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Root Effect of Recent Events on PDAnet

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by 1stAndroid, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. 1stAndroid

    1stAndroid Well-Known Member
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    I think I have heard PDANet and USB tethering mentioned in regards to the rumored impending crackdown but I can't remember exactly what was said.

    How is PDANet and USB tethering impacted by the recent updates?

    Is it something being claimed as stealing?
    Is it something that they supposedly will be have been tracking?
    Is it something we can continue doing with relative impunity?
    Is it something we can still openly discuss and get support for on android forums?

    Thanks
     

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  2. dmiller2007

    dmiller2007 Android Expert
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    I can't see how this is any different than wireless tethering. You're using data on a device that is not in your plan. Anywhere you see complaining about wireless tether, just assume they mean tethering in general.
     
  3. binary visions

    binary visions Android Expert
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    Same way wireless tethering is.

    Yes.
    Yes.
    No.
    Depends on whether, overall, it is decided that we can discuss something that openly and clearly violates the terms and conditions of your contract.

    I know I, personally, won't support questions going forward regarding this subject. Not that it means anything that I won't comment on the subject - not like I'm the only one here offering help - but it's where I stand on the moral issue anyway.
     
  4. Optimus

    Optimus Well-Known Member
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    I have a hard time associating morality with phones and internet access(via phones) but to each his own. By those standards rooting is a corruption of morality b/c it violates TOS.
     
  5. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
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    Well different people have different moral backgrounds. In Sparta, kids were taught to steal bread if they were hungry. That wasn't considered immoral to them because... well hell, the kid was hungry for Christ sakes! (although, they wouldn't have used the term, 'for Christ sakes' back then)

    Today's younger generation has a much larger sense of entitlement than those previous. The internet has opened the world up, brought things a lot closer than they were before, and has made access to things so much easier. They are used to getting so much stuff for free, they don't see anything wrong with it.

    If there was some natural spring from which the internet flowed, then I too wouldn't see anything wrong with drinking from it at will for free. But after reading the very informative and thought provoking post by Martimus...
    I noticed early on in this thread a number of individuals talking about "unlimited data". I figured a bit of clarification may be in order.

    I work for an RBOC (Regional Bell Operating Company) aka one of those dinosaur wireline telephone companies. Where Verizon Wireless has service they typically place their equipment on a wireless cell tower every few miles. The distance between towers is less in metro areas and more in rural areas. To provide Internet access they come to a service provider and purchase Internet access. Traditionally this has been one or more T1 circuits. For those who don't know, a T1 is capable of supporting 1.544 million bits per second of data throughput between the circuits source and destination routers. To over-simplify that's roughly 154,000 characters per second. Typically the cost of a T1 circuit is $300 to $400 per month. Add to that ISP fee's and distance charges this circuit could theoretically cost closer to $500 or $600 per month.

    If Verizon installs two T1's at a single cell tower then they're probably paying around $1000 per month. Next you need a high powered router to handle those T1 connections and, in turn, connect to the wireless gear at the tower. Annualized this is probably costing them upwards of $15k to $20k per year per cell tower. On a revenue side they probably have 50 to 100 subscribers in the vicinity of that tower in metro areas and maybe 30 to 50 of those subscribers currently pay Verizon for unlimited wireless service. This means that for a $20k annual investment they are probably receiving $10k to $20k in recurring revenue.

    Now here's the rub. Of those 30 to 50 subscribers it only takes 3 or 4 subscribers running Netflix on their phones to saturate one of those T1's. An independent survey I read indicates that a 1 hour Netflix connection on a 3G network utilized about 300mb of data, or basically about 5mb per minute. Put several Netflix users together along with gamers, people checking their email, Facebook, Twitter, web surfing, and other services and those pipes quickly get clogged.

    To combat this more and more carriers are now looking to have RBOC's deliver fiber optic connections to their cell towers. My employers are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on fiber builds every year to accomodate this specific need. The RBOC will typically deliver the fiber to a hand hole just on the edge of the property line and the customer, Verizon in this example, has to install conduit from the hand hole to their equipment. This potentially incurs several thousand dollars in construction costs. The carriers can then move from T1's to metro Ethernet or other fiber based services for their Internet connectivity. The downside to this, however, is that 10mb of metro Ethernet service with Internet costs more like $1000 per month plus ISP costs. A new router would also likely be needed for an additional several thousand dollars.

    And now with the implementation of 4G, Verizon has to contract for even higher speed circuits to their cell towers to support the higher bandwidth data connections to end user devices. Personally, and this is only my opinion, I do not believe that Verizon typically makes money on their data services alone. I suspect that they make their money from fees: overages to existing data plans, from people who use data but don't bother to establish data plans, and from additional services like tethering.

