AT&T Could Be Clamping Down on Jailbreak Tethering

Users are reporting that AT&T are contacting them in regards to tethering plans. The text message, and in some cases an email, seems to be targeting those that have jailbroken their iPhone and basically says:

Did you know tethering your Smartphone to a computer requires a tethering plan?

From what can be figured out, it seems to have been sent to users who use the MyWi to get free tethering rather than using an official “tethering plan” that AT&T charges for. It also seems to be going to those users who fit the above, and have the old unlimited data plans.

The email indicates that AT&T are able to track this although at the moment it isn’t known just how they track it. In the email sent out to customers, the following line can be read:

Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.

So, either AT&T are able to look at what is happening on a device, or they are taking guesses by the amount of data that is being consumed by the iPhone.

The letter goes on to say:

If you would like to continue tethering, please log into your account online at …… to sign up for DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering.

Details of the 4GB DataPro plan are given, along with a cost of $45/month.

MyWi users, and other users effected, have until March 27 to contact AT&T with their intentions and if they do not get a response, they will be automatically enrolled in that plan. The letter also notes that if users are on the unlimited plan, they will also be taken off that plan and put on a regular plan that is compatible with DataPro 4GB.

As for how it’s done, this isn’t too clear at the moment but some are saying it could be iOS 4.3 related where users now have a personal hotspot feature available. Perhaps there’s a trigger in there that is used to detect tethering.

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