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Palm Pre Does Not Get US Tethering Either

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the cutting-the-cord dept.

Cellphones 232

fermion writes "The Register is reporting that Palm has sent a note to the Pre Dev Wiki asking it to stop discussing tethering. Palm is worried that its US carrier partner, Sprint, is none too eager to have users tether the game-changing tetherable smart phone. While the communication was informal, not legal, the development forum is evidently eager to avoid any possibility of lawsuits, so has rapidly agreed. Perhaps, like the iPhone, the Pre is going have a vigorous underground. What is interesting is that the Pre, like the iPhone (allegedly), can be tethered outside of the US; but even those customers are being denied apparently lawful information to satisfy the US exclusive agents."

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Well that doesn't surprise me one bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352789)

you know who else was adamantly against tethering?

Re:Well that doesn't surprise me one bit (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352947)

you know who else was adamantly against tethering?

NASA [space.com] ?

Re:Well that doesn't surprise me one bit (2, Funny)

genmax (990012) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353861)

Cows ?

Ok...and? (5, Insightful)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352829)

Was anyone really expecting the greedy phone companies to give us tethering?

You have a better chance of TPB and Time Warner merging into one company.

Re:Ok...and? (1)

BabyDuckHat (1503839) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352871)

So, you're saying there's a chance.

Re:Ok...and? (1)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352895)

You have a better chance of TPB and Time Warner merging into one company.

And having hot, sweaty sex to produce a start up company called "Skatch", which produces and markets wrist watches which can shoot lasers that turn objects into skittles.

Re:Ok...and? (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352921)

You have a better chance of TPB and Time Warner merging into one company.

Yeah, but if that were to happen you wouldn't be able to pirate only what you wanted, so I don't think it would work as well.

Re:Ok...and? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353197)

Was anyone really expecting the greedy phone companies to give us tethering?

No, but it does mean that the iPhone doesn't have exclusivity on this lacking feature.

Re:Ok...and? (5, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353235)

My G1 tethers just fine. 3G in Dallas is phenomenal. Then again I intentionally chose a phone that wouldn't limit my choices.

Re:Ok...and? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353379)

But you did intentionally choose an attitude that displays your douchiness.

Re:Ok...and? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353549)

It's cute when an iPhone user gets miffed (who would better recognize douchiness?).

Tethering on a G1 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353807)

Last I checked, the G1 is only available through T-Mobile. The terms of their agreements PROHIBIT tethering on any phone, including the G1.

I mean, they had Google pull a tethering app from the Android app store because using it constituted a violation of the user agreement.

Are things different in Dallas?

Re:Tethering on a G1 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353905)

Everything is BIGGER in Texas, my friend. And I mean EVERYTHING! You should see the size of the cocks down here, holy cow! Shit, I thought they were cow's cocks at first. Then I did a double take and realized: Ah, wait just a minute, Kenneth, those aren't penises at all...they're just 30k millionaires buying, er leasing, luxury cars and stuffing their pants to make them seem all high and mighty. Unfortunately, most queers fall for this, cock, balls, and deeper. The women, too. Although they're in on the game too, with their fake titties and designer purses and such. Ahh, well, that's Dallas for you. Keepin' in real FAKE.

Re:Tethering on a G1 (1)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353925)

Last I checked, the G1 is only available through T-Mobile. The terms of their agreements PROHIBIT tethering on any phone, including the G1.

I mean, they had Google pull a tethering app from the Android app store because using it constituted a violation of the user agreement.

Are things different in Dallas?

Yea, we got root access here. Also allot of heat. Can't have one without the other I'm afraid.

Re:Ok...and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353901)

Your stock, unmodified G1 does no such thing.

Re:Ok...and? (4, Funny)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353729)

Was anyone really expecting the greedy phone companies to give us tethering?

Was anyone really expecting unlimited mobile internet to include tethering?

Does anyone really think that unlimited data for your phone and unlimited data for your laptop are really the same (or so similar) as products?

Did people with these expectations bother to ask the salespeople to clarify or, failing that, to read their service agreement?

Do people on slashdot always have to ask annoyingly rhetorical questions instead of simply stating what they think in declarative sentences?

Did I just answer my own question?

Re:Ok...and? (3, Interesting)

GeekWade (623925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353963)

Was anyone really expecting the greedy phone companies to give us tethering?

No, but when I say to the sales guys "I will pay more if I can tether" I expect this little thing called capitalism to rear its little head and for somebody to take my money in exchange for the service that I am (wait for it....) willing to pay for! No, the incredible per kilobit fees that they threaten with in the standard "unlimited" plans do not count. Let me and the others like me pay for "unlimited+" and go upgrade your network to handle the load. When the next big thing comes along I will probably pay for that too and you can further upgrade your network. Wash, rinse, repeat...

I love how it is left unsaid (4, Funny)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352877)

So many times people discuss tethering without actually describing what it means.

