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  • AT&T Cracking Down on MyWi Tethering?


    We've gotten a couple of tips today from users saying that they are receiving notices from AT&T regarding tethering. These users have been using MyWi for tethering, and are grandfathered into AT&T's old unlimited iPhone data plan.

    For one user, the notices began as a simple text message:
    "AT&T Free Msg: Did you know tethering your Smartphone to a computer requires a tethering plan? Pls call 888-860-6789 for details or visit att.com/dataplans."


    AT&T then followed up with this message via email:

    Originally Posted by :
    Dear [Customer],

    We've noticed your service plan may need updating.

    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 you would like to continue tethering, please log into
    your account online at Cell Phones and Cell Phone Plans - Wireless from AT&T, or call us
    at 1-888-860-6789 Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. CST
    or Saturday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. CST, by March 27, 2011
    to sign up for DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering.
    Here are details on the plan:

    DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering
    • $45 per month
    (this gives you 4GB in total, combining both your smartphone data plan for $25 and the tethering feature, $20)
    • $10 per each additional GB thereafter, added automatically as needed
    • Mobile Hotspot capabilities are included for compatible Smartphones

    If we don't hear from you, we'll plan to automatically enroll you into DataPro 4GB afterMarch 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.

    It's easy to track your usage throughout the month so there are no bill surprises. For example, we send you free text messages when you reach 65, 90, and 100 percent of your plan's threshold. If you would like to monitor your account more closely, go towww.att.com/dataplans to learn about other ways to track your data usage.

    As a reminder, our smartphone data plans also include unlimited usage of Wi-Fi at no additional charge. AT&T smartphone customers can use Wi-Fi at home or on-the-go at any one of our more than 23,000 U.S. hotspots already included in your data plan.

    Thank you for bringing your account up to date. We appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve your mobile broadband needs.

    Sincerely,

    AT&T
    This is the first we've heard about users receiving messages regarding MyWi tethering from AT&T. One speculation as to how AT&T may know about tethering is the iOS 4.3 update, which allows the iPhone to be used a personal hotspot. It's possible that AT&T can now track data usage specifically to the device that's being tethered, regardless of whether its done through the personal hotspot feature in 4.3 or via MyWi.

    We'll keep you posted if we hear anything more on this issue. Thank you very much to the readers who sent this in to our tips email!

    UPDATE: Based on user comments that some users are getting the message that don't tether at all, it looks like AT&T is targeting users who have high data usage. As it turns out, MyWi shows up as 0 tether bytes.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T Cracking Down on MyWi Tethering? started by Matt Savoca View original post
    Comments 1466 Comments
    1. Sheolrock's Avatar
      Sheolrock -
      You could not be more wrong in your moped-SUV example. In your example an SUV is a computer/laptop and a moped is a smartphone. The ability to buy gas is internet access. The miles per gallon represents how much data is used to do certain tasks such as rendering a webpage and each gallon represents a quantified amount of data. A smartphone accessing a mobile website will require faaaaarrr less data because it gets far more efficient "mileage." A computer rendering the same data in a more lavish layout requires more data. The SUV pays more not because each unit costs more but because it requires more units.

      I love tethering and think it's ******** for AT&T to charge a fee to tether on an already capped data plan but when it comes to cracking down on people sucking down tons of data on unlimited data I can't say I'm surprised. If I could trade my grandfathered unlimited plan for a 4gig capped plan with no additional charge for tethering I'd do it in a second.
    1. Sheolrock's Avatar
      Sheolrock -
      On second though I suppose the extra charge to tether is somewhat like charging more per unit depending on your vehicle but I think the difference is that the original price per unit was determined by the amount that could reasonably be expected to consumed by a more "efficient" vehicle. Even if you are uncomfortable with calling the iPhone more efficient you atleast have to concede is less capable of consuming than a computer.
    1. gotanmp3's Avatar
      gotanmp3 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sheolrock View Post
      You could not be more wrong in your moped-SUV example.
      You're missing the point. What AT&T is doing is like changing the price you pay, PER GALLON, based on what they see you driving.

