1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

This whole teathering thing...

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by kb58, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. kb58

    kb58 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Okay, I get it, phone manufacturers are in this to make money, but...

    The tethering charge on the Atrix dock has really brought this out into the light, and it makes me question how manufactures split up data charges. For example, if you get a data plan, you pay $XX per month - fine. BUT, if you want instant messaging, it goes up. If you (now) want a dock, it goes up. If you want more data per month, it goes up.

    The last one makes perfect sense - more data, more bandwidth, more processor time on the provider's part, fine. The other two though, appear to be complete BS. Data is data, if you use more it costs more.

    What do IMs cost if you go over? 10 cents? Yet you can continue to use your phone browser without additional charges? That makes sense...

    I'm just ranting, but it would be a breath of fresh air if the providers would just say, "It'll cost you $30 for 3GB, and it doubles for each GB above that." How hard is that? No more teathering BS - you use more data, you pay for more data.

    Sigh... it seems the phone providers are no better than the airlines. "Oh, you want a cup to put your water in? That's $4 extra." "Want a pillow? $5" Grow up, I say.

    1. Download the Forums for Android™ app!


  2. DannyB

    DannyB Well-Known Member

    As soon as AT&T went to metered bandwidth (eg, $25 for 2 GB) then they lost any legitimate claim to be able to charge extra for tethering. No matter what is in my 2 GB worth of network packets, it does not change the amount of stress on the network nor the resources consumed to route and deliver those packets. It matters not whether those packets go to podunk nowhere or to Google. Nor whether the packets ultimately go to the phone's browser or to my laptop. The same 2 GB or less per month is exchanged between the radio in my phone and the nearby cell towers and carried over the infrastructure.
    cleanermonkey and mthguy like this.
  3. s.m.knipe

    s.m.knipe Android Expert

    This is exactly how I feel.
    mthguy likes this.
  4. KenG10

    KenG10 Well-Known Member

    And on top of it all............Its not technically tethering!!!!!!!! :mad:
    cleanermonkey and mthguy like this.

    =KLRS=ZERO Android Enthusiast

    IMHO, it is tethering. you are connecting your phone to a full sized laptop device that has access to full desktop webpages and flash content. that takes up more bandwidth than your phone does when it loads up mobile sites.
  6. No_Nickname90

    No_Nickname90 Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing it's safe to assume you mean text messages when you say IM since you said it cost 10cents when you go over. You do know that text messaging came out way before you had internet on your phone. That alone means text messages are sent over a different network from that of your internet data.

    Nexus, your IP (internet Provider, be it comcast or Tmo) can tell who is getting their internet. So when your phone is collecting data, when you view a mobile page, most pages you view online is optimize for mobile viewing, meaning you're loading less stuff when you view the page. When you connect with your laptop, like tethering, your IP can see that something new has connected to your data and is collecting data, and laptops view pages as is. Meaning they load everything, so they're loading more at a time.

    A great example would be the cheap 87 Gas compared to the 93 Gas
    Think of your phone as the cheap gas. If all you do is get the cheap gas (use your phone as internet) then you don't rake up that much money. It's cheap. If you start getting the expensive gas (tethering laptops.) then you rank up a lot of money. The cheap gas is about 2.80 (in houston) per gallon compared to $3 per gallon.

    What I'm trying to say is, devices give a type of ID when they connect, and that's how IP know what type of device is connecting. Phones have different ID's than laptop's so that's how they can prevent other devices from connecting.

    Also, I'm trying to say is, your phone uses less data than a laptop or computer, to view pages online, although it isn't by much. Like what I was saying about the gas. The prices might not be that much different. If the amount was only a $5 difference, multiply that into 1 billion. That means a company would need about 5 billion dollars if they wanted to allow people to use tethering for free. Every month? I don't think so.