For those that don't know, tethering is when you tie your phone to your computer and hit it around the computer several times, until the phone brakes your computer screen.

Tethering is legal in all states, but some phone companies seem to object to it, so they contractually prevent you from doing this.

Now that I have an unlimited data plan, if I could just figure out a way to use my telephone as a modem for my computer, because hey, it's my property and fair use laws means I have the legal right to view it on any sized screen I want.

Re:I love how it is left unsaid (3, Interesting)

TejWC (758299) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353131)

Reasons why cell phone companies hate tethering:
1. Youtube. When AT&T did calculations for the iPhone, they initially didn't take youtube into account and once it was available to iPhone customers, their 3 year bandwidth projection was hit in just 3 weeks (I'll look up the citation later, but you'll have to take my word on it). Now that youtube is available to many mobile devices, I would assume that they are worried that other apps (like WoW, Skype, BitTorrent) could suck up a lot of bandwidth
2. Tethering your computer to your phone means that your cellphone could potentially be part of a botnet from your pwned windows computer.
3. If they can legally charge you for it, why not? Many businesses are willing to pay the fee as a "cost of doing business".

Re:I love how it is left unsaid (3, Informative)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353317)

The problem is that they are trying to charge people extra for something that they are legally required to let you do. It's kind of like saying "We are charging people extra for cable if you want to hook up your own personal DVR up to.

NO. If I bought unlimited access, they I get unlimited access and I have the right to shift content I download to anywhere I want. If you don't really want to give out unlimited access, then don't lie and claim it is unlimited access. It is called Fraud when you advertise something and don't supply it.

Re:I love how it is left unsaid (5, Insightful)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353643)

If I bought unlimited access, they I get unlimited access and I have the right to shift content I download to anywhere I want.

If you bought unlimited access, that would be true. The terms and conditions on my wireless service (Sprint w/ unlimited data but not the Pre) simply do not state this. The terms are quite clear that I have unlimited bandwidth for use on my phone but that I may not use that bandwidth from any other device (without paying for the phone-as-modem plan). No sales person ever represented otherwise to me and I would like to see some citation to a claim to the contrary which would be the linchpin of any claim of fraud.

Your argument that you have the right to shift content to wherever you like makes no sense -- you have a written agreement with the carrier that clearly delineates the rights and responsibilities of both parties. The fact that you don't like the term or that you believe you have the "right" to ignore those terms is entirely meaningless. In fact, if you want to talk about fraud, it's breach of contrast to willfully violate the terms of your agreement with the wireless carrier.

As a side matter, why shouldn't the carriers (provided they advertise such a service honestly) be able to sell an "unlimited internet for your mobile device" plan? If the terms are upfront and the salefolk don't lie about it, it's up to consumers to decide if such a plan meets their needs.

Re:I love how it is left unsaid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353771)

...(provided they advertise such a service honestly)...

Do you really think that could happen? I want to live in your world.

Re:I love how it is left unsaid (2, Insightful)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353563)

Tethering your computer to your phone means that your cellphone could potentially be part of a botnet from your pwned windows computer.

Somehow I don't think they give a shit about that one. Every other ISP sure doesn't.

Re:I love how it is left unsaid (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353719)

Reasons why cell phone companies hate tethering:
1. Youtube. When AT&T did calculations for the iPhone, they initially didn't take youtube into account and once it was available to iPhone customers, their 3 year bandwidth projection was hit in just 3 weeks (I'll look up the citation later, but you'll have to take my word on it). Now that youtube is available to many mobile devices, I would assume that they are worried that other apps (like WoW, Skype, BitTorrent) could suck up a lot of bandwidth

Meanwhile, here in the UK, mobile operators actively encourage you to use this kind of application, to the extent that at least one of them (3) advertises free access to skype (although it blocks skype-out calls, presumably in order to prevent people from ignoring the services that earn them money in favour of ones that don't).

Typical kdawson drivel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352893)

It still hasn't proven itself, not one bit. Don't call it "game-changing" yet.

Re:Typical kdawson drivel (2, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353031)

Indeed. Leave it to the marketing department at Palm to let out a story about something that the Pre cannot do and spin it so that all of a sudden the "underground" that will try to make it do what it cannot do are now some kind of elite hackers. Meanwhile, does anyone actually want one of these phones? If you want to tether your phone, why not buy one that can do that? T-Mobile allows it for BlackBerrys, for example...

Dumb (5, Informative)

m3rck (1110319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352901)

Sprint allows the these phones to tether:

Blackberry 8703e, Blackberry 8130, Blackberry 8330, Blackberry 8830, 1HTC Touch, 1HTC Mogul (6800), 1HTC Apache (6700), LG Fusic LX-500, LG Muziq, Motorola KRZR, Motorola RAZR V3c, Motorola, RAZR2, Motorola Q, Motorola Q9c, Palm Centro, Palm 700w, Palm 755p, Samsung A900, Samsung A900M. Samsung A920, Samsung ACE, Samsung i830, Samsung SPH-m520,Sanyo SCP-8400. Sanyo Katana, Sanyo Katana 2, Sanyo M

The Pre is nothing special, and Sprint has no idea what it is doning.

