Reposting complaint about no modem usage (tethering).

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sidragon, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. sidragon macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Repost. It makes more sense to bring this up in a general form (more eyes).
     
  2. yoman macrumors 6502a

    yoman

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    #2
    This lack of modem feature was noted in the reviews before the iPhone was put on sale. Hopefully a software update might allow this later on, however that is the case for now.
     
  3. meagain macrumors 68030

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    #3
    Sidragon - Thanks for bringing this up again. I was hopeing I'd wake up today to find someone figured this out. I'm still not convinced it's not possible at this time because I can't figure out a reason why it wouldn't work with the right cord. OR - Wireless.

    Yoman - Re a Software update allowing this in the future.... Do YOU know if it's technically possible for a mere software update to fix this? I've asked this question before and have yet to find an answer. I'm unclear how/what parts makes this work and am looking for confirmation that this is a software thing.

    If it's confirmed a software update can cure this - Oh boy! It's our last remaining issue preventing my husband from getting one. It's mandatory for him.

    Has anyone sorted this out yet? I.e.; tried with bluetooth/wireless or determined if the right cord exists in the universe for this?
     
  4. sidragon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Oh, I understand that. I suspect leads will begin surfacing as people begin hacking this thing, hence my query.

    When the Treo 650 appeared, people noticed that it supported tethering (undocumented feature), only that various telcos simply removed the option from a preferences panel. After enough people hacked the Bluetooth utility that enabled it, Sprint made it official (cannot speak to other providers). I imagine history might repeat itself here.
     
  5. yoman macrumors 6502a

    yoman

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    #5

    We can hope it will remedy itself by hack or official update.
     
  6. Twinkie macrumors regular

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    #6
    It's probably worth mentioning that AT&T/Cingular has been very stringent about what plans can and can not tether, regardless of the phone's ability to do so.

    Even if the ability to tether was enabled, I imagine many of you would come to a rude awakening upon learning that you won't be able to do it for $20/month.

    Yes, people have tethered with the $19.99 Smartphone and $39.99 PDA Connect plans, but people have also been billed per-KB when Cingular catches them.

    Just because the setup video shows the user immediately breezing through the Terms and Conditions doesn't mean you should.
     
  7. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #7
    Couldn't have said this better myself. :)
     
  8. sidragon thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    No parity; no sale.

    I have no doubt you are spot-on. Assuming that holds, I will be stuck with either Palm (or WinCE), Missing Sync, and Sprint for quite a while. Way to go AT&T! Of course, this product is hardly hurting for sales so what does a minority of wannabe buyers matter?

    Maybe an online petition would help. :p
     
  9. GeekLawyer macrumors demi-god

    GeekLawyer

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    #9
    If we can't use the iPhone itself to tether, in the rare instances that we might wish to subject ourselves to this on EDGE... I have a question.

    If the SIM from the iPhone will work in other AT&T-capable phones, couldn't said BT-tetherable phone be placed in the laptop bag? Then, when the need to tether arises, just swap the SIM and tether away? I'm not interested in legal/contract reasons why not to do this (I am a GeekLawyer after all, let me worry about that). I want to know if there's a technical reason this wouldn't work.

    Something tells me that we'll be seeing a flood of cheapo phones on Ebay with this ability in due course -- if not already.
     
  10. Twinkie macrumors regular

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    #10
    Yes. And you can probably find a Sony Ericsson phone for next to nothing on eBay that will let you do this.

    There's nothing in the contract or T&C that says you can't do it. It just isn't included with the price plan, so you (may) be charged $0.01/KB. There's no technical reason you couldn't, assuming the phone is capable and your computer can use it as a modem.

    And in 30 days, a flood of people posting all sorts of insane rants about how AT&T charged them tons of money for tethering on a plan that doesn't include it. ;)
     
  11. GeekLawyer macrumors demi-god

    GeekLawyer

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    #11
    Thank you very much for your response. I had a feeling that this scenario could be an option. I've never had a BT-enabled phone before, but it would something to keep in the back of my mind if the need arises. I had planned to get a "spare" AT&T phone anyway for when I'm out and about doing things that I wouldn't want my iPhone subjected to -- so I'll keep this contingency in mind as I scour ebay in the next bit.

    As for the extra cost from AT&T for data usage while tethering -- it would be in the course of my work and probably not ultimately paid by me. But I can see where most folks would want to be aware of that condition of their agreement with the carrier.
     
  12. Goldenbear macrumors regular

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    #12
    Not necessarily.

    I was able to use my old Siemens S56 as a bluetooth modem through Cingular. I paid $0.00 extra to do it.
     
  13. Twinkie macrumors regular

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    #13
    Just a tip...

