VZW Blocking iPhone 5 Hotspot Feature Legal w/ Unlimited?

niteriderxp

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 16, 2011
64
0
Seattle, WA
So somebody posted this article as to why the Verizon iPhone 5 is unlocked:
http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=d2c82656d42b92d9f16bd9141a3a5fd3&rgn=div8&view=text&node=47:2.0.1.1.5.2.49.7&idno=47

Specifically this text was referenced:
(e) Handset locking prohibited. No licensee may disable features on handsets it provides to customers, to the extent such features are compliant with the licensee's standards pursuant to paragraph (b)of this section, nor configure handsets it provides to prohibit use of such handsets on other providers' networks.

The interesting passage is this in my opinion:
"No licensee may disable features on handsets it provides to customers.."

The hotspot functionality is a native "feature" of the handset, not the network.
Their carrier flags specifically disable this feature on the iPhone 5.
Verizon's LTE which the iPhone 5 is using has to abide to these regulations.
Unlimited data or not has nothing to do with these regulations.

Note that I am not saying that Verizon is blocking third party tethering apps.
Apple is doing that and unless you can prove that they are being influenced it's a moot point.

Do you think it is legal that Verizon is blocking the hotspot feature on the iPhone 5 in light of these regulations?
Does the FCC care or do they only care about third party apps?
 
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niteriderxp

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 16, 2011
64
0
Seattle, WA
you can pay to have the hotspot

just like att can restrict facetime access
Yes, I can pay for them not to block a feature of the phone, which they technically are not allowed to block in the first place per their Block-C spectrum regulations.

AT&T does not use Block-C spectrum so they are not on the hook.
 

gdjsnyder

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2010
616
137
Swoyersville, PA
Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe over the summer the FCC ruled that Verizon had to allow customers on a tiered plan to tether without a fee. I believe they explicitly stated that Verizon was not obligated to allow unlimited data users to tether for free and that was that. I do forget where I read this, but I know it was something along those lines. So yes, technically legal.
 

Millionaire2K

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2011
762
70
So yeah I have the hotspot at no extra cost on my Verizon iPhones. So em yeah. It just works on the iPhone 5 with the "Share Everything plan"

They do not have to change their "old" plans to meet FCC rules as they no longer offer them. As long as the current "new" plans meet all rules.

If you have "Share Everything" then call them to tell them its not working right.
 
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niteriderxp

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 16, 2011
64
0
Seattle, WA
Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe over the summer the FCC ruled that Verizon had to allow customers on a tiered plan to tether without a fee. I believe they explicitly stated that Verizon was not obligated to allow unlimited data users to tether for free and that was that. I do forget where I read this, but I know it was something along those lines. So yes, technically legal.
I am specifically talking about the unlimited plans.

Probable source of what gdjsnyder is referring to:
http://www.fcc.gov/document/order-and-consent-decree-verizon-wireless-pay-125-million

Other Actions
. Verizon Wireless commits that it will notify, or has notified, the
Application Store Operator that it no longer objects to the availability of the eleven tethering
Applications described in paragraph 4 to Verizon Wireless C-Block Network customers in the
Application Store. On June 28, 2012, Verizon Wireless modified its pricing plans to allow
customers on usage-based plans to tether their devices without paying an additional fee, while
customers on unlimited usage plans must continue to pay an additional fee to tether their devices.

Verizon Wireless customers on usage-based plans who subscribe to Mobile Broadband Connect
for tethering may terminate their subscription to that service without penalty.
15.

It looks like Verizon threw the FCC a $1.25M "voluntary contribution" aka bribe.
Then agreed with the FCC that they would back off if Google stopped blocking the tethering apps.
The plan changes were simply an honorable mention in the decree.
The question is did the FCC explicitly agree that this was fine and if so why did they not amend the regulations to reflect this.
 

Millionaire2K

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2011
762
70
They no longer offer the Unlimtied plans. They ARE complying by offering the new plans. You can't say they don't comply if you never upgrade to the new plan that does. ;)

I'm sure Verizon's "Local Digital Plan" for 300 mins for $30 also does not comply. But it does not have to as it is long gone. BUT some MAY still have it.
 
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niteriderxp

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 16, 2011
64
0
Seattle, WA
They no longer offer the Unlimtied plans. They ARE complying by offering the new plans. You can't say they don't comply if you never upgrade to the new plan that does. ;)

I'm sure Verizon's "Local Digital Plan" for 300 mins for $30 also does not comply. But it does not have to as it is long gone. BUT some MAY still have it.
Well:
"Licensees offering service on spectrum subject to this section shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee's C Block network"

In short, this applies to any device running on Verizon's LTE.
I don't think plans, contracts, or terms past and present can override regulations, though I may be wrong.
 

Millionaire2K

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2011
762
70
Well:
"Licensees offering service on spectrum subject to this section shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee's C Block network"

In short, this applies to any device running on Verizon's LTE.
I don't think plans, contracts, or terms past and present can override regulations, though I may be wrong.
They are not "offering service" ;) You opt NOT to comply ;)
 

niteriderxp

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 16, 2011
64
0
Seattle, WA
So I ordered a set of nano SIM adapters on eBay the other day.
Stuck my iPhone 5 Unlimited LTE sim into my Verizon iPad 3 using the micro SIM adapter.
Restarted the iPad and it hopped onto the Verizon network, works great.
Then saw that "Personal Hotspot" is available.
Was able to hook up my MBP to my iPad for internet with no problems.