    While I agree that so long as Verizon calls their data plan "unlimited" it really should be unlimited, I also understand that their cost of doing business isn't exactly cheap. Now I'm making no guarantees that my observations above are 100% accurate. Verizon Wireless signs contracts with multiple service providers, including their sister company Verizon Business, to insure that they have a degree of security in the event of a catastrophic service failure by a service provider. For all I know they may be able to negotiate significant discounts with the service providers in areas where they bundle hundreds of circuits... or have lots of competition.

    And for those talking about jumping ship on Verizon and going elsewhere please consider that our choices in the U.S. are quickly dwindling. Pretty soon there will be only two major wireless carriers, AT&T and Verizon. With AT&T starting the process of buying T-Mobile it is only a matter of time before Verizon makes an offer to buy Sprint. I check the business section of the local paper (web site) daily to keep an eye out for the offer to be formalized. With the level of anti-trust scrutiny that AT&T is about to come under, Verizon would be foolish to not make the offer. After all a Verizon bid for Sprint could either succeed for the same reasons as the AT&T bid for T-Mo; and would place Verizon back in the number one wireless carrier position over AT&T... or the Verizon offer could intentionally throw a major monkey-wrench in AT&T's bid to buy T-Mo. Either scenario works in Verizon's best interests.
    , it's made me reconsider my whole stance.

    In effect, stealing is stealing. It doesn't come to our phones free, so honestly, if we haven't paid for it, then we shouldn't be using it. I never thought it was a big deal myself until I saw those figures Martimus posted up. That was enough to change my mind completely.
     
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  6. Optimus

    Optimus Well-Known Member
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    You know what fair enough, I respect that post you just made and I learned something.
     
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  7. dmiller2007

    dmiller2007 Android Expert
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    Irrelevant. Tethering is stealing. I had a post defending it again, but I'm done. I'm going to add it to my plan and use it until I have access to high speed internet. I don't think its a big deal but I'm being a hypocrite defending it as I am completely against theft.
     
  8. darkcyber

    darkcyber Android Expert
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    PDANet is a paid app (or was a paid app) back in my Motorola Q days. I purchased it and used it back then. I don't even think VZW offered any kind of tethering plan back then...can't remember :) Anywho, PDANet and the likes have been around for a very long time and you can only operate one device at a time with it (have to be plugged in via USB, so that eliminates many of today's new devices anyway). I have never seen anyone in the past, in any of the forums, complaining about PDANet or the other programs. Is it stealing? No. I allows you to use something you are already paying for. Is it moral? Ask Verizon for that answer :)
     
  9. bcltoys

    bcltoys Android Enthusiast
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    What if they did not have this hot spot service would it still be wrong.
     
  10. dmiller2007

    dmiller2007 Android Expert
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    Depends on the wording of the terms of service.
     
  11. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
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    If you are referring to what Martimus posted, yes I learned a lot from that post myself.
     
  12. binary visions

    binary visions Android Expert
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    Where does it say rooting violates the TOS?
     
  13. z0mb13m4n

    z0mb13m4n Android Enthusiast
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    Yeah, rooting does violate and void your warranty, but in no way does it violate the TOS.
     
  14. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
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    Yeah rooting is only immoral if you worship the warranty God.
     
  15. binary visions

    binary visions Android Expert
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    Yes. It is unauthorized use of Verizon's network, utilizing a paid service that Verizon charges for.

    You, me, we all signed a binding contract that said we wouldn't do it. Nobody forced you to agree.

    I don't understand why people argue this point at all. I can see the morality argument. I can see there's a question on whether you personally think it's okay to do.

    However, there is no question whatsoever on the legality. It is in direct violation of your contract, it is theft of a paid Verizon service. You signed the contract. You said you wouldn't do it. It's an ala carte service that costs a monthly fee, and you are using it without paying the monthly fee. Therefore it's stealing.
     
  16. MrDonBonJovi

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    And I bet you never downloaded music off the internet.
     
  17. VoidedSaint

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    i have downloaded alot off the internet, :p if they got ahold of my harddrive(s) then im going to be paying them for the rest of my life :(
     
  18. binary visions

    binary visions Android Expert
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    Are you reading what I'm writing?

    All I am saying is there is no question on whether it is legal or within the bounds of Verizon's acceptable use policy.

    We all have individual moral choices that we make every day. I'm not pointing my finger and labeling everyone as dishonest assholes. But the reality is that justifying this by intimating that it's somehow legal or is within the bounds of your contract is silly.
     
  19. Fadelight

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    This whole subject is one huge facepalm.