Re:Dumb (4, Interesting)

guruevi (827432) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353269)

None of those phones are very popular. The Blackberries are either too expensive or only for business people (who don't mind paying a lot) and are too large for most people. The Motorola's are a pain in the butt so nobody uses them, the Samsungs, Sanyo's and LG's have been reflashed with provider-specific firmware which cripples usage of the phone and makes tethering all but impossible since the Bluetooth connection is very, very slow (My Samsung did 10s for 1MB).

The Palm Pre and the iPhone is (going to be) very popular, have fast Bluetooth and raw processing power and have the ability for user-level programs and firmware which the provider doesn't control. The iPhone can already get up to 100kbps on the average over EDGE and has promised to deliver us HDSPA (Mbit range) something the providers in the US simply aren't and really don't want to get prepared for.

Re:Dumb (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353543)

The Palm Treo 700w is VERY popular. I have one and almost everyone I know on Sprint or Verizon has one. Palm just improved tethering on this old phone in their latest software update.

Liar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353695)

"and almost everyone I know on Sprint or Verizon has one."

How pathetic are you that you need to lie about this on the internet?

Kill yourself.

Re:Dumb (1)

m3rck (1110319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353663)

You make some good points, but it really comes down to is speed vs. cost.

"The iPhone can already get up to 100kbps on the average over EDGE and has promised to deliver us HDSPA (Mbit range).."

100kbpw ... Ouch! If anyone wants an iPhone, Pre, etc; and connectivity is near the top of there list. Wait! WiMax is around the corner, and from what I can tell it's 3Mbps to 20Mbps from the same price.

Re:Dumb (1)

anethema (99553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353745)

Keep in mind this is over EDGE. The dial-up of mobile cell service.

Over 3G the speeds are of course much faster.

Popular? (2, Informative)

meehawl (73285) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353675)

None of those phones are very popular.

I will note in passing that each HTC model seems to sell between 1-2m each. Not a huge amount, but HTC does have a lot of different units available, and replaces them around eveyr 12-18 months or so. According to Gartner's most recent report, Apple's share of the smartphone market was ~11%, while HTC's was ~6%.

I will say that I was without wired Internet for a week while AT&T tried and failed miserably to install U-Verse. Apparently the 40-year-old rat-chewed internal copper wiring can't take VDSL. Who'd have thought so? Anyway, I cranked up the old Sprint Mogul (HTC Titan) and tethered it, rebroadcasting the 3G signal as WiFi and BT using WMWiFiRouter [wmwifirouter.com] . Over WiFi, I was able to get up to around ~1.5/.5 Mbps, after initially being frustrated with ~250/50 Kbps. It seems to be very sensitive to phone position and signal strength, and also elevation.

The best thing about this is that the tethering ability is available within the $30/month all-in SERO plan (as long as I use a suitable proxy to disguise the phone usage). Sprint's main problem compared to AT&T and Verizon is that is is so damn cheap and it has found it difficult to raise prices like them and increase the ARPU. I think with the Pre, it wants to can tethering until it's more certain it can successfully and reliably charge a premium for it.

Re:Dumb (1)

m3rck (1110319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353353)

BTW, this has nothing to do with the Pre. They just want to support existing customers, so they don't go to Verizon or AT&T. And want new customers to pay more by having them buy cellular modem.

It's all greed.

we've known about this for awhile (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352905)

Sprint removed it from their website [engadget.com] back in February.

Did you really think that an industry that charges 15 cents for 50 bytes of text (IM) that could easily be stuffed into the header overhead of routine handset-to-tower comms would give you tethering for free? really?

My VZW Blackberry can tether, what's the problem? (2, Informative)

Kadagan AU (638260) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352907)

Maybe I missed most of the argument here, but my Blackberry storm, from Verizon, can tether if I pay $15 per month. I did that for a while until I could convince my phone company to provide DSL to my area. Why are other phone companies against tethering, or am I completely misunderstanding something?

Re:My VZW Blackberry can tether, what's the proble (2, Informative)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353019)

People expect that when they buy an unlimited mobile internet plan that it should automatically be able to tether too. THe straight up fact is when you tether your mobile you WILL consume more bandwidth, period. The companies know this and charge accordingly. People seem to forget realities like this, just like the morons who expected a discount on the new Iphone a year into their contract. Iphones arent jsut given to ATT for free, they have a fixed cost, which is subsidized by continued cell service payments generally over a period of 2 years.

Re:My VZW Blackberry can tether, what's the proble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353091)

Yeah, but Sprint allows NO tethering of ANY phones at ANY price - that's the weirdness factor.

Re:My VZW Blackberry can tether, what's the proble (2, Informative)

halligas (782561) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353163)

Um...I pay Sprint $15 for tethering.

