have changed that), you have the best possible signal at -50db, ZERO interference and you're just darn lucky then your smartphone will be able to receive data at that rate, typically transmission rates are half, or less, the downstream speed, so we'll say you'll be able to upload at 3.1mb per second, best case, period.

 

So AT&T's current architecture has already been built to support that, and tethering a laptop, main frame, or Cray Super Computer to your iPhone will in no way EVER be able to exceed the 7.2down/3.1up limitations of the network, and certainly operating within those limitations will in no way add any unplanned load on the net, or require some imagined theoretical additional equipment to support, that AT&T needs to be compensated for.

 

The fastest recorded down stream 3G speed I've got on my speed test apps is 1.19mb.  Fastest up stream .04 mb.  If I'd had a loptop performing that test, tethered to my iPhone, there'd have been ZERO difference.

 

So again, if you're doing nothing, providing nothing 'additional', how can you call it a 'service'?

 

'Service' is defined as follows:

 

  1. work done for somebody else: work done by somebody for somebody else as a job, duty, punishment, or favor
  2. helpful action: an action done to help somebody or as a favor to somebody
  3. work for customers: work done for the customers of a store, restaurant, hotel, or similar establishment, often with regard to whether it pleases them or not

All of these imply something ACTIVE taking place.  Providing cellular data is a service.  Turning on a function of the phone is a one time activity, not needing to be done more than once.  The act of turning it on 'could' be a service, but once it's on, nothing else need by done by the provider. 

 

The service has been rendered, past tense, so why continue to charge becuase 5 years ago, you 'flipped a switch', and haven't done a darn thing since?

 

Now, that's not saying that if you should exceed the 4gb data allotment that AT&T shouldn't charge you.  By all means AT&T should charge for data usage, and actual REAL services rendered (not the imaginary ones), but that's it.


nice - problem is this could more be defined as a feature, the service is supplying the data connection, tethering is a added on charge for the FEATURE.

 

IE 

 since it is almost 100 percent related Directv base charges for a dish and a reciever, you can add the FEATURE of a DVR for an additional charge over and above your base package cost, then you can turn around and add the FEATURE of premium stations aka HBO, Showtime.

 

Message 57 of 155 (3,295 Views)
ACE - Professor

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

 


DimentoGraven wrote:

It's not 'entitlement mentality', I just think it's disingenuous (more like out right lying) of anyone to say they're "providing me a service" when, in reality, they're not doing a doggone thing.

 


Yes, they are doing something. They're allowing you to use your smartphone as if it was a MiFi, which they also require a service plan to use.

 

You, on the other hand, believe that since you pay for unlimited data on your smartphone, you are entitled to also use it as a mobile hotspot for no additional charge.

 

That's what you (and others) repeatedly say in your posts. That's literally the definition of entitlement: "belief that one is deserving of or entitled to certain privileges"

 

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 58 of 155 (3,283 Views)

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?


Tidbits wrote:

Isn't that what they are doing?  No matter how you word it... It's all the same.

 

4GB for tethering and data

or

 

2GB for data and no tethering.  If you end up using 4GB of data then you pay the same as the 4GB with tethering.  I guess people should just get the 4GB with tethering right?

 

It comes out to the same price no matter which way you look at it or word it.

 

So you want them to tell you 2GB for data for your device, and 2GB for tethering of your device and keep it seperate?  I mean seems like a lot of word play.


No you misunderstood me, the way it's represented now is more acceptable, buy 4gb potential service per month, and have tethering turned on, as opposed to the way it was originally, where you'd pay for your 2gb of data service, then pay an additional 20 dollar a month just to have tethering turned on, and that's it, no additional data or anything.

 

But, it's not a service when you do a one time thing, and then nothing else, EVER, after that one time thing.

 

A "Don't 'tinkle' on my leg and tell me it's raining,' sort of thing...

Message 59 of 155 (3,267 Views)
Professor

Re: Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

I think this back and forth about "why" and what people believe is right or wrong is ultimately pointless. Even if the reason is because they can and they want your money, in the end that's how it is. People's choices are to either pay up if they want tethering, don't tether if you don't want to pay, or get a different phone or go to another carrier. These long arguments aren't going to change ATT's policy.
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