Last Updated: Jun 12,2012
I believe you need the plan. I wish you didnt need it since Im paying 200 a month for the unlimited belief plan. (2 acclaims)
you cannot use the hotspot, the US Cell side will shut you down. Somehow they know if it's working on their end and can control. Oh well PDA net does what I need it to do anyhow.
well i have 2.1, and i can easily wifi tether.... i dont understand why it wouldnt be possible on 2.2....
if you can manage to find a program that will actually share internet, then you should be fine... ive heard cases where people that tetherd with labtop/desktop pc's ALOT and got alot of usage it out of there plan with it have been charged extra because they can tell the difference between phone internet and computer internet,
i only tether with my ipod touch or psp for net on the road and ive never been charged anything extra
If your usage is detected by US Cellular's Fraud Team (that is what you are committing BTW), you could be suspended or even cancelled for violating the Terms of Service.
I believe that the header info on IP packets sent via a Windows or Mac computer are different than those sent via an Android/Linux phone. Also, if you are streaming TV, you will hit that 5GB far sooner than just checking your email.
Luckily, with US Cellular's cap, you will probably only have to pay $200 max overage, if you go over the 5GB, and worst case, ETFs if you are cancelled for fraud.
I just installed the update today on my Acclaim. I was excited to see the mobile hot spot show up on the upgrade notes. I went to turn it on and seen the disclaimer pop up. I called US Cellulars customer care line and asked if I will be charged to use it as I do not have the tethering plan. She put me on hold to check the release notes ande came back and told me there is no charge for it. She did remind me that there is a 5 gig cap, and said you run the risk of going over with some usage.
I think this is competition working in our favor. With Verizon getting the Iphone, and mobile hotspot is an advertised feature and US Cellular needs this to compete. The way I look at it, I am paying for 5 gig of internet, who cares if I used my phone or a netbook through my phone.
US Cellular need to get their sh*t together on this. I just called and was told that the service requires a tethering plan for another $25/mo. So once again, we're getting mixed messages depending on who we talk to at USC.
Look at their web site, the tethering options are gone. If you read the terms of service when you start the hot spot, it basically say's this should be used for checking email, light browser use and so forth. It also states that it is not to be used to stream video, PTP file sharing, downloading music or streaming television. If they find you in violation they will terminate service. There is no mention about fees.
Like others have said, I think if you use it sparingly you will be fine. If you are on You Tube and watching movies in HD, you will throw a flag up.
For e, I use it when travelling so the kids can get on the Ipods and surf the web.
Everything I've seen on the US Cellular website indicates they want to charge for tethering. I've only tried once, on my Desire with a USB cable, and it asked for a password (which my local provider offered for the tethering fee).
From their site as of today:
Android Tethering Instructions | Smartphone Modem Feature | Android | U.S. Cellular
Android Downloads | Android-Powered Phones | U.S. Cellular
Those carriers that allow tethering generally do charge for it. I don't believe US Cellular is terminally unique here.
My friend doesn't even have internet at home so he only uses his Mesmerize as a hot spot when he needs internet. He never breaks his 5 gb cap and has never been charged for it. I still have high speed dsl at home, and I don't plan to drop it. But I have used the hot spot feature on my mesmerize a few times when I've been out somewhere with my laptop or kindle. I think using the word "fraud" sounds a bit harsh. Even if they catch you tethering, they are not going to drop you as a customer, that makes no business sense. They would just charge you for your usage. But my friend also spoke to USC and they said they had no way to know how you used your internet, so as long as you weren't breaking the 5gb cap you were fine. I'm sure it could change in the future, but if they cared that much they would keep the feature disabled until you activated tethering through them.
For what it's worth, I've been using the wireless tethering feature on my Mesmerize off and on for the last could of months, Ans I haven't noticed any extra charges or anything. As I understand it, USCC just sees you using your data, and unless you go over your 5gb, they have no real way to detect whether you are tethering or not.
I called US Cellular just now and the lady told me I would need a tethering plan to use this feature. Has anyone heard differently from 611?
Sad but true.
Not really. When I took my phone in for the 2.2 update, I asked the tech about it. He didn't sound sure of himself, or didn't want to commit to anything, but he told me if I did a little bit of tethering w/o the plan it should be ok. So at least I have someone to blame
I may or may not have tried it with the wifeys Nook. If I did, I may or may not have seen the disclaimer that popped about about having the proper plan. There was no sign in or password, and it worked great.
