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Data Tethering WP7 (UK PAYG)

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  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    So I recently bought a WP7 smartphone and, currently being without internet connection at home, tried to tether it to my laptop so I could check my email etc on a "proper" computer. It turns out that O2 won't let me do that as I'm a pay as you go customer.

    Now this greatly, greatly annoys me - data is data, I pay for any data I use (I get a small allowance when I top up (by small I mean small, 500 mb) and any data I use on top of that I have to pay for at whatever O2's current PAYG rate is; so one way or another I pay for what I use). Why should O2 care what device is consuming that data so long as I'm paying for it (and since I'm a PAYG customer I'm not going to burn through excessive quantities of data at their expense while using a PC).

    So, my question is this: How can I trick O2 into thinking my PC is actually my phone (when in reality my phone is sharing it's data connection of an ad-hoc network)? I've tried directing my computer via O2's proxy, but that doesn't work. I can't find any way to configure the APN settings (which makes sense as my computer sees the phone as a router, not a modem), which I think could help solve the issue. Or is there a way to make a WP7 device show up as  a modem?

    And how do O2 know that I'm using my computer, rather than my phone anyway, unless there's some evil, evil conspiracy going on between Microsoft/Nokia and O2? Devil


    (And please don't suggest I get a contract since I generally don't use my phone enough to make that worthwhile AND it would mean succumbing to O2's saddistic plans to try and extract more money from me.)


    /rant over

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    I would imagine message headers reveal their source.

    Perhaps .02 trys to avoid the "but a PC is not my phone and I didn't make those calls" scenario?

    In the States, I've seen others tether their WP7 without incident. Now I can imagine it is the type of plan that may be driving the disallowance - via message headers.

    But I'm grasping at straws too.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    I'm on a contract with Softbank here in Japan, and they disallow tethering too. Which means that if you have a Softbank sim, the option to tether is actually removed from the phone UI. Jailbreaking is the only way to force it to work, which I'm unprepared to do. It sucks. Sad

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    This is why I got an Android phone 2 or 3 years ago. When I was travelling a lot, and living in bed & breakfasts I could use my laptop anywhere.

    This still is why Android is more appealing to me than WP7 and iPhone, especially since I have an all you can eat data package.

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    I can enable my phone to function as a WiFi hotspot but I can't get internet access from the PC. It's definitely on O2's end since the option to do so explicitly exists on the phone. So I'm hoping someone knows of some way I can disguise my computer as my phone or reconfigure it to use O2's APN info

  • User profile image
    TexasToast

    AT$T used to charge extra for tethering.   I went to their new shared data plan and tethering is included. (along with unlimited messaging and unlimited voice minutes).    I can just throw on a tablet for 10 bucks and it shares from the pool but since I always have my phone I tether.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @vesuvius:Tethering without an approved plan, even with an unlimited plan, is a dangerous path to walk. One misstep and they will charge you full price for every bit.

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    , kettch wrote

    @vesuvius:Tethering without an approved plan, even with an unlimited plan, is a dangerous path to walk. One misstep and they will charge you full price for every bit.

    I walked into the phone shop and the Salesman saw the $$ signs in front of him, and told me that I had unlimited data (when it was 500MB), I bought the phone, and after a month, they charged me a small fortune. I complained, saying they had sold me the phone deceptively.

    After a couple of calls to their customer service, and them giving me short-shrift, I went and left the phone in their shop, and told them to keep it, as they had lied to me. A few calls after, their management called me and offered me unlimited data, which I had 3 years ago, and still have today.

    I have come to realise that I could have had a career as a Solicitor/Lawyer had I not been a programmer.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @vesuvius: Does your unlimited plan include tethering though? I've seen people get bit because they had an unlimited plan, but they didn't have tethering. Logically it doesn't seem to make any difference, but the phone companies don't see it that way. They mean unlimited phone data, and if you want tethering, then it's an extra fee.

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    @kettch: Yes it does include tethering, an Android first (without jail-breaking).

    One thing to note is that when travelling, your connection isn't the best in the world, so streaming,downloading films or checking in code is a pain (so data consumption is higher but not astronomical), The real benefits are not having to pay a fortune to use Wi-Fi if on a train from Edinburgh to London for instance. My usage fluctuates as well, busy months, and quiet ones.

    The people that usually run into issues are those replacing their broadband or dial-up  connection full time, with their phones Wi-Fi and expect it 24/7

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @vesuvius: That's good. I know somebody who jailbroke his phone, and was tethering. The carrier was doing traffic analysis or something and sent him a bill for the full price of the data. He eventually managed to talk his way out of it, but it was scary for a bit. Carriers seem to be practicing some kind of institutional evil these days.

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    , kettch wrote

    @vesuvius: I've seen people get bit because they had an unlimited plan, but they didn't have tethering. Logically it doesn't seem to make any difference, but the phone companies don't see it that way. They mean unlimited phone data, and if you want tethering, then it's an extra fee.

    If I had an unlimited data plan I wouldn't be so annoyed about it since I could understand why they'd do it - in that situation you're likely to burn you way through far more data on a tethered PC than you would on your phone. That said, I think it's still wrong. Data is data.

    Where are the regulators when you want them? Sad

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