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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. iNT3Rv3NTiONZz's Avatar
      iNT3Rv3NTiONZz -
      Quote Originally Posted by maddawg05 View Post
      I didn't read thru all 200 replies so I apologize if this has already been mentioned. AT&T is definitely unable to see exactly if you're tethering or not. It's how much data you're using that's triggering the email/text. I use to think the cutoff was 5GB eventhough it says unlimited. Well if you ever wanted to get out of your contract this would be the time because I'm pretty sure you can use the automatic 'upgrade' to your plan to threaten them on a legality basis. Or maybe this is AT&T's intent? To get the big users to leave? Who knows.
      Its not legal for AT&T to suggest to users they need to upgrade. In fact if anyone is commiting a crime its the user because they are fully aware they arent sposed yo be tethering without a tethering plan. AT&T arent trying to get there big customers to leave, they just want them to pay what they 'should' be paying in their eyes.


      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
    1. jb40967's Avatar
      jb40967 -
      Just wondering if anyone on a business account got this as well. There are a few hundred of us in our company using an iphone and everybody gets the same plan.
    1. sandifop's Avatar
      sandifop -
      My data (for those trying to figure out what is happening)

      I didn't get a msg/email.
      I use MyWi
      iphone 4
      4.3
      900mB this month
    1. CompFreak07's Avatar
      CompFreak07 -
      Quote Originally Posted by maddawg05 View Post
      I didn't read thru all 200 replies so I apologize if this has already been mentioned. AT&T is definitely unable to see exactly if you're tethering or not. It's how much data you're using that's triggering the email/text. I use to think the cutoff was 5GB eventhough it says unlimited. Well if you ever wanted to get out of your contract this would be the time because I'm pretty sure you can use the automatic 'upgrade' to your plan to threaten them on a legality basis. Or maybe this is AT&T's intent? To get the big users to leave? Who knows.
      Please explain how you know for sure they are unable to see if you are tethering or not. I would really like to know because there have been many post in the thread saying otherwise with good explanations. So please if you know something we dont enlighten us. Oh yea thats right you dont! If you somehow do I apologize but good luck convincing me or others who have a bit more knowledge on the subject than you from my understanding by what you just said.

      Quote Originally Posted by iNT3Rv3NTiONZz View Post
      What? They can obviously see the amount of data their customers are using, so if a user has regular, long bursts of dramatically increased data usage then they can see they've been tethering... Its not rocket science (unfortunately) lolz


      Sent from my iPhone using ModMyi
      I hate to break it to ya but just because you all the sudden start using a lot of data does not mean you are tethering. What about watching Netflix, SlingBox, or Hulu. Or maybe using multiple programs in the App Store that let you download any files you want no matter the size, did you ever think of that?

      Why do people post things without researching about them first or at least having a better understanding of what they are saying is beyond me but I have corrected enough people for the day. I am going to bed!


      Quote Originally Posted by sandifop View Post
      My data (for those trying to figure out what is happening)


      I didn't get a msg/email.
      I use MyWi
      iphone 4
      4.3
      900mB this month
      THANK YOU... Finally someone posting something to help us figure out exactly whats going on instead of posting a bunch of noise!
    1. jigme's Avatar
      jigme -
      @iphone925 & others -

      if an AT&T rep tells you that using Youtube or DishSling is tethering this is clearly wrong - but also potentially even more worrying:

      EITHER that rep's clueless & taking cr@p OR AT&T has a new definition of 'tethering' that includes using native and App Store apps.

      that would be bad.
    1. iphone925's Avatar
      iphone925 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CompFreak07 View Post
      x2dope you do make very valid points.



