Why does tethering my iPhone 4 cost me ANYTHING?

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


wingrider01 wrote:

 

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.

 


Correct me if I'm wrong, I no longer follow DirecTV as those guys are truly dishonest and apparently proud of it, but you can purchase a DirecTV with DVR, and all DirecTV would charge you for is the presense of the box (oh yes, and a monthly 5 dollar tech support/insurance fee should anything go wrong with your box), and therefore not be charged additional fees for DVR, correct?

 

If not, I KNOW I can setup a PC to act as my DVR (did that when I was a customer of their's) and avoid the DVR charges that way too.

 

Anyway it's not completely the same.  The only reason that DirecTV charges extra for the DVR box is because the DVR box is more expensive than the NON-DVR boxes.  You do get two types of cable boxes, one with DVR and one without.  So when you don't actually purchase your DirecTV box, but "lease" it from DirecTV, they charge extra for that one because it has more features, and different components, and different software to support.  In other words for the DVR box and service there's an actual VALUE ADDED.

Message 61 of 155 (2,792 Views)

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


johninsj wrote:

 

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"


 

John,

 

It's always interesting reading your posts.  This was definitely one of them...  So let me get this straight, the "allow" me to use it for tethering after turning on the feature...  Going by the posted definition of "service", their "allowing" me to use my phone for tethering is STILL not a "service", sorry, nothing additional is going on after they 'flip the switch'.  No additional actions, or technology infrastructure is required to make tethering work.

 

I've NEVER stated or intimated that I should be allowed to use my phone as a mobile hot spot for free, in fact I've pretty much explained WHY it makes sense AT&T would want to charge monthly for that feature. 

 

What I have argued is that AT&T shouldn't call "tethering" a service, and I question being charged EXTRA for that "imagined" service.

 

Tethering a single device to a phone does not cause the phone to do anything beyond its or the network's capacity.  It requires no "wider" bandwidth, just potentially more, and since you have to be on a tiered plan to get it, you just pay for the extra usage.  It doesn't require different technology that AT&T has to go out and purchase, it doesn't require different knowledge that AT&T has to maintain, it doesn't require anything.  AT&T is NOT actively providing a 'service' shy of actually turning the feature on, that one time.

 

We know it's not a "real" service being maintained by AT&T because:

1.  They changed the plan to essentially being a new data tier, 4gb, and tethering is turned on.

2.  The new plan, you exceed 4gb, you pay at the normal additional tier rate.

3.  If you jail break the phone, tethering can be turned on by the user and work without issue.  You can't do that with any feature of the phone that actually requires AT&T to actively do something.  You can't JB a phone and use voice any time you want without paying, or SMS, or anything like that.  Those things require accounts, and have their own infrastructure that must be supported and maintained.

 

Tethering, on the otherhand, requires no additional infrastructure or technology that the customer is not already paying for.

Message 62 of 155 (2,791 Views)

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


dwill05 wrote:
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.

You're right, of course, however some of these 'people' have the oddest sensibilities and ideas of how the technology works.

 

It's gotten to the point that I believe it's possible AT&T is nefariously injecting subliminal messages in their conversations such that they've been brainwashed into thinking that AT&T can, will, and never has done any wrong.  That AT&T in its great magnanimoty has allowed us all the priveledge of paying them money, and through its graciousness occassionally allows us to use them to speak with others via their technology...  Oh, and keep breathing...

Message 63 of 155 (2,791 Views)
ACE - Professor

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

 


DimentoGraven wrote:

 

It's always interesting reading your posts.


 

Yours too - repeating your same misconceptions over and over is endlessly entertaining

 

The facts were these

 

* at&t is well within its rights to decide how to charge for various different uses of its network

* using the on-device networking capability is clearly not the same as using the device as a mobile hotspot

* there would be no way to use the device as a mobile hotspot unless the device was capable of doing so

* capability is not equal to right to use

 

Please disprove any of those statements.

*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 64 of 155 (2,779 Views)
ACE - Professor

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

 


DimentoGraven wrote:
That AT&T in its great magnanimoty has allowed us all the priveledge of paying them money, and through its graciousness occassionally allows us to use them to speak with others via their technology...  Oh, and keep breathing...

You do realize that AT&T is a for-profit company, and you are free to purchase its services or not, right?

 

*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 65 of 155 (2,779 Views)

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

 


DimentoGraven wrote:
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.


 

Well, it is obvious that you have little or no understanding of how ISPs do business.  They don't build out infrastructure based on being able to meet the maximum amount of throughput that all of their customers could potentially use at any given moment.  It might be nice if they did, but then service would cost a whole lot more than it does now.  At least an order of magnitude if not two.  Because under almost all circumstances there would be a great amount of available bandwidth that no one is using, but the ISP still has to pay for.