If I did it.
I just received the following email from USCC as I inquired about hotspot nearly 2 weeks ago:
I appreciate you taking the time to write to us about charges that may
apply when you use your phone as a hot spot for wireless connection. I
understand the importance of having this information before using this
feature so you know what to expect on your bill. With your $30.00 data
package you are allowed 5GB to use. Should you exceed this allotted
amount you will be charged $0.25 per MB that is used. Your overages
will never exceed $200.00. When using your phone as a hot spot this
opens your phone to be used as a server for nearby devices. This is
much like if you were to bring your laptop to a coffee shop or somewhere
that offers free Wi-Fi. This is considered to be a hot spot. When
opening your phone to be used as a hot spot in a public place, this can
allow your data usage to significantly increase as anyone that uses your
connection will be using your data. I hope this information has been
helpful as to how using your phone as a hot spot can impact your bill.
For more information or questions please feel free to contact our
Customer Service at 888-944-9400 or 611 from your U.S. Cellular(r) phone
Sure makes it sound like you don't need a tethering plan and the additional charges come when you surpass your 5GB... IDUNNO, Does anyone there at USCC have a clue on this?
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That response is weird. It sounds like they have no idea what they're talking about, because it's really easy to put a password on your mobile hotspot, blocking "anyone" from connecting.
Settings > Wireless & network settings > Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot > Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot settings
Not only that, when I tried it, I was specifically asked how many users I wanted to allow. If I tried it
I just came online to post that exact email response I received from USCC a few minutes ago (quite a bit longer than three business days!). Mine is slightly different, however:
Anyway, I agree, it is oddly worded -- it explains the risks of turning on tethering (although doesn't it use encryption by default?) and how costly it will be when every person around you helps run up your overages. However, like most people here, I just want to check my email or commit some code.
A straight yes or no would be really cool.
Let me clear this up for all of you. Us cellular does want you to pay the extra money for the tethering plan. But is not required to turn the portable hotspot on. But if you do turn it on be sure to secure it if it is not already this is very important even if you pay for the tethering plan because anyone can use your data if it is an open hotspot. It will use a large amount of data when used for streaming video and music. Or if more than one device is using it. I would advise anyone that is going to use the hotspot to get an app to keep close watch on your data usage. I do not know about other devices I use the samsung acclaim and I did use it untill I got that call from US Cell saying my bill would have been just under $1500.00 TY for overage protection I signed up for not even a week b4 this happend. So the point is if you are willing to risk it go for it but I think you would be better off paying an ISP the $50 a month for DSL or cable internet it will be faster and you don't have to worry about getting your phone shut off and they will if you go over your 5gb limit after that phone call. I would adviseeveryone to be aware of your usage on any smartphone even if you don't use tethering. They have many free apps to keep track of data usage in the market.
Buddhahint, I'm guessing that you racked up your overage before the $200 cap was instituted.
Tyler, the tethering package is a requirement, per terms of service, in order to use your phone as a mobile hotspot. Use outside of that package could get your service suspended or cancelled. For exact info, there is a "legal" link at the bottom of the U.S. Cellular web page.
Generally, security is set up when using the hotspot feature. When you turn it on in Settings > Wireless & Networks, you will see the SSID (access point name) and password or be allowed to create one, depending on the device. I highly recommend AGAINST setting your phone up as an "Open" hotspot, as then anyone within range could connect to it.
No thankfuly I had just got the overage protection b4 this happened but I can tell you they don't know unless you max out on your 5g limit and it is ez to do so be careful on what you use it for and keep track with a data usage app if you use it alot.
US Cellular has no way of tracking what you use your data for other than seeing how much you've used. Once you hit the 5GB cap, though, you will be charged overages unless you use points to get rid of them (Belief plan is amazing).
The Hotspot/Tether is a great feature if you need instant access to the internet for a laptop, wireless PC, etc. As Buddhahint stated, it will rack up quickly so I recommend using it as an emergency.
I've personally used it a few times, myself, and had no reprocussions as far as I know (trust me, I'd hear about it if the phone bill was penalized for Hotspot/Tethering).
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