      Iphone925, thank you for letting me know where you came up with that info. I noticed that bignighttrain posted the e-mail he received here AT&T Cracking Down on MyWi Tethering? and it has the same date. I was under the impression at first that the date in the e-mail was somehow based on each individuals billing cycle but the same date is on both yours and his. To answer your original questions, because we still don't have concrete proof that they can tell your tethering or if they go by high data usage we cant be sure that just by not tethering until after that date, will stop them from changing your plan if you do have high data usage. I would consider high to be around 10GB or so but some people may think differently. Also, I don't know who you talked to with at att but if you had there name i would call back and start asking questions and complain to them that what you use are apps that you bought from the app store and to have them give you a detailed explanation of how that can be considered tethering. Read them the definition of tethering from here and see what they come back with Tethering - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia





      I have searched on Google and seems like everyone is getting that March 27th date so far. It makes me wonder what's up with that march 27th thing cause the funny things is my next billing cycle starts from the 21st and if someone gets some other date beside march 27th Please let us know here hopefully some of the experts on this forum would able to figure it out how they are cracking down on the tethering exactly.
    1. pcionwk's Avatar
      pcionwk -
      It's a fishing expedition. Their casting out their line to people that use a large amount of data relative to the average and assuming they tether, saying they're going to switch their acct automatically so they can without legal issues. Nice play AT&T, but the people that use that much data know they are and know what they're doing. Jlamador2 has it right above. Don't stand for it!
    1. peacedog's Avatar
      peacedog -
      I'm curious. Anyone on a 2GB plan + uses MyWi get the text msg warning?

      My guess is no.
    1. iphone925's Avatar
      iphone925 -
      To shed some more light on to this here is something interesting I just found from Google

      AT&T Cracking Down on Unofficial iPhone Tethering & MyWi Users

      This user basically is saying

      QUOTE

      "Based on my conversation with a rep, she said she’s received calls all day on these messages. They were targeted towards higher data users. My wife doesn’t tether and uses a lot of data with netflix, pandora, etc. I do tether and use a fraction of what she does and we both got dinged."
    1. ca3's Avatar
      ca3 -
      wonder if bluetooth tether is being caught? has anyone got the email after bluetooth tethering
    1. ishghosh's Avatar
      ishghosh -
      Is there anywhere can we read this contract that "grandfathered" us into an "unlimited" plan?

      I'm curious to see what the fine print says.
    1. Jj2345's Avatar
      Jj2345 -
      this topic was on
      "attact of the show"
      last week.but I didn't even pay attention :-(
    1. ca3's Avatar
      ca3 -
      4.2.1
      mywi newest on demand (using bluetooth)
      Have about 1200 mb
      no email/text
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      lol man i hope not!
    1. GreYFoXGTi's Avatar
      GreYFoXGTi -
      all they can do is track your usage and sniff your users-agent use socks 5 to be safe...
    1. frjuan's Avatar
      frjuan -
      Quote Originally Posted by JAYPIFF View Post
      Live under a rock? 4.3 is out -.-
      The jailbreak Patrick, not the firmware.
    1. mastuul's Avatar
      mastuul -
      I wonder if this will happen if you use PDANet too?
    1. windwalker's Avatar
      windwalker -
      They must have changed their definition of tethering. The list given to me was: tethering to a computer or any other devices such as laptop, home computer, hand held devices, letting friends use your data from other devices, streaming tv, streaming music, downloading videos and/or music, or any other large files. Thing is, apple doesn't have 3G restricters set on a lot of apps like YouTube, downloads, Netflix, and so on and so forth. So, really who's to blame? Not the user. It would be apple, but they aren't going to go after a big giant that would cost them a fortune to do so. They are going to go after us, tethering or not, unless you are on their other pocket stealing plans.
    1. maddawg05's Avatar
      maddawg05 -
      @CompFreak07

      I don't claim to know it all and stand to be corrected. Since you know it all, you explain to me the technology out there by any carrier and how it is technically capable of detecting tethering by an individual user. If it was possible I would think this would have surfaced a lot earlier. The only logical assumption by AT&T why a user is using 10-20 GB of data a month compared to average users are WAY less=tethering. My thought of reason (if you haven't read some posts) that people have gotten email/text and haven't tethered, but because of excessive data usage from Netflix, pandora, etc. You're right can't say for 100% but a little differential reasoning. And just because you read it on a post or two on here OR google doesn't make it true or correct.
    1. General Klinger's Avatar
      General Klinger -
      I got that text yesterday and I don't even use MyWi. I just deleted it LOL