    But that's where the pay-for-tethering is coming from. I think that explained your somewhat-complaint. LoL!!
  7. s.m.knipe

    s.m.knipe Android Expert

    This is very true, and to take it a step further, websites can tell which browser you are using to access them from. Back when Chrome browser first launched i would occasionally get messages that "blank website is not optimized for Chrome yet" and some blogs and websites can grab the browsers used for statitics.
  8. MarcMaiden

    MarcMaiden Android Enthusiast

    Unless I read it wrong or missed some official report,

    I think the whole atrix requiring tethering thing is required to get the discount on the dock, not to use the dock lol I feel like if this was the case, i would have heard something from at&t lol
  9. s.m.knipe

    s.m.knipe Android Expert

    I think the concern comes from the footnote in the official press release (#3 i think) where they said that use of the webtop firefox browser on the network will require a tethering plan. It doesn't say to get the discount, it says to use.
  10. MarcMaiden

    MarcMaiden Android Enthusiast

    never mind lol,

    I just looked at an internal document saying

    "There is an additional charge to use the webtop application"

  11. s.m.knipe

    s.m.knipe Android Expert

    Marc, is that a direct quote from the document? If so that should answer the HD Dock questions as well...

    I guess AT&T isn't done crippling Android yet :/ oh well, it is only a matter of time until the webtop is hacked and fingerprint id changed to mimic the phone better...
  12. binaryhellstorm

    binaryhellstorm Well-Known Member

    I really don't see how using a larger screen and keyboard on a phone makes it tethering. If I were to use an LCD monitor on a phone with HDMI out (like the Droid X or Evo) and a Bluetooth keyboard, thats not tethering, not even by AT&T's standards. This is what the AT&T webpage says.

    What is tethering?
    Tethering lets you use your wireless device, such as a BlackBerry or smartphone as a wireless modem for your PC. This will give you full access to the Internet and your email when you connect your device to your laptop via Bluetooth or USB cable.

    Since the laptop isn't a separate PC, it can't do anything without the phone.
    I just don't understand.
  13. =KLRS=ZERO

    =KLRS=ZERO Android Enthusiast

    It's not the fact that it has a screen and a keyboard, it's the fact that the dock is allowing you to access the full web and download and a full web browser. If the laptop dock used the default android browser and loaded mobile pages, then it wouldn't be using the same amount of data as a full sized laptop or the laptop dock. tethering just means you are using your phone as a modem to the other device, which is exactly what you are doing when connecting to the dock.
  14. knappkd

    knappkd Well-Known Member

    You are NOT using it as a modem to connect a different device. It is still the phone that is connected, not a separate device. The dock is simply a portal to view the device.
    cleanermonkey likes this.
  15. barry99705

    barry99705 Android Expert

    There's no difference between the stock browser running a nonmobile site and firefox running the same site. Besides like it was said above, we're paying for 2Gb of data. Data is data, A 10Mb flash movie is the same size whether it's seen on a 4" screen, 5" screen, or 10" screen. It's just At&t trying to milk their users for all the money they can. If what you're saying is true, then they need to charge the fee for all the docks, because there is no difference between using the laptop dock, or the desktop dock, except for the display size. Wait! They should charge more for the desktop dock! It's going to be hooked to a bigger screen, so it must be using more data!!!!
  16. =KLRS=ZERO

    =KLRS=ZERO Android Enthusiast

    They probably think that the people who use the desktop dock will be connected to wifi.
  17. kb58

    kb58 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    BUT, do gas stations care what you put the gas in? Do they care what mileage your car gets? You bought and payed for X gallons, done deal. What you do with it doesn't matter to them, they made their money.

    Same deal with data. If I use 1.9 GB of data in a month, why on earth does the supplier of the data care what I did with it? If it goes into my phone, to which I connect a bigger screen, the supplier's "meter" will show that I consumed exactly zero extra bandwidth. If I connect a full keyboard, the supplier's "meter" will show that I consumed exactly zero extra bandwidth. I think people are quite right to be ticked off about the lame reason given to require tethering for this dock.

    That said, suppliers can charge whatever they want for whatever they sell, however, it would be make them look much better if they got rid of teathering charges all-together, and just post graduated data charges and be done with it. If I want to use 10 GB this month and pay outlandish (but understandable) charges for it - say, $1000 - how is that a bad thing for them?
  18. Special Edd

    Special Edd Newbie

    They charge tethering for two reasons. The first is they make more money by charging what they think that people will pay for the extras. The second reason is that they know that tethering will use more bandwidth and they can control the number of people surfing the full web on a laptop dock by charging more for it.
    ATT just has to guess what those price points are. They don't want to charge so much that no one will buy the phone or accessories, but they also have to keep the price low enough that the their target number of people will buy them.
  19. KenG10

    KenG10 Well-Known Member

    I was always under the impression that when browsing the web in the phones browser, you are viewing the full desktop versions of sites. Not those gimped 200 pixel wide text versions of the sites. That's not the case?