 

What they actually do is build it out based on their estimate as to how much throughput would be needed on average at peak times.  The iPhone is a wonderful device, but it is still considerably limited as to what you can do with it when compared to a desktop or even a laptop.  So someone who is using data just on their iPhone will be on average using less data than someone who is also using that iPhone to allow other devices to use data.  So as more people start using their iPhone to tether/as a hotspot, more data will be used.

 

Which is one reason that AT&T would want people who choose to use the tethering/hotspot functionality to pay for extra data up front, and why if they allowed unlimited accounts to do it they would charge extra.  My guess is that the average amount of data used on a 2GB account is probably in the 400-500 MB range.  Assuming that is the case, even if by using the new hotspot capability that usage doubled or even tripled those users would still be under their 2gb cap.  So AT&T would have to support increased bandwidth usage without any extra income.  Not a sound business decision.

Message 66 of 155 (2,756 Views)
Expert

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

Was wondering when the crackdown was going to be announced and started

 

http://www.phonedog.com/2011/03/18/at-t-begins-cracking-down-on-unauthorized-tethering-use/

 

AT&T spokesperson Seth Bloom has confirmed that the carrier is alerting users that are tethering without paying for it that they have three options going forward: stop tethering and keep their current data plan, call AT&T and move to an official tethering plan, or, if the customer takes no action by March 27th, ATT will add the tethering plan for them. Bloom explains that the company has decided to stop unauthorized tethering in an attempt to create "fairness for all of [their] customers." You can find an example of one of the letters that AT&T is sending these users below

Message 67 of 155 (2,752 Views)
Mentor

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

 if the customer takes no action by March 27th, ATT will add the tethering plan for them

 

How does AT&T know if you are thethering or not? Just by the amount of data you are using , or be actual device signatures?

 

Just courious. I think its a good thing that they make it fair for everyone. You have the honest folks that are trying to do the right thing, then you have some who truly want to steal or at least be dishonest about the contract they signed to save a buck...

 

Message 68 of 155 (2,738 Views)
ACE - Professor

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

 


tsample2 wrote:

How does AT&T know if you are thethering or not? Just by the amount of data you are using , or be actual device signatures?

 


 

There are many ways to determine the number of hops a packet takes before landing on the AT&T network, TTL being the most obvious.

*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 69 of 155 (2,708 Views)
Scholar

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

Use the MyWireless app and add the tethering plan. When you're done, go back to the 2GB plan. You don't have to stay on it the entire month. It'll just be prorated. Use the tethering plan for the week you need it. If you don't plan to tether all the time, don't pay for it. This isn't complicated.
Message 70 of 155 (2,699 Views)

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

 


Javeon wrote:
Use the MyWireless app and add the tethering plan. When you're done, go back to the 2GB plan. You don't have to stay on it the entire month. It'll just be prorated. Use the tethering plan for the week you need it. If you don't plan to tether all the time, don't pay for it. This isn't complicated.

Which is fine for someone who is on one of the currently available plans.  But doesn't work for someone on the grandfathered unlimited plan.

 

Message 71 of 155 (2,766 Views)

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

 


johninsj wrote:

 


tsample2 wrote:

How does AT&T know if you are thethering or not? Just by the amount of data you are using , or be actual device signatures?

 


 

There are many ways to determine the number of hops a packet takes before landing on the AT&T network, TTL being the most obvious.


It is a good assumption that if the packet can find its way back to the device, there is a way to tell what its destination is

 

Message 72 of 155 (2,764 Views)
Scholar

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

Well if it's not a suitable option, switch to a carrier that allows unlimited tethering which is none.
Message 73 of 155 (2,755 Views)

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


archermoo wrote:

 

It is a good assumption that if the packet can find its way back to the device, there is a way to tell what its destination is

 


Yes, any networking architecture built to the OSI standards will have packet destination as part of the header of each packet.  All it takes is 'sniffing' each packet as it enters/exits the 'router' at each of the cell towers.  Each packet that comes in with NAT address, or session ID not specific to a smart phone, that packet probably came from a tethered/hot spotted device.  After that it's a simple matter of referencing via the IMEI number to get the account inforation and determine if that account has tethering or mobile hot spot paid for.

 

This has been easy to do for years now.

Message 74 of 155 (2,727 Views)
Teacher

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

[ Edited ]

There are so many people on dslreports.com forum that think tethering cost nothing and should be free. And they think ATT is "evil" for kicking people out from their grandfathered unlimited plan when jailbreaking their phones and doing tethering. A lot of them treat it as a wireline replacement and use more than 20GB on 3G. 

 

They course and troll because of that. See comments for yourself.

 

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/ATT-Warning-Users-Over-Unofficial-Tethering-113246

 

They don't understand they are burden and slow down other users. They are the cause that increases costs and get passed on to others. 

 

 

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