Re:My VZW Blackberry can tether, what's the proble (0, Troll)

Fantom42 (174630) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353221)

People seem to forget realities like this, just like the morons who expected a discount on the new Iphone a year into their contract.

Morons? Let's see. Right now us morons have one year left on our contract. This means we've paid for about half of our phone. Now we want a new one. Most of us morons would accept starting over our 2-year contract if it meant we could get a discount. Given that our existing phone will be "paid off" in 1 year, that leaves an entire year of payments that could be applied to the new phone. If I didn't have a plan, and wanted a contract, I could get one for $200. If I wanted no contract, it would be $600. This means the contract subsidizes the phone at a rate of about $200/year. So, if I can extend for a year, why shouldn't that roughly split the middle and allow me to get an upgrade for $400, if I wanted one?*

*Yes, this doesn't discount future payments, but for the sake of argument the point is still valid.

Re:My VZW Blackberry can tether, what's the proble (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353349)

So, if I can extend for a year, why shouldn't that roughly split the middle and allow me to get an upgrade for $400, if I wanted one?

which is exactly what it will cost you. You will pay $199 for the new subsidized handset, plus a $200 upgrade fee since you have not finished your current contract. So yes, you can indeed upgrade for exactly the price you consider fair ($399)

Re:My VZW Blackberry can tether, what's the proble (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353321)

Seriously, it is stupid for people to think that their "unlimited" plan is "unlimited". Who do they think they are?!?!?!?

Re:My VZW Blackberry can tether, what's the proble (2, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353363)

So should they still call their plan unlimited if it truly isn't unlimited? I tether my laptop to my G1 wherever I go, granted I only use it for routine browsing and SSH but my plan with T-Mobile includes unlimited data and I've never had a problem with them limiting me. Yes I know that no plan can truly be "unlimited" so why not simply cap a traditional broadband plan at 100GB per month or a mobile plan at 5GB? 95% of users wouldn't come close to those numbers and the companies could simply slow people down who go over.

Re:My VZW Blackberry can tether, what's the proble (1)

xsecrets (560261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353989)

If you take a look all mobile data plans are capped at 5GB on all carriers in the US.

Re:My VZW Blackberry can tether, what's the proble (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353693)

People expect that when they buy an unlimited mobile internet plan that it should automatically be able to tether too.

And I expect a pony for christmas, still not going to happen. Expectations mean exactly zero in contract law where there is a written agreement. In the case of the wireless carriers, the service agreement is quite clear that the unlimited mobile internet plan can only be used on the mobile device.

Now, if the literature or the salespeople lied about that when asked (you know, when you have an expectation it's a good idea to ask whether everyone else has it too, otherwise the contradiction in unspoken expectations can be quite unfortunate) you'd have a pretty good case for fraud and misrepresentation. I'd love to see some citations to the effect that there was any misrepresentation of the fact that unlimited mobile internet does not include tethering.

Re:My VZW Blackberry can tether, what's the proble (1)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353021)

The reason tethering isn't widely adopted by the phone companies is because when you're tethering you're often passing more amounts of data than you would with just your phone.

Re:My VZW Blackberry can tether, what's the proble (1)

Captain Kirk (148843) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353051)

They want a captive audience. Advertisers love a captive audience. Shareholders love a captive audience. Its us poor slobs in the audience who object with our irrational desire for freedom.

Re:My VZW Blackberry can tether, what's the proble (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353141)

There are several Sprint phones that are able to have tethering too. I really don't understand phone companies lately.

Re:My VZW Blackberry can tether, what's the proble (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353257)

Why are other phone companies against tethering, or am I completely misunderstanding something?

Simply: they want you to pay for service, but they don't want you to really use it very much. They want to charge you a hefty fee for data access, and justify the price by saying it's "unlimited", but they really don't want you to use the service very much, because lots of people using it means they have to spend money to expand their infrastructure. If you can tether it to your computer, you'll probably use more bandwidth. Obviously they'd much prefer that you paid for their most expensive data plan and then never used it at all.

I "tethered" with your mom last night (1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352943)

Yes, as I said in the subject line, I tethered with your mom last night. It was a hard-wired connection, however. I avoided Palm Pre-mature ejaculation by thinking about CIDR notation. It works every time!

Game-changing... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352951)

Palm is worried that its US carrier partner, Sprint, is none too eager to have users tether the game-changing tetherable smart phone.

"This phone is a game-changer. But don't talk about changing the game. The guy who owns the field will kick us all out if we do anything actually innovative. We're the players, you're the audience. We want our money from your tickets, and neither we, nor the guy who owns the field, cares if you actually see a good game. As long as the stadium's sold out, we really don't care if we forfeit the game before the coin toss."

look at me (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28352953)

Putting this story above a post about MS is just unfair. People are still busy commenting on the MS thread and will ignore Pre, um i mean this story.

