Last Updated: Aug 23,2014
Content removed as I am retired from Phandroid/AF.
Interesting. I'm not sure for tiered plans it matters as I think there was a ruling that for tiered plans the carrier couldn't restrict how you used it. I think the tethering applies to folks like us with unlimited mobile data. I'd be curious to see if this works with my VZW X though.
For tiered plans with overages, it doesn't apply because the carrier doesn't care how you wrack up the overage, so long as they can collect (the ruling only applied to Verizon due to a provision in the 700mhz auction). For unlimited plans, carriers try to restrict tethering because unlimited is based on expected usage patterns per device, and they are trying to make that estimation based on only your smartphone. T-Mobile does "unlimited" for all of their plans, with only the 4G data and mobile hotspot being tiered. When you hit your limit for each, your 4G becomes throttled to 2G speeds, and your hotspot ceases unless you opt to pay an overage (it's not automatic).
With any phone that doesn't separate tethered data when reporting to the carrier, you can continue along as you normally would. In the case of T-Mobile, that means tethered (but throttled) when you hit your 4G limit, or unlimited tethering when on a truly unlimited plan.
I'm also not suggesting that people abuse this. I deliberately went over my tethering limit to test it. I'm done tethering for the rest of the month.
Interesting+1. Maybe they changed something -- because it used to redirect all tethered http traffic to my.t-mobile.com ** I have an XT1053 also. I have a tethering plan and and a prepaid. But they used to do this last year when I got my phone.
Bad news. I got the T Mobile page today. I was at 8.22GB (12.92GB total usage, as per T-Mobile website) tethered when it happened.
So, this phone isn't exempt. But, it is weird that they let me go so far over my limit. Lets see what happens next billing cycle.
And here I am, typing on a laptop tethered to my T-Mobile phone. Again. Same billing cycle. I'm really not sure what's going on, but as of right now, I am at 8.22GB tethered with a 3.0GB tethering limit for the month. My cycle resets on the 27th.
Do you think maybe T-Mo has an additional threshold - the Nag threshold?
So we know that you get 3.0GB at full speed, then we get throttled to 2G speeds. Then you added 10 more GB (13.0GB total). So maybe their system works something like this?
* 0 to your plan's 4G limit: full speed
* Next 10GB: 2G speed
* After that: Nag screen for non-mobile device
I would be curious what happens if you use one of the apps that redirects your hotspot web usage through their app to make it look like "phone data". Under this scenario, you'd have 2G speed, but no nag screen (if the data is sufficiently cloaked).
It's too early to speculate. Also, a lot of my data is from streaming Pandora as well as many speed tests, so while it's reporting as consumed data on my phone, it's not necessarily consumed data on my plan (these functions are white listed with T-Mobile).
I'll be tethering my laptop extensively again on both Saturday and Sunday. My plan resets on Sunday, so it will be interesting to see if there are any key differences between the two days.
An update for those who are interested:
As of right now, T-Mobile states that I have use 265.2MB/3.0GB of my monthly mobile hotspot allowance (seems they only let you check it on their mobile app on not via the web). By comparison, my phone states that I've used 443MB of tethering & portable hotspot over the same period.
So, if you have a phone where T-Mobile can log what you're using (IE, T-Mobile branded device), then this number should be accurate. If you're using an unbranded device, it looks like they can measure specific traffic only.
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