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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:

    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. Bigbadjeff's Avatar
      Bigbadjeff -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bigbadjeff View Post


      My average data/month is like 0.5GB. I do not Tether. I have Unlimited Data.

      Today alone (no tethering) I've used 1.5GB, I'm going to continue doing this 24/7 for awhile to see if I raise any flags and get the anti-tethering Txt. Then we can start calling their bluffs.
      So my pandora radio started skipping a lot earlier. I paused and did a speedtest went from 2.5mbps to 0.3. I thought maybe my phone was wore out from streaming data hardcore all day. Turned it off and charged it fully. It still sucks.

      They obviously are throttling down high usage iPhones and I think.. when you're tethered they can't throttle down your Mbps.

      Maybe they detect cause youre downloading at 6+mbps instead of 0.3 like they have you set to..?

      Maybe it's not 'how much' data you use, but how quickly you use it. I could understand someone downloading 6mbps torrent on a laptop would be like 30 iPhones getting on Facebook.
    1. MMIer's Avatar
      MMIer -
      Why would AT&T want you to upgrade to 4.3.3?
      Seems odd that they would encourage it, maybe there is something there that may help them detect if you are tethering or not.
      Just a thought.
    1. Unknownuser1234's Avatar
      Unknownuser1234 -
      Well I've decided to give up tethering to keep my unlimited plan but I will be using my unlimited plan a lot more now. Went from less then 5 gigs a month to about 2 gigs the last two days. I'll play hardball. I personally feel if everyone does this and ATT sees there data usage increase by 4x they may reconsider. I for one will fight to the bitter end to keep my unlimited plan.
    1. ynotrhyme's Avatar
      ynotrhyme -
      Abuse the living hell out of your data plan people.!!! Its what ATT deserves for this type of crap. Lets download like animals so they can feel the wrath!
    1. Moosestache's Avatar
      Moosestache -
      Quote Originally Posted by Unknownuser1234 View Post
      Well I've decided to give up tethering to keep my unlimited plan but I will be using my unlimited plan a lot more now. Went from less then 5 gigs a month to about 2 gigs the last two days. I'll play hardball. I personally feel if everyone does this and ATT sees there data usage increase by 4x they may reconsider. I for one will fight to the bitter end to keep my unlimited plan.
      Your logic is amazing. If pushed too far at&t will simply end unlimited data altogether. Verizon has already made noises about ending it too. So thanks for leading the charge to get completely rid of unlimited data. You should be proud.
    1. MadAsHell's Avatar
      MadAsHell -
      I called AT&T and was mad as he'll when I got this text then the e-mail and 4 days later a letter so I called and she said that my unlimited data plan was to only be used for my phone so you can use pandora or any others. As long as it's downloaded on your phone they won't change my plan but this is BS. We pay for our phones and data plans so now we can't tether I say bring them down just like they did to the playstation network
    1. sirlance0505's Avatar
      sirlance0505 -
      That's what's funny about this whole situation. When I was tethering I always made sure I use wifi when possible to keep my data usage down so that when I did tether it wouldn't raise suspicion. So now that I have stopped tethering(while all this works itself out) I am now using 3G 100% of the time and using more data than when I was tethering. Ironic isn't it?
    1. Bigbadjeff's Avatar
      Bigbadjeff -
      Quote Originally Posted by sirlance0505 View Post
      That's what's funny about this whole situation. When I was tethering I always made sure I use wifi when possible to keep my data usage down so that when I did tether it wouldn't raise suspicion. So now that I have stopped tethering(while all this works itself out) I am now using 3G 100% of the time and using more data than when I was tethering. Ironic isn't it?
      Again I don't think it's how much TOTAL data you use, but how much you use per minute. I don't believe they can throttle down your laptop tethered to your iPhone. Which rapes their bandwith.
    1. sirlance0505's Avatar
      sirlance0505 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bigbadjeff View Post
      Again I don't think it's how much TOTAL data you use, but how much you use per minute. I don't believe they can throttle down your laptop tethered to your iPhone. Which rapes their bandwith.
      Then if that's the case, why are they trying to push all of us onto a tethered plan if it "rapes their bandwidth". Seems to me they wouldn't want us tethering at all if it was that hard on their system.
    1. MacDevil7334's Avatar
      MacDevil7334 -
      Quote Originally Posted by sirlance0505 View Post
      Then if that's the case, why are they trying to push all of us onto a tethered plan if it "rapes their bandwidth". Seems to me they wouldn't want us tethering at all if it was that hard on their system.
      Because they charge more for the tethering plan AND you can only use 4GB of data before they charge you more. So yes you can still use up bandwidth, but the people who use tethering as their primary means of accessing the internet will have to pay through the nose.
    1. WakaFlocka's Avatar
      WakaFlocka -
      I'm still tethering with MyWi on 4.2.1 and still haven't received any notices from AT&T informing me to stop... I estimate that I use around 10-12GB per month.
    1. sirlance0505's Avatar
      sirlance0505 -
      Quote Originally Posted by MacDevil7334 View Post
      Because they charge more for the tethering plan AND you can only use 4GB of data before they charge you more. So yes you can still use up bandwidth, but the people who use tethering as their primary means of accessing the internet will have to pay through the nose.
      And that's my point, that all this isn't about making it a better experience for the average Joe, cuz the tetherer's are sucking all the bandwidth as Att would like you to believe. It's all about $$$$$$$$$$$$ and that's what's pissing so many people off here. "Less for more"
      I would be more than happy to pay a little extra for say, 2gb of tethering data but still retain my unlimited on my phone. I don't think that's asking too much and I think most of us jailbreakers would agree.
    1. Unknownuser1234's Avatar
      Unknownuser1234 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Moosestache View Post
      Your logic is amazing. If pushed too far at&t will simply end unlimited data altogether. Verizon has already made noises about ending it too. So thanks for leading the charge to get completely rid of unlimited data. You should be proud.
      If ATT does this then they are changing the contract for everyone and then everyone will have an option to opt out and break their contract without an early term fee so I highly debt they would do that. If they do then I would jump ship and go elsewhere. On another note...

