Wireless hotspot feature works without data plan?


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  1. craigspc

    craigspc Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hi,

    I purchased a HTC Desire a few days ago and I think it's great. However, there is one thing that bothers me. I've been quite slow at joining the smartphone community, primarily due to all the reports/stories of high phonebills relating to internet usage. So, having got my hands on the phone its self - I thought I'd play with it for a while and stick to using my home wifi connection for downloading apps and playing with map applications etc.

    The phone came pre-installed with Android 2.2 and therefore has this wireless hotspot app built in. So, to see how it worked, I enabled the feature and connected to the phone from my laptop.

    My first surprise was that it worked. My laptop was connected to the phone and web pages were loading up on it. Realising that my phone was already set up to connect to my wireless router for internet access though, I figured that it was probably sharing that connection with my laptop. Well, at least that's what I was hoping...

    At this point I unplugged my home modem/router and tried again. Fully expecting my laptop to complain about the lack of internet connectivity, I was quite shocked to find that web pages were loading up on my laptop and there's now a '3G' logo (with flashing up/down arrows) showing on the top status bar of the phone.

    From what I've said here, my only conclusion is that my phone is transferring data over the mobile phone network, but considering that I don't have a data plan, how can this be? If I disable the hotspot feature (with my home router switched off), my phone cannot access the internet, but if I enable the wireless hotspot feature of the phone and connect to it - my laptop can.

    Can anybody out there please help, as this has only added to my confusion over data plans. If I get a data plan - how can I actually be sure that the things I do with the phone are covered by it?

    Thanks in advance!
    Craig.

    PS: My SIM card is from Tchibo Germany (o2 network).
     

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  2. craigspc

    craigspc Member This Topic's Starter

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    I think I may have been a bad boy and in the rush to find an answer - failed/didn't bother to read the sticky before posting. I think I was supposed to click on the "Support and Troubleshooting" sub category before creating a new thread. Sorry.
     
  3. Stucky

    Stucky Well-Known Member

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    If I were you I wouldn't do that again until you've checked your phone bill online asap. You may just have incurred some very high charges for using data without a plan.
     
  4. craigspc

    craigspc Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately my bill is only updated at the end of the month, so I won't be able to check for a few weeks. Luckily I've only ever seen the 3G logo appear when using the hostpot feature (which I only used for a couple of minutes), so hopefully it won't be too serious.

    From what you're saying though, does this mean (at least in theory) that you can use data services even if you don't have a data plan? I appreciate that a phone user has a responsibility to inform themselves about costs and small print in advance, but this is why I specifically avoided a data plan in the first place.
     
  5. wildrose

    wildrose Member

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    Yes. And it will be rather pricey.

    I've only had my Desire for about a month, and have planned/am using it as a 'dumb phone'. One of the neat features of the Desire is it's ability to continually sync data, ie weather, facebook, etc and it will use whatever it needs to get the information.

    What I did, and I recommend you do immediately, is call your cell provider and have them place a data block on your account/number. You will still be able to use the smart features of your phone with wifi, (as I do), but your phone will be unable to access data.

    Also, go to: Menu - Settings - Accounts & Sync - and unclick Background Data and Auto-Sync which should help in the meantime.

    Hope this helps, I'm loving my 'dumb' Desire smartphone!
    L.
     
  6. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

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    Or just turn the data network off and leave it off.
     
  7. craigspc

    craigspc Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for all your replies, I really do appreciate them!

    Right, I think I've got to the bottom of this. On this particular phone (unmodified HTC Desire from Amazon with 2.2 Froyo preinstalled), it doesn't actually seem to make any difference whether you disable mobile network data or not.

    It would appear that regardless of what settings you have - if you enable Wifi Hotspot mode, it overrides the phone's preferences and any connected devices (including the phone its self) can download to their hearts content via G3 until such point that hotspot mode is disabled again.

    At the end of the day I'm going to get myself a mobile internet package so that I can make full use of my phone. But if what I've found is correct (which I still question), anyone who doesn't have a data package and disabled mobile network data to avoid unnecessary bills - should make sure that they didn't activate hotspot mode out of curiosity then forget that it's running in the background.
     
  8. sandozer

    sandozer Well-Known Member

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    I am on T- Mobile at home in UK. I am in USA right now on an AT &T simcard, pay as you go. I have disabled all roaming in settings and can assure you it works on WI Fi networks no problem. When using Google. Nav, I get prompted by. AT& T network to enable data connection. Ignore that and it all works fine, they have free Wi - Fi just about everywhere here.
     
  9. craigspc

    craigspc Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks, but I think we may have our wires crossed a little. By Wifi hotspot mode, I'm actually referring to the feature that's built into Android 2.2, whereby your phone can be used as a hotspot its self.

    In reality, I think this feature would only be used by someone that has a mobile data service and has a specific use for the service. However, if you forget to disable hotspot mode after finishing with it - your phone will still be able to download updates, map data, or anything else for that matter via the mobile network - regardless of what preferences you have set to disable this within your phone.
     
  10. sandozer

    sandozer Well-Known Member

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    Oops, sorry should have read thread more thoroughly.
     

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