    First off... tethering isn't stealing. Tethering without a tethering plan is stealing. There will still be many people who pay for tethering that will want to discuss it here, and you guys all need to remember that before you jump on people for mentioning it.

    Second... This whole "Morals" argument is one huge joke. If you had morals, then you will have never tethered before. Just because there is now a fear of being caught doesn't make it any more wrong, nor is it a basis for a "Morals" speech. If you wouldn't do it for fear of being caught, then fair enough... but leave the morals crap out of it. Those aren't morals... that is called "Fear". You guys are beating that crap to death, and probably not one single one of you actually means it.

    Simple truth... the rules haven't changed. It's just that now you can get caught. Let the subject die at that.
     
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  20. MyTjSux

    MyTjSux Android Enthusiast
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    So because of past actions it is okay to continue to do illegal things.....your right we all have downloaded music at one point but that doesn't change the matter at hand it is completely irrelevant.....ughhhh back to my stress relief thread....wont you advocates all join me
     
  21. PSkeptic

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    That post you quote there is completely fabricated.

    Telcos do not place T1's at cell towers. That's patent nonsense. There are several ways of getting a data pipe to the towers, but a T1 would be ridiculous to use.

    They use (Depending on locale), a fiber drop at each tower, or if close enough to a central office, a direct line into their CO.

    Assuming, for a moment, they do use T1's at every site, the quoted cost of $600/month per drop is what a CUSTOMER of the telco would pay. The actual cost of of T1 (Or any data drop for that matter) is paid off over a period of 12 months, since it's just hard equipment purchases (Routing gear, switches, GIC's, etc). That's called "depreciation", and telcos use a 12 month period. If they can't pay off that hardware in 12 months, and start getting an ROI, then they wont put it in, unless mandated by the Federal Government, via the FCC (Who collects a fee for rural telephone, and rural broadband access).

    I don't know a single Telco in the US that uses a T1 internally. Anywhere. Especially not for a telco tower, which would need to support much more than 15 simultaneous voice calls (The max a T1 can support). It's generally a OC3, or a fiber drop (Which both can support around 300 or so simultaneous voice channels/data channels).

    To put a new tower up, I'd estimate about $35K, assuming a brand new tower(ie, not renting a tower). And, that tower wont be there if the telco can't make up the costs in 12-18 months. Everything after that is gravy.

    Now, onto the tethering: Data is data, is data. If telcos want to try and meter connections, so be it. If the want to tier data use, so be it. But, if I buy an unlimited data plan, don't try to add "tiers" to my unlimited. Unlimited/unmetered means just that. Stop selling it if it doesn't make you money.
     
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  22. VoidedSaint

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    i download music, movies, programs, a new life :p
     
  23. MyTjSux

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    i just love how he is trying to jstify current actions because of an illegal past.....well once murdered a guy whats two more:thinking:
     
  24. greenless

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    Has Verizon been pressuring Google to remove Wireless Tether from the market? I just looked over the description they have for it and at the very end (after the 'read more' jump) it says 'this app may violate your carrier's terms of service.' That's a pretty vague disclaimer, and I don't think most users would even read it based on where it's placed.

    There are 2 main issues I have with the war of words online over tethering. The first is related to my above question -- If VZW was soooo against apps like Wireless Tether for Root Users, then wouldn't they be pushing for Google to remove it from the market? Maybe they are, maybe they aren't - I haven't seen it reported either way. I think consumers have a reasonable expectation that anything available in the official Android Market should be legal to use. That means that the average user that checks the market for a tethering app, or an mp3 downloader, or something else of the like, should be ok in assuming that if Google ok'd it to be in the market, then it must be ok to use. If you could buy Napster at Wal-Mart in the 1990's, then Wal-Mart would have shared a lot of the fallout from the RIAA, you know?

    The second issue is that a lot of people on here (and everywhere else) have a blanket policy that whatever the carrier says is infallible. People make statements like "your contract only allows use of data on ONE device, and requires you pay extra for tethering." Well, for starters that's just not true - I, for instance, have an Alltel plan with unlimited data from before tethering was even a thought. My plan is pre-iOS and pre-Android... so I doubt tethering is even mentioned in my plan. Think of it this way -- if a carrier decided that even though your device came with bluetooth built in they were still going to charge you a monthly fee to access the ability to use it, would you back them on that? Or, would you download an app from the market that allowed you to use your bluetooth without paying the monthly charge?

    It's not black and white is all I'm saying.
     
  25. ballisticn8

    ballisticn8 Android Expert
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    Its not stealing its a violation of contract terms of service and a civil matter for breach of contract. They can charge you for the connection and charge you for your account termination fees for violating the contract you signed but its not stealing, you arent going to be arrested and charged with theft. So tired of people throwing that word around...

    /end rant
     

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