      It doesn't work like that in the real world. If you drive a moped that only carries one passenger, you'll pay for 1-2 gallons of gas and those 1-2 gallons will cost you the SAME PRICE as the gallons that go into the much larger tank of an SUV.

      But in AT&T's world, because that SUV can carry more passengers, haul more cargo and go off-road, they believe that you should be paying MORE for each gallon of gas than someone driving a less capable vehicle. That's the crux of the situation.
    1. Sheolrock's Avatar
      Sheolrock -
      It's more like having a flat price to fill up a moped and an additional flat fee to fill up a larger tank with a cap.
    1. iLoveWindows&iPhone's Avatar
      iLoveWindows&iPhone -
      Okay...this thread has gotten so bloated with all of this legal talk that is way over my head, it's way to hard to find what I am looking for, which is: Just wondering what other peoples experiences have been with this.

      I received this msg:

      AT&T Free Msg: Did you know tethering your Smartphone to a computer requires a tethering plan? Pls call 888-860-6789 for details or visit att.com/dataplans.

      I am running 4.2.1. It has now been 2, almost 3 days, and I have not received this second msg people are talking about. What was the time frame for you people who did get the second msg? I have not tethered since getting the first msg from AT&T...kinda scared. Are they monitoring to an extent where they can tell you are tethering that quickly, and sending that second msg when they see that you are? I don't know...until I know more about all of this.... I don't think I will be tethering! Good job at&t! U have me scared!!
    1. Sheolrock's Avatar
      Sheolrock -
      An unlimited plan is like a monthly "subscription" to a gas station that gives you unlimited refills of your moped tank. Tethering is like siphoning the gas out and putting it into other vehicles. The extra charge on capped plans is complete BS but trying to eliminate tethering on uncapped plans is pretty reasonable.
    1. spamsalad's Avatar
      spamsalad -
      Your carrier can throttle back your 3G speed

      Carrier CANNOT determine which software you are running. A "high" 3G user will use around 1 maybe 2GB of data. If they see double or treble that then the assumption is that you are tethering. I work for UK telecoms co and we regularly target and throttle users with high data usage. No brainer.
    1. iphone925's Avatar
      iphone925 -
      It be interesting to see how many plans AT&T manages to change automatically since some people here are under this impression if they just delete the text message which they received they are good to go just to let you know if you do got the text message and have just ignored it AT&T has scheduled a data plan change for you and in order to stop that We all have to call them.
    1. CX3NT3_713's Avatar
      CX3NT3_713 -
      Quote Originally Posted by javiert30 View Post
      Yes MyWi works on iOS 4.3

      OK, edited, to stay on the topic
      So your jailbroken on iOS 4.3 (tethered) is everything on cydia working good?? And does MyWi work?
    1. jasonleebob's Avatar
      jasonleebob -
      I called AT&T today to make sure my unlimited wouldn't be changed. I asked the lady what tethering was (lol) and of course she told me. I told her I didn't have the internet where I live so I used the phone a lot. She said something about their lab more than once and how they were deciding if people were tethering or not. I proceeded to tell her I hook the phone to the tv not sharing the internet but the video signal and she tried to tell me that was tethering. I told her that would be like saying i was tethering to my headphones if i was using them while watching Netflix or something. I also to her to make a note on my account that if they changed my plan I'd terminate service without paying any ETF. No tethering for now I guess.
    1. davidcarswell's Avatar
      davidcarswell -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ocardowin View Post
      Apparently, they just started these notices today.

      Do you mind sharing which program you use?
      I am using ugh.... opening cydia....

      TetherMe

      then select USB in the built in IOS tether preferences.
      I do not use the Bluetooth and fw 4.2.1 doesnt have wifi tether

      Quote Originally Posted by Sheolrock View Post
      You could not be more wrong in your moped-SUV example. In your example an SUV is a computer/laptop and a moped is a smartphone. The ability to buy gas is internet access. The miles per gallon represents how much data is used to do certain tasks such as rendering a webpage and each gallon represents a quantified amount of data. A smartphone accessing a mobile website will require faaaaarrr less data because it gets far more efficient "mileage." A computer rendering the same data in a more lavish layout requires more data. The SUV pays more not because each unit costs more but because it requires more units.

