AT&T Cracking Down on Unauthorized Tethering

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ModMyI and our forums have reported that some users are receiving notices from AT&T about unauthorized tethering. Tethering is the act of sharing your iPhone's 3G connection with another device. AT&T charges an additional fee for this activity.

Some users received the above SMS message with a followup email explaining tethering and warning them that tethering will be enabled if they continue to use that feature.

Many AT&T customers use their smartphones as a broadband connection for other devices, like laptops, netbooks or other smartphones - a practice commonly known as tethering. 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.

TiPb speculates on how they are detecting unauthorized tethering:

I think it's one of two things. Since AT&T offers Personal Hotspot under iOS 4.3, they may have access to data they didn't before, and they're choosing to use it in a pretty crappy way. So if you're on iOS 4.2.1 still (almost all jailbreakers are) and they see you're generating traffic that looks like Personal Hotspot, they know you're doing so without a plan. Once a jailbreak for iOS 4.3 is released, I bet it will make it a lot harder for them to track what users are actually tethering legitimately. Option two, they're just going after heavy data users again and trying to bluff them into switching to a tethering plan and losing their unlimited data.

Top Rated Comments

zweigand Avatar
123 months ago
Has anyone NOT on the unlimited plan been sent the warning?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hexonxonx Avatar
127 months ago

Yes, unless you had the unlimited plan. Unlimited is no longer offered, so once you lose it, you can't get it back.


Unless of course you still have an original iPhone. I was able to switch from the 2GB+tethering plan back to an unlimited plan by moving my sim from my 3GS back to my original iPhone and then reactivating it in iTunes. I was able to select my unlimited plan and the phone reactivated.


I then put the sim back in my 3GS and an hour later, got an SMS stating that I had been switched to the unlimited data plan for my 3GS phone. There is always a way back. :)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yg17 Avatar
127 months ago

145GB this month, warning and still tethering....

AT&T can eat a male private part!:cool:

500Gbs this year:D

You're why carriers no longer offer unlimited data. Thanks.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MagnusVonMagnum Avatar
128 months ago

You are paying for 3G service on YOUR PHONE not your laptop.
You cannot easily DL 150Gs for example on your iphone yet you could easily do that on a laptop in one day.

Stop trying to cheat the system.


I don't even have a freaking iPhone dude so spare me the lecture about what you automatically somehow assume I'm doing. :rolleyes:

Regardless, what you can and cannot 'easily do' is IRRELEVANT. If you paid for 150GB of data then you are entitled to 150GB of data. And and it's not that hard to DL a lot of data on an iPad, for instance. A computer is a computer. Just because it's smaller doesn't make it fundamentally different. Safari is on an iPhone, an iPad and a Notebook. And I don't think most of these people doing this are running Bit Torrent clients on their tethered connection. Many people just want to check their e-mail on their notebook. I don't see how that entitles AT&T to more money for the same data regardless of whether it's checked with your e-mail on the iPhone, iPad or iMac.

What YOU and others on here REFUSE to acknowledge is that AT&T are unbelievably GREEDY, immoral and despicable for trying to charge people twice for the same data they already paid for.

Some don't see it because they think the greedy rich are always right and that the average hard working person should bow down to the almighty rich people. They believe that the top 5% should control 99% of the wealth and everyone else should just take whatever they're dishing out. They want early fees, late fees, in-between fees, going to the bathroom while on the clock fees, processing fees, handling fees, baggage fees, pillow fees, sitting near an aisle fees, and a surcharge if your socks don't match your shoes fee. If you don't like those fees, you can just go without because you won't get the service without it. You must AGREE to the software terms, no matter how ridiculously unreasonable or return your opened $60 game which the store will NOT take back because it's been opened or pay a 25% 'restocking' fee. Too bad. But no, it's the person who is sick of getting constantly screwed by the system that is in the wrong.... :rolleyes:
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
manman Avatar
128 months ago
you aren't really stealing service since tethering is not an at&t service, it's a function built into the device. I still can't see clearly what part of this is "stealing", but I get the contract violation part.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheRealTVGuy Avatar
129 months ago

Poor thing... he doesn't realize napster and limewire are history. Also, once the data hits my device, it's mine to do with as I please. Thank you very much.

>laughing_girls.jpg.tiff.

By the way, I agree with you. Once you buy something, you should be able to use said device to its maximum potential. NOT have to pay to unlock its built-in features.

And by the way AT&T, all I want from you is a large pipe full of 1s and 0s. What I choose do do with them, or how I use and distribute them should be of no concern... Just one flat rate for a big, fast, data pipe.

Until then I'm stuck because I believe in playing by the rules, no matter how F-d up they are...
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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