So now it is clear.... (2, Interesting)

genghisjahn (1344927) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352959)

...the US is so far behind the rest of the tech world when it comes to wireless technology, they cannot offer a tethering service because they don't have the infrastructure to do it. It has affected all carriers. If it was only poor planning on the part of one company, that would be understandable. Even if it was poor planning on the part of many companies, one at least could offer this great feature (at a realisitc price) and make a killing. But as it stands...no one can do it at anything close to a price that middle class Americans will pay. Links to the contrary are welcome.

Re:So now it is clear.... (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353151)

The Bush Administration and their pro-merger stance of the past 10 years has destroyed any innovation in the US telecommunications market. The TrustBusters need to come back out of cold-storage.

Verizon should never have been allowed to become the behemoth that they are. They're almost (if not) bigger than AT&T for crying out loud.

Wht's "gme-changing"... (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28352991)

in the summary?

All these smartphones can tether. It's the carriers that prevent it, not the hardware.

Well maybe. (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353015)

Right now the Pre is US only so no right now you can not tether it if you are on a none US carrier since none of them carry it.
Tethering in the US seems to scar the daylights out of US carriers. Probably because the really want to sell you that data card with an extra line.
I don't know of any US provider that offers tethering. You could probably pull it off with an unlocked GSM phone on AT&T or maybe TMobile but I don't know if you can get a 3g Tmobile phone unlocked.

Re:Well maybe. (1)

ponraul (1233704) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353213)

You can tether with a rooted G1 on T-Mobile [xda-developers.com] .

Just make sure the kernel image you use has netfilter enabled.

Then, you'll also need a tethering application [a0soft.com] .

Re:Well maybe. (1)

Homburg (213427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353251)

I don't know if you can get a 3g Tmobile phone unlocked.

That's the advantage of GSM - you don't need to get a "TMobile phone"; just get any old unlocked GSM phone, and put a TMobile SIM in it.

I have an unlocked GSM phone (which I bought in the UK, where it's pretty common for phones to be unlocked, even when they come free with a contract to a particular carrier), which I use with an AT&T SIM, and I can indeed tether it, although to actually do so would be a violation of my contract with AT&T - and I don't have an unlimited data plan, so, given their ludicrous 1c per Kb data rates, actually using it for any length of time would be absurdly expensive.

Re:Well maybe. (2, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353655)

I never understood locking phones.

You get a subsidized phone in exchange for signing a binding contract for service. The company is getting the money for that service contract regardless of what you do with the phone, so why lock it?

Re:Well maybe. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353703)

T-Mobile uses UMTS for it's 3g network AT&T uses HSDPA and I think they are upgrading to yet a faster standard.
Plus you have the issues with frequencies. Since TMobile is the smallest of the big three finding unlocked phones that support it's flavor of 3G GSM is a little more difficult I hear.
 

Re:Well maybe. (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353427)

I don't know of any US provider that offers tethering. You could probably pull it off with an unlocked GSM phone on AT&T or maybe TMobile but I don't know if you can get a 3g Tmobile phone unlocked.

They all offer tethering, they just charge extra for it. ATT charges $35/mo for their PDA Personal data plan, or $65 if you want to add tethering. What they don't offer is a cheap unlimited plan which allows tethering.

Verizon = more tethering, less lameness (2, Informative)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353065)

I got a Centro a little while back and *Verizon* is A-OK with tethering. A short while before that I got a dongle but I hardly ever use it now, because Bluetooth tethering is so convenient.

Verizon doesn't support its tethering software on Mac OS X, but, no worries, you can set Bluetooth dialing up yourself.

BTW The Mac OS X EVDO script is terrible and broken. There's a MUCH better one floating around (I forget exactly which but I think it's the "PCS Intel EV-DO Modem Script"). Also, OS X's pppd likes to hang the computer occasionally (requiring a power button reboot), and Bluetooth dialing in general is flaky. But that's not Verizon's fault!

Tethering really is a killer smartphone app. Too bad providers are so self-centered, unimaginative, and stuck in the past that they can't let owners use it.

So I'll keep using my Centro with all its warts and random reboots, until, however many years from now, Verizon offers a better option.

Re:Verizon = more tethering, less lameness (1)

ckaminski (82854) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353179)

I've used two Treos (700 and 650) and a blackberry for tethering on Verizon. Instead of paying for the 25$ plan, I had to pay for the $45 plan. No big deal.

I have a Pre, trying it out, and let me tell you, Sprint service is worse than Verizon's in my neighborhoods. I like my Pre, but mine is going back - I'm going to wait until it's available on Verizon. I wonder, has anyone tried to get a Pre working on Verizon's network yet?

Re:Verizon = more tethering, less lameness (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353531)

Sprint allowed tethering over Bluetooth with the Treo (not at first, but patched in later on the 650). I don't know why they would suddenly change their mind with the Pre. Maybe because of the 802.11?