      I love tethering and think it's ******** for AT&T to charge a fee to tether on an already capped data plan but when it comes to cracking down on people sucking down tons of data on unlimited data I can't say I'm surprised. If I could trade my grandfathered unlimited plan for a 4gig capped plan with no additional charge for tethering I'd do it in a second.
      you are assuming everyone uses the mobile version of a website for which many websites I go to do not even have a mobile version. When they do - I click on the non-mobile link because I HATE the layout of mobile sites and the iphone has always been about the FULL internet, right. Well minus flash. So the analogy is actually quite valid.
    1. alanjuan13's Avatar
      alanjuan13 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Matt Savoca View Post


      We've gotten a couple of tips today from users saying that they are receiving notices from AT&T regarding tethering. These users have been using MyWi for tethering, and are grandfathered into AT&T's old unlimited iPhone data plan.

      For one user, the notices began as a simple text message:
      "AT&T Free Msg: Did you know tethering your Smartphone to a computer requires a tethering plan? Pls call 888-860-6789 for details or visit att.com/dataplans."


      AT&T then followed up with this message via email:



      This is the first we've heard about users receiving messages regarding MyWi tethering from AT&T. One speculation as to how AT&T may know about tethering is the iOS 4.3 update, which allows the iPhone to be used a personal hotspot. It's possible that AT&T can now track data usage specifically to the device that's being tethered, regardless of whether its done through the personal hotspot feature in 4.3 or via MyWi.

      We'll keep you posted if we hear anything more on this issue. Thank you very much to the readers who sent this in to our tips email!

      UPDATE: Based on user comments that some users are getting the message that don't tether at all, it looks like AT&T is targeting users who have high data usage. As it turns out, MyWi shows up as 0 tether bytes.

      So what should we do? keep using it or not?

      Quote Originally Posted by Matt Savoca View Post


      We've gotten a couple of tips today from users saying that they are receiving notices from AT&T regarding tethering. These users have been using MyWi for tethering, and are grandfathered into AT&T's old unlimited iPhone data plan.

      For one user, the notices began as a simple text message:
      "AT&T Free Msg: Did you know tethering your Smartphone to a computer requires a tethering plan? Pls call 888-860-6789 for details or visit att.com/dataplans."


      AT&T then followed up with this message via email:



      This is the first we've heard about users receiving messages regarding MyWi tethering from AT&T. One speculation as to how AT&T may know about tethering is the iOS 4.3 update, which allows the iPhone to be used a personal hotspot. It's possible that AT&T can now track data usage specifically to the device that's being tethered, regardless of whether its done through the personal hotspot feature in 4.3 or via MyWi.

      We'll keep you posted if we hear anything more on this issue. Thank you very much to the readers who sent this in to our tips email!

      UPDATE: Based on user comments that some users are getting the message that don't tether at all, it looks like AT&T is targeting users who have high data usage. As it turns out, MyWi shows up as 0 tether bytes.

      So what should we do? keep using it or not?
    1. MikePA's Avatar
      MikePA -
      Quote Originally Posted by jasonleebob View Post
      I called AT&T today to make sure my unlimited wouldn't be changed. I asked the lady what tethering was (lol) and of course she told me. I told her I didn't have the internet where I live so I used the phone a lot. She said something about their lab more than once and how they were deciding if people were tethering or not. I proceeded to tell her I hook the phone to the tv not sharing the internet but the video signal and she tried to tell me that was tethering. I told her that would be like saying i was tethering to my headphones if i was using them while watching Netflix or something. I also to her to make a note on my account that if they changed my plan I'd terminate service without paying any ETF. No tethering for now I guess.
      It makes a lots of sense to debate with a Customer Service Rep what tethering is.