      FYI I got a hard copy of the notice in the mail today.

      Quote Originally Posted by sirlance0505 View Post
      And that's my point, that all this isn't about making it a better experience for the average Joe, cuz the tetherer's are sucking all the bandwidth as Att would like you to believe. It's all about $$$$$$$$$$$$ and that's what's pissing so many people off here. "Less for more"
      I would be more than happy to pay a little extra for say, 2gb of tethering data but still retain my unlimited on my phone. I don't think that's asking too much and I think most of us jailbreakers would agree.
      Agreed
    1. TEvil's Avatar
      TEvil -
      Well bigbadjeff may have a point cause at times when my laptop connects to stream xm while i work the bandwidth on my phone goes nuts but i always thought it was a mywi glitch
      On edge it stays really low which could be why im not bother tethering on edge which works fine for her
      All in all cell phone companies are starting to go nuts with fees

      Hey google heres a thought since you like free offerings to people

      Start a full voip cell service and instead of ringing when i dial i here 5 second ads
      Someone some how needs to slam att and verizon where it hurts

      I hope att reads this and tries it so i can send them a letter of desist
    1. Ahedmcdaniel's Avatar
      Ahedmcdaniel -
      They just changed my plan yesterday.
    1. ynotrhyme's Avatar
      ynotrhyme -
      How many warning you get? Did you download alot or a little?
    1. jeffs64's Avatar
      jeffs64 -
      Ok. Maybe when you sync your device with iTunes the information in your device is sent to AT&T via apple. Not really sure how they know but they must be able to get the info somewhere somehow. So with that being said I really think they are just trying to increase revenue to build up enough cash to to acquire T-Mobile. In the long run T-Mobile already as 4G. That's easiest and fastest way for AT&T to keep up with the demand for 4g and with the 4G already in place it makes sence. Here's the real kicker AT&T will charge more for 4G and we will pay for it for them. So they can acquire T-Mobile. Now that's how to make Mo MONEY. Great job AT&T
    1. Guardmy6's Avatar
      Guardmy6 -
      I'm not a conspiracy theorist or anything like that BUT, I did notice a week or two ago that my battery started draining much faster than normal. I started going through the programing on my phone thinking maybe a GPS Program was causing the drain. I could not find one thing wrong in my hidden files or programing. Since then the phone is acting normal again.
      Is it possible AT&T sent something wirelessly to spy on or run in the background of our phones? If they are losing tons of money then why wouldn't they try something extreme?
      Does anybody know a support staff member that can shed light on our problem?
    1. Guardmy6's Avatar
      Guardmy6 -
      Quote Originally Posted by WakaFlocka View Post
      I'm still tethering with MyWi on 4.2.1 and still haven't received any notices from AT&T informing me to stop... I estimate that I use around 10-12GB per month.
      Are u tethered with the USB or wireless tethering?
    1. js81082's Avatar
      js81082 -
      I've noticed since all this started my battery life has been worse then before and anything apps that uses my data have been very sluggish
      Quote Originally Posted by Guardmy6 View Post
      I'm not a conspiracy theorist or anything like that BUT, I did notice a week or two ago that my battery started draining much faster than normal. I started going through the programing on my phone thinking maybe a GPS Program was causing the drain. I could not find one thing wrong in my hidden files or programing. Since then the phone is acting normal again.
      Is it possible AT&T sent something wirelessly to spy on or run in the background of our phones? If they are losing tons of money then why wouldn't they try something extreme?
      Does anybody know a support staff member that can shed light on our problem?