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Wireless/USB Tethering on Sprint Nexus S 4G

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Firov, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Firov

    Firov Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hello everyone,

    I just bought a Sprint Nexus S 4G, and overall, I'm reasonably pleased with it. Not a huge improvement over my Droid Incredible, but still, seems to be a solid phone.

    However, I do have one major problem with it. I can't seem to tether, either wireless hotspot or USB, and use 4G at the same time. Whenever I enable tethering of any kind it disconnects my 4G connection and defaults back to 3G. When I disable the tethering, 4G reconnects a few seconds later.

    I live close to a Sprint 4G Wimax tower, in fact, the support beam is practically in my living room. So suffice to say, I don't have to worry about low 4G signal strength, so I don't think that's the issue.

    I called Sprint support and they said the phone (or any Sprint 4G phone, for that matter) simply doesn't support that feature, but I don't buy it. Even if, for some reason, it couldn't use both WiFi and Wimax radios at the same time (different frequencies, likely different radios), it should still be able to do USB 4G tethering

    Anyone know of this issue? Or, more importantly, how to fix it? I'd prefer to not have to return my phone for this one issue, but its a requirement for me. Without tethering, 4G is pretty much useless.


    jranderson99 likes this.

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  2. jdizzle

    jdizzle Newbie

    You have to root and use wireless tether from google in order to tether with 4g
  3. NOMster

    NOMster Android Enthusiast

    Or pay them. They don't disable tethering as its a feature of android but they blocked out 4g tethering on it.
  4. ericshmerick

    ericshmerick Well-Known Member

    Enjoy it while you can. Sprint will start charging for it soon. And with the news that Verizon is going to tiered data, those wanting unlimited will flock to Sprint. Add in the iPhone in November and Sprint will have no choice but to closely regulate heavy data users. The free pure google hotspot will be the first thing they nix by forcing you to pay.

    Shame, really as you can use the hotspot free on ATT and tmobile without any fuss. It's like that on sprint for now but a manager with sprint told me they don't like this loophole and will be patching it soon.
  5. NOMster

    NOMster Android Enthusiast

    Sprint doesn't update this phone. Google does.
  6. ericshmerick

    ericshmerick Well-Known Member

    Obvious statement is obvious...

    Sprint reserves the right to dictate what goes into the software build. If you've used the GSM i9020a / i9020t and the NS 4G you will notice different menu choices. The 4g Sprint version most certainly has Sprint dictated menu selection.

    So yes, while Google builds the software for the NS, to think that Sprint is powerless and out of the loop as to how the phone operates is ridiculous.
  7. NOMster

    NOMster Android Enthusiast

    More ridiculous than assuming Google would allow sprint to alter the OS on a phone thats whole point is to remain straight up Google? The nexus line is touted as "Google experience" that includes tethering and internet calling. Take that away and its just another android phone. Why would they alter sprints yet leave tmo and att alone?
  8. ericshmerick

    ericshmerick Well-Known Member

    I feel the same way however, tethering via "OMG pure android experience device" doesn't suddenly entitle you to free tethered data while everyone else pays, period. (yes there's rooting, etc., ET. Al.) Wether a carrier wants to enforce the fact that pure google users pay $0 and all other customers pay lots for legit tethering is up to them individually. I have ATT and wanted to like/keep Sprint and the NS4G but trust me the free option will end.

    Arguing at this point is theoretical...stay tuned. Just know Sprint will get their money for this sooner rather than later....

    BTW, Sprint nor Google nor Samsung ever advertised this phone as having a free wireless tether feature. It happens to be built-into GB, but it was never a marketing point from any carrier since it makes them $0 dollars. Yes it sells phones for geeks but it costs carriers $$. Sprint, a CDMA carrier, has much tighter control over their phones than a GSM "swap a SIM anytime" carrier. This is why they will restrict this loophole.

    YMMV. Good luck.
  9. Firov

    Firov Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the info everyone. Guess I'll have to figure out how to root the Nexus S 4G. Hope its as simple as it was on the Incredible.

    Though I was under the impression that USB tethering is free on Sprint phones, so why doesn't 4G tethering work via USB?

    This is a nice dream, but the mere fact that they apparently were able to restrict 4G tethering only to those who pay the ridiculous wifi tethering fee would seem to shoot this argument out of the water. If they can restrict 4G tethering, what's to stop them from restricting 3G tethering if they choose?
  10. Timanator

    Timanator Well-Known Member

    Not that the "free tethering" is worth a damn to be even talked about. It's so slow you might as well just forget it's even there.
  11. GhostRed

    GhostRed Member

    People keep saying that Sprint is going to charge extra for a feature that is controlled by the phone.

