If you’re a heavy user of MyWi, the most popular jailbreak app that allows tethering, then watch out because AT&T is coming after you. According to various reports from MyWi users,AT&T has been sending SMS and emails warning them that they have to activate the official tethering option if they want to tether their iPhone.
Additionally, the email AT&T sent to some MyWi users warns them that if they don’t hear from them before March 27, those users will automatically be enrolled in the 4 GB DataPro plan, which is required for activating the official tethering option…
Dear [Customer],We’ve noticed your service plan may need updating.Many AT&T customers use their smartphones as a broadband connection for other devices, like laptops, netbooks or other smartphones– a practice commonly known as tethering. Tethering can be an efficient way for our customers to enjoy the benefits of AT&T’s mobile broadband network and use more than one device to stay in touch with important people and information. To take advantage of this feature, we require that in addition to a data plan, you also have a tethering plan.Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.If you would like to continue tethering, please log into your account online at Cell Phones and Cell Phone Plans – Wireless from AT&T, or call us at 1-888-860-6789 Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. CST or Saturday, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. CST, by March 27, 2011 to sign up for DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering. Here are details on the plan:DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering
• $45 per month
(this gives you 4GB in total, combining both your smartphone data plan for $25 and the tethering feature, $20)
• $10 per each additional GB thereafter, added automatically as needed
• Mobile Hotspot capabilities are included for compatible SmartphonesIf we don’t hear from you, we’ll plan to automatically enroll you into DataPro 4GB afterMarch 27, 2011. The new plan – whether you sign up on your own or we automatically enroll you – will replace your current smartphone data plan, including if you are on an unlimited data plan.If you discontinue tethering, no changes to your current plan will be required.It’s easy to track your usage throughout the month so there are no bill surprises. For example, we send you free text messages when you reach 65, 90, and 100 percent of your plan’s threshold. If you would like to monitor your account more closely, go towww.att.com/dataplans to learn about other ways to track your data usage.As a reminder, our smartphone data plans also include unlimited usage of Wi-Fi at no additional charge. AT&T smartphone customers can use Wi-Fi at home or on-the-go at any one of our more than 23,000 U.S. hotspots already included in your data plan.Thank you for bringing your account up to date. We appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve your mobile broadband needs.Sincerely,AT&T
It seems that this warning has been sent out to users that are currently on the unlimited data plan. Obviously, those users are the one that are most likely to tether their iPhones.
We don’t know how AT&T is figuring out who’s tethering using MyWi. My guess is they are flagging users that go over a certain amount of data per month, say maybe 15 GB.
A few MyWi users that got the above warning from AT&T found a nice little trick worth sharing. Apparently, candidly calling AT&T and telling them you don’t know what tethering is and saying you’re using your iPhone a lot with Netflix, Pandora (or any other streaming app) is probably why your data consumption is above average.
Are you a heavy MyWi user? Did you get a similar email/SMS from AT&T? If so, what did you do about it? Make sure to share your experience or your thoughts about this situation below.