    If I load up androidforums.com in the FireFox browser, it will use more bandwidth than if I did on the phone?

    EDIT: It seems someone else has already brought up this point in a previous post.
  20. AvengerBB

    AvengerBB Member

    They shouldn't care how we are using the data - just how much. If someone needs 4GB, they will pay for it. Otherwise, let us keep the 2GB.
  21. DannyB

    DannyB Well-Known Member

    Tethering seems like the prototype for a great new way for utilities to conduct business!

    The electricity company should charge different rates based on how much benefit they perceive that I get from the electricity. When I use electricity to watch TV, it should cost more than the same number of kilowatt hours used to cook food. (Even though delivered over the same wires.)

    Similarly, water used for drinking and cooking should cost more than water (delivered by the same pipes!) used to wash dishes.

    I think even the automobile fuel example is great! If I buy 87 gas for a four seat car, it should cost more than the same 87 gas (from the same pump!) put into a two seat car. After all, I'm getting more benefit from the gas!

    Similarly, if I pay for 2 GB of data, I should have to pay more for it to use it on my laptop than on my phone even though it's delivered by the same towers and infrastructure and at the same cost to AT&T. Why should they get to charge more? Because they can!

  22. kb58

    kb58 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    ^ Well put, that's exactly what's going on. If you connect to a dock, you'll probably use more data - fine we get that. But whatever extra data is used is easily handled by a tiered data fee, there's zero need for "teathering" whatsoever.
    binaryhellstorm likes this.
  23. DT

    DT Android Expert

    Hahaha, terrific post!

    You know, the argument about bandwidth consumption is incredibly diluted when the service providers always carp about all the "media functions" of current smart phones, that allow people to constantly consume bandwidth.
  24. colnago

    colnago Android Expert

    Fair enough...however the problem with that argument is that in-store AT&T reps "insisted" that I put my unlocked Nokia N900 (with full Flash 9.4 support) on the unlimited MediaNet plan for $15/mo. Same amount of data being pulled down as full featured laptop, at half the regular data plan rates.

    So if "full desktop content compatibility" is the justification, by that means, all the other Android phones which have "full Flash support", should be charged the additional fees as well. If AT&T can get contracts with that plan/pricing tier, then so be it, but I feel its excessive, and contradictory.

    Conversely, using the Atrix with laptop dock will not allow me to run my Java based stock trading software, nor any sites using Microsoft Silverlight, let alone the number of other apps/services utilizing internet access...for this an additional tethering fee is justified?
    cleanermonkey likes this.
  25. IrrelevantD

    IrrelevantD Newbie

    To further this argument, most decent 3rd party browsers for the iPhone (ie Atomic), and I'm assuming for Android as well, will let you identify the browser as other browers. In the case of Atomic, IE, Firefox and desktop Safari. If you are viewing websites as such, you are pulling down the full version of the website (minus Flash content), not a mobile version of the site. I suspect that the problem is that they are worried about throughput/bandwidth limitations on their network and not actual data usage.

    The real issue is likely that the network cannot support a high number of users pulling large amounts of data simultaneously. By charging a higher rate for tethering they limit the number of people who will actually be utilizing that feature and thus limiting the bandwidth being used at any given time.

    What they need to do is take a page from broadband providers and have tiered bandwidth plans, not tiered data usage plans. I've had my iPhone for a year and a half, and I tether my iPad and my wife's iPod off of it whenever I'm not near free wifi and I still haven't broken 9GB total usage over the life of the phone. I find it hard to justify the extra $10/mo for my wife to have 2GB/mo over 200MB aside from the fact that 200MB could be very easy to go over.

    Now, if they tiered Edge speeds at $15, 3G at $25 and "4G" at $45, I would be OK with their pricing, but this 200MB, 2GB, 4GB system they have is just crap.

Motorola Atrix 4G Forum

The Motorola Atrix 4G release date was February 2011. Features and Specs include a 4.0" inch screen, 5MP camera, 1GB RAM, Nvidia Tegra 2 AP20H processor, and 1930mAh battery.

February 2011
Release Date

Share This Page