    If you're not currently an AT&T customer, sign up online for the W300i, which is free after rebate, and a fairly awesome phone. Then buy the iPhone.

    If you don't want to wait for an online order to show up, most non-corporate stores are giving some iteration of the RAZR away to new customers.

    Both of them will tether to a Mac. Either way, you might as well get something out of the two-year commitment.

    Which part of "Yes, people have tethered with the $19.99 Smartphone and $39.99 PDA Connect plans, but people have also been billed per-KB when Cingular catches them" confused you?

    If you try tethering to isp.cingular instead of wap.cingular or use more data than a phone would reasonably use pulling WAP pages and downloading J2ME apps, you're basically inviting them to bill you per-KB.
     
  14. whateverandever macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Which part of "just another story on the internet" confuses you?

    There's nothing in your contract that says they can charge you if you go over the "unlimited" amount of data you're allowed to use on either of the smartphone or PDA connect plans. They can't just up and say "oh, well we didn't like what you were doing so we added on $180 to your bill."

    For those of us that HAVE tethered (and done it for a very, very long time) we know that in most cases AT&T/Cingular doesn't care at all. I used probably 50MB/day easily while tethering at school to my Mac. That's 1.5GB of data a month. That would be over $15,000 on my bill if they charged per KB.

    They can threaten to cancel your account or write you letters in the mail, but they can't just arbitrarily change your contract on you.

    I'd say grab a 3G phone (The Samsung Sync I hear is a good option -- I chose a Samsung BlackJack for some extra functionality) for tethering.

    As for whether a software update can enable Bluetooth DUN. Yes it can. It's simply an additional software profile to the Bluetooth stack. Not hardware related at all. Whether it happens in the future or not... who knows.
     
  15. Twinkie macrumors regular

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    #15
    You're not nearly as bright as you think you are...

    Try again, genius.

    From http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/en_US/messaging-internet/media-legal-notices.jsp:

    Furthermore, unlimited plans (except for DataConnect and Blackberry Tethered) cannot be used for any applications that tether the device (through use of, including without limitation, connection kits, other phone/PDA-to-computer accessories, Bluetooth® or any other wireless technology) to laptops, PCs, or other equipment for any purpose.

    "There are 1024 kilobytes in a megabyte. Overage is billed by the kilobyte."

    The fact that they haven't doesn't mean they don't have the right to.

    They aren't. Try reading your contract.

    Samsung typically disables most OBEX objects. It's well known that their Bluetooth implementation isn't good for much more than a BT headset. And by "well known", I mean "actually documented by Samsung, and HoFo, and a hundred other places".
     
  16. GeekLawyer macrumors demi-god

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    #16
    Well, we've established that certain things are possible, but not necessarily advised.

    So, as someone new to the concept of tethering, I have a couple of other questions.

    I have already bought my iPhone, but I did give some consideration to the suggestion made by Twinkie to get some other phone for free -- first -- and then replace it with my iPhone. Too late for that now. So... is there a specific model that I should look for on ebay (or wherever) that I can use to tether via BT (or otherwise) to my Macbook? This phone needs have three capabilities: 1) make/receive phone calls and 2) enable tethering on EDGE (or, I suppose 3G -- but the only times I could anticipate tethering are when I'm far outside of the limited 3G coverage area anyway) and 3) accept my iPhone's SIM.

    If there's a better place for me to ask this question or learn more, I would also appreciate being directed there. :)
     
  17. thomasfxlt macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Tethering is nice to have, but I use it about 10 minutes per year during a Hurricane.

    My guess is this is not a top 10 on Apple's to-do list given the proliferation of WiFi.
     
  18. whateverandever macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Way to post something you haven't actually read / understood.

    So I'm not "allowed" to tether. Where exactly does it say that they can charge me for tethering? It doesn't. It says they can charge me for overage. Only, you see, we have unlimited plans. So how can you go over unlimited? You can't. What they can do, as explicitly stated in the page you linked:

    "AT&T reserves the right to (i) limit throughput or amount of data transferred, deny Service and/or terminate Service, without notice, to anyone it believes is using the Service in any manner prohibited above or whose usage adversely impacts its wireless network or service levels or hinders access to its wireless network and (ii) protect its wireless network from harm, which may impact legitimate data flows."

    They spell it out for you right there. The overage usages pertain to non-unlimited plans. That page you linked actually has some really funny conditions in it. For example "Unlimited plans cannot be used for uploading, downloading or streaming of video content (e.g. movies, TV), music or games." Odd, since the iPhone has YouTube built right in, haha.

    So maybe I'm not as bright as I think I am, but obviously neither are you.