Re:Verizon = more tethering, less lameness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353681)

Yes, Verizon lets you tether at an additional cost. EVERYTHING with them is additional cost. I got the unlimited data plan for my blackberry. However, that is only good for the blackberry. I have to pay an extra $15/month IF and only if I have the unlimited data plan. It costs more without the unlimited data plan. Oh, and they limit the "unlimited" plan to 5gb/month and charge extra for anything over that.

They are they same company that won't let you use the built in GPS without paying for their VZ navigator program for yet another monthly charge. Even though the blackberry could easily use the GPS and google maps instead. They FINALLY just let us use the Blackberry maps app with the built in GPS. Before that, they would let you install the maps app, but they required you to use an external GPS bluetooth puck with it! I can't say I'm happy with ANY service provider at this point...

Re:Verizon = more tethering, less lameness (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353911)

Apropos of anything else, that sounds horrid. I just pair my Nokia N95 to my Mac, create a modem connection with a phone number of *99#, and I get 3G tethering over BT via the native connectivity options.

Who's Next? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353119)

Palm has sent a note to the Pre Dev Wiki asking it to stop discussing tethering.

Can Slashdot be far behind?

subvert the dominant paradigm! (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353123)

So do the cel companies have a legitimate concern about their networks being overloaded by people running torrents over tethered devices, or is it just a 'we are sitting on our collective arses figuring out how much we can get away with charging for it' thing?

My feeling is that cel carriers in the US are discreetly colluding to keep tethering as an expensive, premium service.

I would like to see a carrier break ranks and include it as a standard unlimited data plan feature. That would force all the other carriers down eventually.

This reminds me of internet access in Australia being metered long after it became flat rate in most parts of the world. The companies have a cash cow and want to keep it that way. However, I would like to think that the popularity of an inexpensive tethering service would make up for that in numbers, provided that the network can handle the traffic.

Re:subvert the dominant paradigm! (1)

donny77 (891484) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353469)

If it was just a worry about torrents, block the ports. This is a mobile device. People aren't going to be walking around with a laptop open and cell phone in hand just so a torrent can download. Some might decide to ditch their home Internet and just use the cell. Again though, power users will not do this. Gamers will have too much latency on wireless. Down loaders want their computer downloading when they are out with their phone. I would not pay for tethering, because I would probably only use it 12-24 times a year.

Howabout a new cellular network geared for data? (2, Interesting)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353171)

This is especially irritating because I was just starting to look around for an iPhone alternative that would allow tethering, background apps and no restrictive app store policies, etc. etc. all the reasons why the iPhone is essentially a nerfed technology demonstrator.

Here is a great case of the technology being far ahead of the networks that support it. I think some of the major device providers should get together and form a network that is designed from the ground up to support data first and voice second.

Re:Howabout a new cellular network geared for data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353267)

Like Sprint and Clearwire's Wi-Max network?

Re:Howabout a new cellular network geared for data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353657)

"iPhone alternative that would allow tethering, background apps and no restrictive app store policies"

thats when you get an android

Hey carriers! I have a solution that pleases most (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353181)

Here's a simple solution I offer to all carriers free of charge.

Write a custom tethering app for each phone, that starts a recording of the volume of data sent via tethering - give me a low price or free option for some smallish amount of data to be used via tethering, with some increasing tier thereafter.

This would satisfy 90% of people that just want to occasionally tether a laptop at a sucky hotel or airport.

People who want to use it as a primary ISP would of course be forced to pay more, and that is fine.

Could people work around it easily? Why yes they could, just as they can jailbreak these phones and get tethering for free. Isn't some money better than no money?

Would it record phone data as part of the tethering data? Yes it would but if you're tethering then you're mostly using a laptop, right?

Furthermore unreasonable tethering prices or locking down tethering will force a LOT more people to jailbreak phones (OK, not force, but greatly encourage). Along with that come all the other network hogging behaviors in addition to tethering you never get to charge for again.

Give us 90% of us a reasonable option for occasional tethering at low cost and everyone will be happy.

Re:Hey carriers! I have a solution that pleases mo (2, Insightful)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353453)

I think that for a lot of people, they only require tethering very infrequently, such as where WiFi is unavailable of too expensive, and they need net access for their laptop. I would happily pay £5 for 24 hours, since I would likely only use it once a month at most. In the UK, O2 are offering £15 a month for iPhone tethering, but that's too much for the amount of use I would get out of it.

Re:Hey carriers! I have a solution that pleases mo (2, Insightful)

Blackjack Joe (997819) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353995)

I agree with the idea of a 24-hour or 48-hour tethering access plan. Most of the time I'm somewhere that there is free or cheap internet access for my laptop, but occasionally I've been somewhere where I've used tethering on my old Sony-Ericsson phone to get online for some quick browsing, such as making an on-line hotel reservation. I really don't need a monthly plan for tethering, as I've had the need maybe 4 to 5 times a year on the average. And I've not had tethering at all for the 11 months I've had my iPhone.

