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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. bobright's Avatar
      bobright -
      Quote Originally Posted by HCWHunter View Post
      I'm using version 5.02. We don't know for sure whether tethering for short periods w/little data usage will trigger an ATT text or email, but it appears that they DO warn you before changing your Plan. I continue to tether sporadically, but very seldom go over 2G per month.
      Yeah ok going to give it a shot I mean I rarely go over 500mb a month and am on the unlimited data plan. If I tether occasionally I doubt i'd even crack the 2GB mark so well see how it goes.

      I just purchased PDANet 5.02 which is the latest I believe.

      I've got a couple questions, what is the "channel" option for and what should it be set to? Also what about strength where do you guys set that too?
    1. Assassination's Avatar
      Assassination -
      What you guys suggest? They suppose to switching my plan last month but they didn't. Should I tether OR just don't do it at all
    1. debo19832003's Avatar
      debo19832003 -
      Quote Originally Posted by TEvil View Post
      do you work for ATT?
      If its a good service for all why did they only reduce the cost by 5 measly bucks?
      Dont you think a 2gig cap is worth more around the 15 the small plan is and the small plan should be about 5$?
      They are raping consumers and playing it off as a helping hand. Even hitler thought he was doing gods work.
      Quote Originally Posted by TEvil View Post
      do you work for ATT?
      If its a good service for all why did they only reduce the cost by 5 measly bucks?
      Dont you think a 2gig cap is worth more around the 15 the small plan is and the small plan should be about 5$?


      They are raping consumers and playing it off as a helping hand. Even hitler thought he was doing gods work.
      GREAT post tevil. Well ladies and gentlemen I told you I would update you on what happen with att . And my filing with the bbb. I tried to copy and paste from my phone but I'm can't when I get to a pc I will show the letter in full. But in full the letter states that I have to show more proof of att changing my plan in order for me NOT to pay the deactivation fee. I told everyone here I would switch to verizon before july 7th before they completely get rid of their unlimited plan, and I have done so. I'm glad I did. Do you know verzion allows you to use pdanet with NO penalty on their 4G network, which att doesn't have yet. I travel all over this country for business and I have notice a drastic change in speed and service. not one drop call as of yet and my phone is 10 times faster than att network and phone. But


      I want to let everyone know my fight lives on
      against the juggeraunt they call att ( the evil empire) not just for me but the many who suffer at the hands of unfair and disloyal business practice. I will be filling an appeal with more concert evidence and I'll keep you all posted.

      Hey HDJAY did you get a response from the bbb yet?
    1. cldipad's Avatar
      cldipad -
      What other proof would the BBB need. Show them the bill before and the bill after and state that you did not authorize the change. It will be interesting to see where this goes.
    1. hadzo's Avatar
      hadzo -
      I got response for them stating that there isn't enough evidence for them to consider the case. Granted, I only submitted what was suggested here couple of pages ago.

      I believe I was the first to start a thread on modmyi in reference to this. I used PDA net and got warned again. Called them and they set a new dead line date. Haven't tether since, haven't herd from them since.

      With all honesty, from business perspective I can see their argument with this. However, I do believe that their approach on the matter was wrong. Rather than just sending text/email stating we detected you are tethering they should have provided clear cut date and time of tethering sessions. Instead, they opted keeping us in the dark on it. If they realized that some (and this goes out to those who abuse this!!! its all your fault btw) 100GB + data users might be tethering than they should have just allowed it on unlimited plan but cap it at say 5GB.

      I'm staying of tethering for now... I still like and want to keep my unlimited plan since I still stream ton of netflix and radio... but no where near past 10GB max a month...
    1. debo19832003's Avatar
      debo19832003 -
      All I did was take the letter that hdjay and send that in online butt this time I will copy my bill and send that to them and that should be enough. I'll keep you all posted. When I submit that today
    1. bobright's Avatar
      bobright -
      Quote Originally Posted by debo19832003 View Post
      All I did was take the letter that hdjay and send that in online butt this time I will copy my bill and send that to them and that should be enough. I'll keep you all posted. When I submit that today

      I see from reading these past couple post of yours, youre fighting this and are one of the targeted ones by ATT

      I'm curious though no offense would you say you were one of the hoarders who tethered? In other words have you ever exceeded 4-5 gigs 8, 10 etc at any point?
    1. debo19832003's Avatar
      debo19832003 -
      Yes. My usage would vary from month to month one month it could be two gig encounter month it could be 8 gig. But never over 8 gig. Hitting 8 gig would be rare for me . If I did a average I would say at most 5 gigs . On average. I've seen post where people use 30 gigs. Now that upsurd but get we are paying your unlimited data
    1. ccoltmanm's Avatar
      ccoltmanm -
      Any updates on this? Or is the community silent on the issue now?
    1. debo19832003's Avatar
      debo19832003 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ccoltmanm View Post
      Any updates on this? Or is the community silent on the issue now?
      I was thinking the same thing. I guess nothing new has happen. I'm in the process of filing a appeal. Other than that I guess nothing
    1. bplease's Avatar
      bplease -
      Thinking the same as you two. Still trying to figure out the loophole. Still convinced this isn't something they've been able to detect for years. iits been happening for the last 5-6 years at least, on edge and 3g networks and on all different phones. They didn't just decide hey we have enough people doing it now, lets make them pay.