    And Bluetooth 2.0 DUN works plenty fast for most uses. Not as fast as USB tethering, but much more convenient. So it may be "well known" that it sucks but for people that have actually used it, Bluetooth 2.0's throughput is fine in most cases.

    And if you want USB tethering on your Mac:
    http://www.tuaw.com/2006/12/14/how-to-tether-a-samsung-blackjack-to-get-your-mac-online/

    Go sit in a corner.
     
  19. meagain macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Morals/ethics aside for a moment......

    Basically, one can:

    1. Buy the iPhone and activate it's sim.
    2. Buy a super cheap appropriate phone ($20 or so refurb or Ebay).
    3. Put iPhone's sim in cheap phone and tether.

    Correct? (EDIT: Then one also has a backup phone for if iPhone dies or is at Apple for service)
     
  20. Twinkie macrumors regular

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    #20
    Off the top of my head (in order of price):
    SonyEricsson Z520, Z525, S710a, W600i, W810
    Or if you prefer Motorola: RAZR V3e, ROKR E2, SLVR, KRZR

    I'd try http://www.phonescoop.com and make sure the phone has DUN as a supported profile.
    Contradicting me doesn't make you right. And you most assuredly are wrong.

    Data you use while tethered is not included at all. Thus, it is all overage. It's similar to sending SMS messages on an account that doesn't include them.

    You're almost there, but your conclusion is totally wrong.

    That section pertains to any data usage. If you've built your own P2P client and spend most of your time pushing (comparatively) massive amounts of data, they have the right to cut you off. Virtually every ISP does this, and AT&T is no different.

    That is strange. I'll give you that.

    If being wrong makes you feel better, more power to you.

    Except, that's not what I said.

    Geeklawyer probably doesn't want to spend the money on a Sync, hack the registry to get BT PAN working on a Blackjack, or get stuck with one of the many pre-Blackjack phones that only have profiles for headsets.

    Keep it warm for me. :rolleyes:

    It isn't really a question of morals or ethics, so much as whether or not AT&T will arbitrarily decide to start billing you for something.

    In any case, that's correct if the phone has the BT profiles to support it, or if you have a data cable, and you're able to set up a modem profile (assuming you're using OS X and it doesn't have one for the phone you're using).
     
  21. meagain macrumors 68030

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    #21
    What proliferation of Wifi? I continually ask this question and never get an answer. Wifi in the car? How? Wifi in a hotel/airport? $10-15 bucks a pop? Wifi near a tower where one has to drive to? Starbucks?
    Where besides MountainView, etc. are all these free Wifi's that one doesn't even need Edge (as many have posted).
     
  22. Twinkie macrumors regular

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    #22
    My county (not city... county) is on track to have free public wifi by the end of next year:
    http://www.oakgov.com/wireless/about/

    And I think we're reaching a point where free wireless access is more of an expectation than a perk at most hotels and coffee shops. I'm not positive, but I'd say that over 50% of the bars and restaurants I've been to have free wireless access.

    Heck, McDonald's is even offering it:
    http://www.mcdonalds.com/wireless.html
     
  23. meagain macrumors 68030

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    #23
    Twinkie - The laptop would be a PC type. So the phones you listed above would be capable of being a modem for a laptop using the iPhone's SIM - right? And they are inexpensive? What else do I need to look for in a phone's specs to know it would work. We currently have a Samsung A900 which would have to be turned into the workplace so we'd lose that. It does Sprint anyway. Works great as a modem though.

    It's really a PITA the iPhone doesn't do this or someone hasn't figured it out by now. Further, I don't get why it also couldn't do it wirelessly.

    This is the one reason we don't have an iPhone right now. Tethering is mandatory.
     
  24. appleii2mac macrumors regular

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    #24
    I sympathize with you, as I tether all the time on my vzw phone. But realistically, this is a "feature" that 99% of people would not use, so there really isn't any reason for it to be included on the iPhone.
     
  25. meagain macrumors 68030

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    #25
    Well, if they use a phone for business that necessitates some semblance of travel, I can't imagine it not being needed. Say you go to a client's building for business (a hospital), you can't get on their secure systems, etc.

    Or say you're doing a presentation or teleconference and the internet is sketchy or goes out in your location, etc. I guess going to best buy, getting AT&T service with a free phone, then transferring the service to the iPhone and adding data, then keeping the free phone in the laptop bag and popping the iPhone's sim in and out as needed is the only way to go for now. Kind of a PITA but the more I think about it..... the more it sounds like a brilliant idea. Then you also have a spare phone around for when iPhone is broken/in service.

    I just have to figure out which phones it'll work with. That's the hard part for me.
     

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