As nice as the browser in my iPhone is, sometimes I can just do things quicker or easier using my laptop's browser.

Application-level proxy softare? (1)

Outland Traveller (12138) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353209)

What is to stop someone from installing proxy or NAT software onto their (perhaps jailbroken) smartphone? Can cell providers really prevent this?

Re:Application-level proxy softare? (1)

steve6534 (809539) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353483)

Absolutely nothing. There's a program called pdanet that has been around on windows mobile for a long time just for this purpose.

Re:Application-level proxy softare? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353555)

Possibly. According to Engadget, the Pre will have mandatory firmware upgrades. You can defer it for up to a week, and then you get a 10-minute notice that it's going to start downloading whether you like it or not. There may be a way of disabling such proxy software in the firmware.

How is Tethering Really Different From... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353233)

How is tethering really any different than buying a wireless cellular modem for your laptop? Those devices are happily sold with data plans - tethering your cell phone just cuts out one additional device. Are they really making that big a profit on those plug-in wireless cards?

Re:How is Tethering Really Different From... (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353347)

They're making "that big a profit" by charging you separately for the phone and laptop data plan.

How about PdaNet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353281)

PdaNet already supports some Palm phones: http://www.junefabrics.com/palmnet/ [junefabrics.com] . And, I heard somewhere [precentral.net] that they are planning on porting their app to the Pre.

Grr (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353289)

Another device crippled by another half-baked service scheme that oozed off the completely broken US communications ecosystem.

I am in complete awe of how backwards the US is compared to Europe and Asia in this regard. It's just weird.

Before I get excited about things like these (and I do want to) or even consider buying one (and I do want to), they need to fix the basic problems, not just make better gadgets and hope everyone stays ignorant as to how bad they have it compared with the rest of the world.

my sprint phone tethers free (1)

jupiterssj4 (801031) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353377)

My sprint phone, the motorola q9c tethers for free. My last phone, the samsung a900 would not tether for free. I have an unlimited data plan so the tethering gets used whenever my home connection is down

Breaking news: Reverse engineering legal in US (2, Informative)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353407)

This is complete bullshit. Reverse engineering has always been legal in the US. Talking about in a public forum is likewise perfectly legal. No big media or telecom entity can do anything to stop it. If Palm doesn't like this they should have taken bigger steps to lock the phone down. The devs should proceed as normal and ignore the veiled threats from Palm.

Re:Breaking news: Reverse engineering legal in US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353835)

You may need to review the DMCA one more time...

Here's a good area for some "socialism" (2, Interesting)

hellfire (86129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353413)

Companies aren't selling goods and services any more, they seem to sell permissions and licenses. What these companies should be selling is a connection and that's it. It should be completely separate from the hardware, and they should not be able to dictate what hardware is allowed on their service, or what you do with your hardware. They should not be allowed to regulate what is transmitted on said line.

And there should be at least 40 of these companies, not four.

We need to block all these company mergers, and encourage more start ups to increase competition. And we need to create regulations for the market to stop this nickle and dime shit these companies are allowed to get away with, separating the service from the hardware in order to increase innovation and competition and give rights back to the consumer. These companies have too much power to dick over customers. Whatever happened to treating the customer like a valued customer in this country? Is every single major US company run by a half-assed dickhead who only knows how to make money by screwing customers?

What goes around comes around (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353869)

What these companies should be selling is a connection and that's it. It should be completely separate from the hardware, and they should not be able to dictate what hardware is allowed on their service, or what you do with your hardware.

Hm, why does that sound so familiar? [wikipedia.org] I sometimes shudder to think of what the market would look like if decisions like that one were being made today. Then again, who knows? Maybe they are and we don't even realize it.

Returning my Palm Pre (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353429)

This is just another example of Sprint ruining the Pre release.

My wife and I bought two at launch (we were at the sprint store at 7 AM) and were initially absolutely thrilled with the device. We are still thrilled with the device itself, but Sprint's service is absolutely terrible. The Pre insists on using an extremely weak Sprint signal over the MUCH stronger Verizon or US Cellular signal that it can also detect, which means that I am dropping several calls a day unless I intentionally put the phone somewhere where the Sprint signal is blocked and thereby force the Pre to roam.

As a result, I will be returning both Pres, the two touchstone docks, two leather cases, and a Sprint Airave we bought to provide decent service to our house. Overall, we invested more than a thousand dollars in the phones and related equipment because we really wanted them to live up to the hype. The phone itself is amazing and *does* live up to the hype, but sadly Sprint's network is simply pathetic in my area and makes the phone all but useless.

When the Pre is released for Verizon in January, we will be first in line.

Why CANT I (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353457)

I don't understand why carriers want to prevent users from tethering. If I paid for X amount of bandwidth, then I am allowed to use X amount. How does it matter how I use it? Does tethering cost anymore to the carriers than say, pulling all your data onto the device itself? I guess some years from now, people would be laughing at how stupid the carriers were .. and perhaps even record this as one of the industry's greatest mistakes. Carriers just don't get it (or I should say I dont get them carriers).