    This is untrue.

    Tethering, USB & Wirless, is enabled ON THE PHONE. It's a hardware switch.

    Aside from bandwidth usage, because the IP address for WiFi is provided BY THE PHONE and *not* by the Sprint Network, there is no technical way for Sprint to know if you are using Tethering or not.

    What it is LIKELY they will charge for is to ENABLE 4G tethering for WiFi hotspot, which only makes sense as they provide this as a stand-alone product.

    I really wish people would stop spreading misinformation.
  12. GhostRed

    GhostRed Member

    It has a lot to with something called a CONTRACT. It's actually part of YOUR Sprint contract and also the contract between Google and Sprint.

    When the Nexus One was first introduced, one stipulation was that Google would have control on the hardware locks, including tethering. At the time, 3G existed or was in the works, but 4G did not. There was no specification in their contract for 4G.

    Unless Sprint & Google make nice on paper, Google would be in violation of their Terms of Service if they allowed 4G tethering out of the box.

    Also, it's hardly a "ridiculous wifi tethering fee" when you're using your phone as a hotspot (which again, is a separate product Sprint offers) to provide internet to multiple people who are basically then piggy-backing on to Sprint's network for free.

    Its reasonable to assume you have to pay a certain fee for such use.

    Would you rather pay metered usage fees instead? Because that's the other option.
  13. TF1984

    TF1984 Android Enthusiast

    I have two comments...

    4g tether: PDAnet

    Sprint charging for free tether: I don't think so bub, they accepted the offer to carry the phone, you can rest assured that in that agreement are the terms that Google maintains the software, NOT SPRINT.
  14. tony1208

    tony1208 Lurker

    how you tether 4g on padnet?
  15. Sedan_Clan

    Sedan_Clan Member

    Woot!! :)
  16. StealthTH

    StealthTH Well-Known Member

    Pure speculation.
  17. ericshmerick

    ericshmerick Well-Known Member

    As is the speculation that Nexus S users are entitled to free tethering, whereas all other Android customers must pay. Watch your bill, that is all. Yes, I'm sure you have watched it for months now, and it's been fine, but remember ALL wireless companies are shady as hell and profit driven.

    Nobody knows any facts at this point. It's boiling down to who can argue better on the internet. We prey on the unknown, from both sides.

    Me? I'm out. Good luck NS4G users. Neat phone crippled by terrible Wimax signal penetration. Out.,
  18. Tenebrous

    Tenebrous Newbie

    Well there is something called informed speculation. Yes, companies are greedy, and many are counting on that. Having the Google flagship phone is a huge draw for phone companies and whoever is willing to work with Google most will get the contract. Sprint is in third place behind At&t and Verizon, so they need to draw customers in somehow. Having the Google phone is a solid route.
  19. NOMster

    NOMster Android Enthusiast

    ...and there is the whole "pure Google" big lettering on the nexus page...And since its considered part of the Google experience to have it...along with internet calling and other perks...and since it hasn't been touched on T-Mobile's nexus yet...and since in all honesty its not like everyone with a nexus is ever going to use it or even care, if they do most won't use it much...you can reasonably speculate that it will not be blocked.

    Also its the 2.5 spectrum causing poor building penetration not wimax. Wimax on 800 would knock your socks off. But that's another discussion.
  20. Tenebrous

    Tenebrous Newbie

    Agreed. It just does not make sense to release the phone with free tethering, only to take it away later. If tethering was an issue, the pohne would never have been released with tethering.
  21. azman

    azman Newbie

    Still waiting for the free tethering to go away.

    I think I'll be waiting forever.
  22. ericshmerick

    ericshmerick Well-Known Member

    I emailed dan@sprint.com for clarification.

    Will post his reply. ;)
  23. Jyro275

    Jyro275 Member

    Have you tried tethering through bluetooth? It seems to be faster for whatever reason.
  24. GrimeTime28

    GrimeTime28 Newbie

    From a Sprint Corporate Rep in a BestBuy store I was told that the hotspot was free at the onset because they had no way to control charging for it. But when the new update comes thru they will then be charging for it. Not sure which update that will be or how far out but thats what was told to me.
  25. BenChase7

    BenChase7 Android Expert

    I'm about to get this phone... Is everyone still getting the the wireless tether for free (without root)?? Thanks! :)

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