iPhone Tethering and MMS Hacks Surface

Many AT&T iPhone customers have been disappointed by the carrier's lack of support for both Internet tethering and MMS at launch for iPhone OS 3.0. A pair of new reports today highlight a couple of iPhone hacks for enabling tethering and/or MMS without requiring jailbreaking. Readers should note, however, that such hacks violate the terms of service for many carriers and should therefore proceed at their own risk.

The first hack, brought to our attention by Engadget, activates tethering by modifying a user's carrier settings file. The hack utilizes specific carrier settings files from a wide range of carriers around the globe, opening up the method to a large number of users.

Essentially, you use your iPhone to browse to a site that you've never heard of (help.benm.at), download a file that promises to reconfigure your local carrier profile, and then switch on tethering as you would had you tithed a monthly tethering fee to your carrier. We've confirmed that it works on T-Mobile NL and on O2 UK. There's obvious risk here so be careful and backup your iPhone first before giving this a shot. And don't go nuts either -- remember, your unlimited data plan likely contains a "fair use" clause and you can bet that carriers won't be happy to see their bandwidth diminish without compensation.

Carrier settings files for all carriers (not just AT&T) are also available through iPhone-notes.de. Some users have reported that the hack disables MMS and visual voicemail on their carriers, so users should be aware of the possible trade-off.

Gizmodo offers up a second hack that can enable both tethering and MMS.

Our first method comes from Giz reader Aaron Krill, who has posted a comprehensive guide -- a sort of super-powered update to our old 3.0 tethering hack -- to enabling both tethering and MMS specifically on AT&T. It's not the simplest procedure, but it's approachable, and doesn't require jailbreaking like before. The gist:

- Enable IPCC updates on iTunes 8.2
- Update IPCC files
- Spoof AT&T's website into thinking you have an other phone

The MMS portion of the hack requires another non-Apple phone running on AT&T's network, swapping the iPhone's SIM card into the non-Apple phone, and changing messaging plans.

You should proceed with caution with any of these potential changes as they are unofficial and unsupported.

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