So fuckin' what (1)

zeridon (846747) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353463)

First of all i am not a layer
Second i work in exactly the telecom env
third i am not in the us but in Europe

so taking all that in mind i still got a suckin idiotik phone that is used only as a phone (it does it's job as a phone) as are most of the people in the telco business (excluding managers). In my personal opinion the moment you can use your phone as a regular Modem you are basically unstoppable. And you know using a modem to connect is nothing new revolutionizing or whatever.

Some people said you are going to draw more bw ... then why they are seling unlimited. If it is unlimited it means UNLIMITED. It does not mater that you are one of the measly 0.5% that uses more than 2 TB a month because you know how and can make good use of it.

Also take in mind the following: As much as i despise the Iphone and similiar stuff for claiming being a phone they really are marketed as a multimedia computing platform ... so phone features are just a bonus not main driver (if you don't know/care/dare to use the other features ... well you need simpler "stick that can talk". Any Goddamn forsaken stupid app that can leach at tremendous rates even being deployed on a "phone" is not a wise move and they've called it upon themselvs so they've got to live with it

Everybody oversells, telcos oversell enormously and of course win enourmously.

End point of the topis is "If i can get to the modem i can and i will use it and nobody can prove otherwise"

PS: excuse my typing mistakes ... it's a bit late and i am up for about 60 hours already ...

Am I missing the point? (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353617)

Maybe I'm just missing the point. But I see two use cases for tethering:

1. Once in a while you need net and the only thing that can do it is your phone. But most of the time WiFi does the trick. I can see wanting to do this with a smartphone but the carriers shouldn't have a problem with light use of this sort.

2. You are away from WiFi a lot, or want it as a primary connection. If you have a netbook or laptop handy most of the time why did you get a smartphone? If I were in that situation I'd want the smallest most phonelike phone I could get that supported bluetooth and tethering.

But AT&T Sprint seems to fear large numbers of customers people want to spend serious coin for oversized premium smartphones so they can leave them in their pocket and bang away on a laptop, sucking up gigs of bandwidth they meter by the GB anyway.

Re:Am I missing the point? (1)

n30na (1525807) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353851)

I fail to understand why what kind of phone you have is all that relevant.. they seem to subsidize all phones, even the cheap ones.

Yes actually, you are missing the point (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28353893)

I know someone who doesn't want cable or a landline, so she pays for unlimited data and tethers her laptop.

There is NOTHING available for her that can compete with the speed and pricepoint.

Your argument sucks, and your "two use cases" aren't indicative of reality, but rather your overwhelming ignorance.

But the important question is... (2, Funny)

Suzuran (163234) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353673)

The most important question is "How is this Apple's fault?" I'm sure there's a reason!

Sprint: Kill your business. (1)

ghetto2ivy (1228580) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353739)

Sprint is writing a book: how to kill your business. You have an underutilized network, and are shedding customers so what do you do -- you don't allow yourself to have a huge competitive advantage.

Here's an idea: allow tethering. Limit it to 50 megs a day. Charge a $1 more is you want to get unlimited tethering that day. Simple. Your casual user isn't going to get a card. Your business user isn't going to tether all the time when corp headquarters can get a laptop wwan built in. Plus aren't you supposed to be pushing XOHM wimax sometime soon?

The best solution (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353769)

Is to allow phones to pick up services a-la-carte.
Let my data come from one provider,
Let my voice, voice mail, and caller ID service come from another,

This whole idea that the carrier gets all of your a-la-carte services is, quite literally, retarded. Once we can split our services among carriers we'll see real competition again. Don't like Sprint's data policies or rates? Get it from Verizon instead.

Maybe someone should explain what tethering is. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353795)

Tethering is connecting other devices like a laptop to the phone to use the phone's internet.

For some reason, I couldn't remember that and had a hell of a time attempting to figure it out since the raw definition of tether is a cord that anchors something movable to a stationary point. Tethering as used in the article is more or less a play on this idea as the phone is tethered to the device (laptop) but stationary is more or less relative and no necessary.

technically smartPhone == laptopWanDevice (1)

mlksys (93950) | more than 5 years ago | (#28353909)

AT&T is simply being arrogant.

There is NO technical difference between using an iPhone as a USB or Bluetooth DUN gateway, and using an AT&T sponsored USB cellular WAN device.

They allow the latter so they should allow the former.

Their concern should be the all-you-can-eat data plans that they offer for handheld computing vs notebook computing. They should simply charge a FAIR and competitive rate to what they charge for the USB WAN devices.

If they think, which may be true, that smartphone users will consume even more bandwith than the laptop users would, then simply price the data plan appropriately to allow it while constraining usage as to not negatively affect their network.

I could and did tether my old motorola phones using Bluetooth DUN on the tmobile network, and although slow by today's standards it was nice when I needed it.

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