So it looks like they don't block it on the iPad, but do on the iPhone.
I guess if I am in a bind I'll have to do SIM swap to hotspot until JB comes out.
 

Robertsmania

macrumors member
Mar 15, 2012
35
0
I have been doing the same thing with my Verizon micro sim from my android phone and my iPad. I have an UDP and can swap the sim into the iPad for unlimited LTE and hotspot.

Additionally, I can forward my cell phone number to a google voice account so it will actually ring on the iPad while that is the active device and I dont miss calls.

The only thing that isnt covered is SMS messages, which go off into the ether if they are sent while the sim is out of the phone. The sender doesnt get any indication that they were not delivered, and they do not appear once the phone is back on line.

It seems foolish to have unlimited hotspot for free on the iPad but have to pay for it on the phone. When I'm traveling I will often just suck it up and pay the $1 a day to activate the feature since it is more convenient than swapping the sim back and forth...
 

FierceDeityLink

macrumors newbie
Aug 28, 2006
17
0
So I ordered a set of nano SIM adapters on eBay the other day.
Stuck my iPhone 5 Unlimited LTE sim into my Verizon iPad 3 using the micro SIM adapter.
Restarted the iPad and it hopped onto the Verizon network, works great.
Then saw that "Personal Hotspot" is available.
Was able to hook up my MBP to my iPad for internet with no problems.

So it looks like they don't block it on the iPad, but do on the iPhone.
I guess if I am in a bind I'll have to do SIM swap to hotspot until JB comes out.
That's what I'm doing too. Kind of a bummer.
 

niteriderxp

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 16, 2011
64
0
Seattle, WA
Well looking at the IPCC carrier.plist file for the iPad 3, I can see why it allows tethering.
There is only one APN there for data and some flag called "UseTetheringAuthenticationOnCDMA" which is set to false.
If only we could tinker with these files on the iPhone, alas they are all signed.
 

Jumpie

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2008
1,020
264
Atlanta
Well looking at the IPCC carrier.plist file for the iPad 3, I can see why it allows tethering.
There is only one APN there for data and some flag called "UseTetheringAuthenticationOnCDMA" which is set to false.
If only we could tinker with these files on the iPhone, alas they are all signed.
So I have the new ipcc file that VZW put out because of the whole using cell data while on wifi. Now, is there a way to add that APN to allow tethering?

How does one add it?

Actually, I see a line that says: TetheringPhoneNumber > String says 611. I assume that's the one that says to call to enable tethering. What number should be there to bypass that?
 

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Jumpie

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2008
1,020
264
Atlanta
Well looking at the IPCC carrier.plist file for the iPad 3, I can see why it allows tethering.
There is only one APN there for data and some flag called "UseTetheringAuthenticationOnCDMA" which is set to false.
If only we could tinker with these files on the iPhone, alas they are all signed.
Now that we're jailbroken, if this is changed to True, does that enable tethering?
 

I7guy

macrumors Core
Nov 30, 2013
20,623
8,476
Gotta be in it to win it
So I ordered a set of nano SIM adapters on eBay the other day.
Stuck my iPhone 5 Unlimited LTE sim into my Verizon iPad 3 using the micro SIM adapter.
Restarted the iPad and it hopped onto the Verizon network, works great.
Then saw that "Personal Hotspot" is available.
Was able to hook up my MBP to my iPad for internet with no problems.

So it looks like they don't block it on the iPad, but do on the iPhone.
I guess if I am in a bind I'll have to do SIM swap to hotspot until JB comes out.
I am really surprised "they" let this happen. That the sim is not tied to a device on verizons network. And whether Verizon will "catch" up with you and are you violating verizons t&c by doing this?
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,650
6,404
At the iPhone hacks section.
I don't think plans, contracts, or terms past and present can override regulations, though I may be wrong.
You are wrong.
Its been like that for years.
Their unlimited data plan doesn't come with unlimited hotspot feature. You either have to pay for that or JB your phone and then you can enable that feature for free.
But I think their legal team knows better than us here and they have been getting away with disabling that feature for a long time. Unless you want to challenge them in a court of law.
 

I7guy

macrumors Core
Nov 30, 2013
20,623
8,476
Gotta be in it to win it
You are wrong.
Its been like that for years.
Their unlimited data plan doesn't come with unlimited hotspot feature. You either have to pay for that or JB your phone and then you can enable that feature for free.
But I think their legal team knows better than us here and they have been getting away with disabling that feature for a long time. Unless you want to challenge them in a court of law.
It's in the fcc ruling and VZW t and c that unlimited data plan users on lte have to pay a fee. Whether one gets away with it or not depends on VZW. However, I have a suspicion that VZW will not let hordes of user j/b their lte phones to get unlimited tethering whilst the non-j/b phone users have to pay the $30. They want their revenue.