      Having said that.
      It's pretty bad when there is that many people jailbroken but less than 5% of that community actually tries keep developing it. The 4 was my first Iphone, gonna have a hard time staying with them in the future not because of the equipment but because of the incredibly inept community.
    1. The6uest's Avatar
      The6uest -
      Quote Originally Posted by bplease View Post
      Thinking the same as you two. Still trying to figure out the loophole. Still convinced this isn't something they've been able to detect for years. iits been happening for the last 5-6 years at least, on edge and 3g networks and on all different phones. They didn't just decide hey we have enough people doing it now, lets make them pay.
      The reason AT&T just started charging people for tethering is because they just added the tethering plan this year for the iPhone. They couldn't charge people before since that feature wasn't available.

      As for updates on AT&T cracking down, I too got the email/text and then called to tell them I wasn't tethering so they didn't change my plan. That was 3 months ago and I haven't changed my data usage any because of the warning yet I still have not gotten a second email so I'm hoping they have stopped going after folks. Anyone else get a second email/warning recently?
    1. tjxlee's Avatar
      tjxlee -
      I received the email/text about a month and a half ago and I have yet to receive another. The month that I received the notice was when my data spiked from 2gb to 11gb. I was using miwi on vacation. After calling and getting noted by ATT that I was not tethering, I decreased my tethering usage to a must need basis only. I also switched to PDAnet for a little bit. So far no second notice. I will gradually increase my usage, but would like to know with certainty how to avoid getting another notice.
    1. bplease's Avatar
      bplease -
      Quote Originally Posted by The6uest View Post
      The reason AT&T just started charging people for tethering is because they just added the tethering plan this year for the iPhone. They couldn't charge people before since that feature wasn't available.

      As for updates on AT&T cracking down, I too got the email/text and then called to tell them I wasn't tethering so they didn't change my plan. That was 3 months ago and I haven't changed my data usage any because of the warning yet I still have not gotten a second email so I'm hoping they have stopped going after folks. Anyone else get a second email/warning recently?
      While the iphone just got a tethering plan Att's other devices have had tethering for at least 4 years. During those years their tether has still been used "illegally".
      Also yes they could charge for it, if you haven't learned by now they can charge for anything they want. They didn' t have to offer them a tethering plan, there is nothing that says they have to offer it to you inorder to stop you from doing it without paying.
      I got my letter around 3 months also, my usage is still over 10g's, still unlimited.
    1. Brr's Avatar
      Brr -
      AT&T seems to have changed the way to go about this and it now seems they will "throttle back" after about 4 gigabytes of usage per month. I haven't reached that yet but I noticed someone else comment about the 4 gig data level being throttled back.
    1. HCWHunter's Avatar
      HCWHunter -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brr View Post
      AT&T seems to have changed the way to go about this and it now seems they will "throttle back" after about 4 gigabytes of usage per month. I haven't reached that yet but I noticed someone else comment about the 4 gig data level being throttled back.
      Yeah, ATT officially announced that starting Oct. 1 they will throttle back speeds for unlimited plans after 4 gigs. They say they will give several warnings first, but I'll bet they are testing the equipment now on the data hogs. I'm actually fine with that since I've never used 4 gigs. It will be interesting to see whether they continue to target tetherers after Oct. 1.
    1. The6uest's Avatar
      The6uest -
      Quote Originally Posted by HCWHunter View Post
      Yeah, ATT officially announced that starting Oct. 1 they will throttle back speeds for unlimited plans after 4 gigs. They say they will give several warnings first, but I'll bet they are testing the equipment now on the data hogs. I'm actually fine with that since I've never used 4 gigs. It will be interesting to see whether they continue to target tetherers after Oct. 1.
      Well, while I don't like them throttling, that is better than taking our unlimited data plans at least..
    1. csglinux's Avatar
      csglinux -
      There's a good article on the data-throttling issue here:

      'Throttling' by AT&T, Verizon lacks transparency - CNN.com
    1. thetoothfairy's Avatar
      thetoothfairy -
      Quote Originally Posted by The6uest View Post
      Well, while I don't like them throttling, that is better than taking our unlimited data plans at least..
      I think you better read the article below....

      I have been paying AT&T since the iPhone and iPad came out and have unlimited data plans... however there has been months to where I don't use it... I think AT&T owes me is what I think!

      Also if you don't use as much data I think that AT&T should leave our accounts alone. I hate to sound rude as I am not that way but this is all a bunch of bull crap! I read the article that csglinux posted... AT&T is sticking it right up our you know whats is what they are doing.... I am so over this! I think we the people are going to have to start something to stop this... especially for the people with the unlimited plans.