T-Mobile Set to Offer $15 Tethering, WiFi Sharing Option November 3rd

The Boy Genius Report has been passed some information that shows T-Mobile gearing up for mobile tethering and Wifi sharing options for smart phone (Android) users.  Effective November 3rd, customers will be able to purchase a $15 add-on package providing they meet a few requirements first.  Users will simply need a 3G or HSPA+ capable handset and an unlimited data plan of $19.95 or higher.  Available to both postpaid and Flex Pay customers, the add-on lets customer legally share their WiFi connection with other devices as well as operate as a modem for netbooks, laptops, and more.  Head to Boy Genius Report to read the full details on the plan.  Anyone gonna drop an extra fifteen bucks a month for this?

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Scott Webster
Scott Webster 6570 posts

Scott has been running AndroidGuys since 2007 and loves nothing more than reading up on the latest smartphone rumors. His other mobile efforts can be found on Android Update (CNET) where he covers Google's mobile platform.

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23 Comments

  1. Kris
    October 26, 12:17 Reply

    What a rip off …. Im a avid T-Mobile supporter but thats just retarded. Better off waiting for root and then it will be free.

  2. zeo
    October 26, 12:31 Reply

    If $30 gets you unlimited Android data, well up to 5 GB until they throttle you, then why do you have to pay for tethering? It’s the same damn data! It just happens to route it to another device. I don’t pay extra to use a router at home. More carrier bs.

  3. Trevor Carpenter
    October 26, 12:51 Reply

    Hmmm, why would I pay for this, when my Cyanogenified Nexus One does it for free?

    • Matt
      October 26, 21:27 Reply

      Dude, you don’t have to have Cyanogen on there, every single Nexus One can do this for free.

  4. David
    October 26, 13:01 Reply

    Um isn’t this what the pdanet app is for so you can tether your phone to your laptop and not have to pay the carrier? Sorry but T-Mobile gets an epic fail for this as well as all of the other carriers. We’re already paying for an unlimited data plan at 30 bucks so it should not matter if the data is carried through the phone or routed to the laptop.

  5. Clinton
    October 26, 13:09 Reply

    My Nexus One looks like a better investment nearly every day it seems lately. Wonder how they’ll know if you’re tethering.

    $15 is totally not worthwhile for the 3 or 4 times a month I’m stuck in the field without an easy ethernet or wifi and need some product manual off a website that won’t navigate correctly on the mobile browser.

    Being able to tether has bailed me out of a few jams when call-in tech support was being particularly useless. But if TMo finds a way to cut me off my cheap data and occasional tethering then it’s my boss men that will suffer more than me. Maybe that’ll convince them to pony up a phone stipend.

    If their prepaid aircards weren’t such a ripoff that would be a better alternative but they expire too fast.

  6. REDNDEYES
    October 26, 13:14 Reply

    Will this count if the device is rooted using the wired tether or wireless tether apps????
    If so how will tmo know if its your phone using data or pc?
    I don’t think they can tell the difference on a rooted device. …

    What do u think?

    • Howie_in_AZ
      October 26, 13:57 Reply

      No, it won’t count if you’re “rooted”.

      Yay for TMobile trying to squeeze every penny they can out of their customers!

    • steve
      October 30, 08:49 Reply

      T-Mobile could detect tethering with simple existing content filters. If they see a large .iso image or “Windows Update” they will know your are tethered. Or, almost any Akamai assisted download is probably not for a phone. There are many easy ways for them to detect tethereing based on data types, size and source.

  7. kevin
    October 26, 13:56 Reply

    LAME… Why do they call it an “Unlimited” data plan then? I might have to leave t-mobile.

    • DaveC
      October 26, 15:21 Reply

      Good luck. Where ya gonna go? To Sprint where they charge the $30 for the same thing? To VZW or AT&T with their capped, tiered dataplans?

  8. tiff
    October 26, 14:39 Reply

    please tell me how T-Mobile will know if you are sharing your 3G connection over WiFi or USB? What hints are sent through their network to spot if data is being sent to one screen or another through a single IP address? Really, I would like to read that article!
    My perspective on the announcement? Another $15 a month to phone plans that already hover around $100 with taxes and fees? Thanx…
    I see some saying this move is warranted or expected. How? Should you charge an extra $5/month to use the phone’s accelerometer or an extra $10/month to use an app? How about $0.25 for every time you use A-GPS? The ‘A’ means cellular network assisted, right?
    Scenario: my mom pays $30/month for “Unlimited Data” (note the quotation marks), but uses only 1gigabyte does it matter if 300megs of that data went to her computer screen instead of her phone screen? Two Dancing With The Stars Videos in HD on the bigger laptop screen for an extra $15? She is allotted 5gigs per month! Why should she have to pay extra (when she didn’t even come close to her cap, mind you) to still be limited to 5gigs a month?
    Is this also not a breach of contract in some way? Her HD2 has a wifi hotspot app BUILT INTO THE OPERATING SYSTEM and that device IS SOLD BY T-MOBILE! They never told her she could only use certain parts of her phone when she signed away 2 years of her financial commitment.
    Finally, if prices increases, fees, add-ons, clauses, exceptions, caps, limits, and conditions keep happening on [currently] America’s most reasonably priced large carrier, then what reason is there to stay? If you are going to be upcharged and limited, why not switch to AT&T and buy an iPhone or to Sprint and buy an EVO? Build quality is higher on both than the competing myTouchHD. Why not then choose a carrier with better coverage and an actual route to LTE?