      Quote Originally Posted by alanjuan13 View Post
      So what should we do? keep using it or not? So what should we do? keep using it or not?
      Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. What should we do?

      What are the choices;

      Pick One
      1. Stop 'unofficial' tethering.
      2. Continue 'unofficial' tethering.

      If you selected Option 2, what's the worst that can happen?

      1. You get caught and they add the tethering plan to your account.
      2. You get caught and you stop 'unofficial' tethering.
    1. sirfelix's Avatar
      sirfelix -
      You don't have to tether to use 20GB+ amount of data. I use the following all day long: Pandora Radio, watch Netflix on iPhone, Slingbox app, download video/audio podcasts, etc.

      One 40 min video podcast can run about 150MB. A 90 min Netflix movie can run about 350MB.

      Two podcasts and two movies = 1GB+ and I do this daily.
      No jailbreak, no MyWi.

      No text/email yet.
      Running 4.2.1 on iPhone 3G
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      Quote Originally Posted by MikePA View Post
      It makes a lots of sense to debate with a Customer Service Rep what tethering is.



      Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. What should we do?

      What are the choices;

      Pick One
      1. Stop 'unofficial' tethering.
      2. Continue 'unofficial' tethering.

      If you selected Option 2, what's the worst that can happen?

      1. You get caught and they add the tethering plan to your account.
      2. You get caught and you stop 'unofficial' tethering.
      That is how I see it too.

      Quote Originally Posted by sirfelix View Post
      You don't have to tether to use 20GB+ amount of data. I use the following all day long: Pandora Radio, watch Netflix on iPhone, Slingbox app, download video/audio podcasts, etc.

      One 40 min video podcast can run about 150MB. A 90 min Netflix movie can run about 350MB.

      Two podcasts and two movies = 1GB+ and I do this daily.
      No jailbreak, no MyWi.

      No text/email yet.
      Running 4.2.1 on iPhone 3G
      It certainly is possible to get these amazingly high usage numbers and not tether, however, it is much much easier to get them by tethering. I would guess a very high percentage of these power users are tethering, and comments from this thread have done nothing to dispel that notion.

      Plus, as far as I have seen so far, it doesn't look like at&t is going after people that legitimately use high amounts of data, they may be using your usage to "guess" if you are tethering, but it looks like if you can argue that you aren't tethering they will leave you alone. Of course, if they can tell you are tethering, and you call up and lie to them and say you aren't, I would imagine they would find you in breach of contract and wack you hard.
    1. AKCHRIS's Avatar
      AKCHRIS -
      I don't use MyWi.
    1. mlv's Avatar
      mlv -
      First, check if your phone has a slow connection. Speedtest is good. Remember that the bars only show your connectivity to your local cell tower. If it's bogged down, it's connection might be slow.

      If your phone is fast, then there may be too much wifi traffic in your area. You might try changing channels.
    1. MYPHONEI's Avatar
      MYPHONEI -
      Several thoughts

      At&t has sent these messages before

      Because of the affect it's having it's working

      Tethering does not cause large consumption of data
      Streaming and downloading does
    1. debo19832003's Avatar
      debo19832003 -
      I've read a lot of these post and a little confused. Is everyone on here using this mywi on thier iPad cause I'm using it on my Hp and my Internet is horrible. My wireless network connection status is 54.0 Mbps it's so slow I can bearly go from one page to another. I'm getting little to NO connection at all.
    1. Chanbingo's Avatar
      Chanbingo -
      Quote Originally Posted by jasonleebob View Post
      Does this sound like a class action law suit to anyone else? How can my unlimited internet suddenly become limited? I do not recall these stipulations when I signed up for this data plan. Just one more thing to add to my list of reasons to hate AT&T. Whats this whole "if you don't change it we will" bs about too? That doesn't sound like something they should be allowed to do. I rely on my iPhones teathering capabilities because I can't get internet where i just moved to unless I pay them 60$ a month for 5GB which is just insane.
      This sucks and I sir refuse!
      yeah, I guess someone should raise the voice on this.