  9. JaylanPHNX
    October 26, 14:47 Reply

    It’s one thing to argue whether or not tethering should be a charge (I tend to agree that you pay for data, it should be your choice how you rack that up), but fact is the major carriers do charge, and T-Mobile is charging less for it than others. So yell about the carriers charging in general, but don’t bash T-Mo specifically for it.

    As for Unlimited data, you get unlimited data. No one ever promised you unlimited bandwidth. Fact is, these networks don’t have unlimited resources, there are physical limitations, and to control that, different carriers handle it differently. T-Mobile’s throttling is still way better than the overage charges others inflict.

    • Greg
      October 26, 16:07 Reply

      Good point I never considered

  10. Greg
    October 26, 16:08 Reply

    Lets face it people this doesn’t apply to probably anybody actual reading this. This is for the average phone user who doesn’t know any better. This isn’t for people like us who read blogs like this daily and keep up with the latest innovation

  11. Scmo
    October 26, 19:22 Reply

    Everyone with an android has nothing to fear they haven’t figured out how to restrict android phones on tethering yet. Call tech support if you don’t believe me. On verizon they do, it works for a few minutes then stops working unless you have a tethering package on your account.

  12. Matt
    October 26, 21:36 Reply

    I’d been hoping that T-Mobile would be the one carrier to be cool about tethering. I was amazed that they let Google add WiFi hotspot to the Nexus One, and so I hoped that they would simply let it happen with all their phones. Clearly that’s not the case, as the G2 has the feature disabled.

    I’m not sure why so many people here are giving carriers a pass for charging for this kind of access. Half of them limit your bandwidth to a certain amount, and then include tethering/hotspot in that amount and make you pay extra for the feature. I hope you realize that this means you’re paying for the same connection twice-over. I understand that these networks have limited resources, but that’s not the point here. The point is that the carrier thinks I’m going to use more data if I tether my phone with a laptop, so they charge me for the feature, but if they don’t give me more bandwidth (some aren’t), then what they’re really doing is saying to the smartphone people “we don’t want you to use the bandwidth we’re selling to you.” That is what’s unacceptable to me.

    At least TMo is giving “unlimited data” (I don’t know if I trust it to be “unlimited”). That and the price are better than what I can get from the competition, but I still don’t accept getting charged for this future.

    First of all, I don’t use it nearly enough to justify $15 a month, and the carriers know that.

    Second, and most importantly, it’s simply not WORTH $15 a month. Cellular data speeds are still so slow, spotty, and unreliable, that I have to be directly beneath a tower to get any reliability out of it…

    • DaveC
      October 26, 22:15 Reply

      >>Cellular data speeds are still so slow, spotty, and unreliable, that I have to be >>directly beneath a tower to get any reliability out of it…

      I was in San Antonio TX on vacation this summer, and I used my Nexus One wireless hotspot with my laptop and got consistent 4-6meg download speeds. If we can just add and drop this as needed, I would pay $15 if I knew I was going someplace where T-Mo had their HSPA+ working, and I wouldn’t have WiFi access.

    • Ravi
      October 26, 22:29 Reply

      Just to clarify … T-Mobile didn’t “let” Google add wifi tethering to the Nexus One. That phone is manufactured by HTC and distributed by Google … T-Mobile has no control over any aspect of it. Think of it like if you bought an unlocked Nokia phone from overseas and used it on the T-Mobile network … they wouldn’t have any control over any aspect of it.

      What would be nice, is if Google would make another dev phone. But they already stated that they won’t, so that’s just a pipe dream. So as it stands right now, Android in the USA is subject to the whims and fancies of the big 4 carriers, whereas Android overseas is as unadulterated it was truly intended to be. Oh well, what us Americans don’t know can’t hurt us!

  13. Dan F.
    October 26, 21:45 Reply

    I’d be cool with it if adding the feature changed your throttle point to say 10/15GB instead of 5GB – but tacking it on to the existing cap is just lame.

  14. marquez
    October 26, 22:11 Reply

    Being that a nexus one isn’t from tmobile gives me soo much freedom from dumb things like this.
    My n1 is the best phone ever and will continue to be! Would be nice if someone made a camera attachment to the mini usb port for video calls… sit on that one!

  15. Vince
    October 27, 02:00 Reply

    It is not bad but it is not good, Sprint charges $30 for the same thing and at slower speeds. The 5GB cap per a Tmobile representative only applies to computer data plans NOT mobile – true or not?
    There is always a way to mifi/hotspot your devices without having to pay the fee.
    A friend happily connects his devices to his EVO 4G at no charge ;)

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