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Verizon Offers Free Tethering Because It Has To 180

Posted by timothy
from the but-watch-them-brag-how-nice-they-are dept.
jfruh writes "Most U.S. wireless carriers are trying to have it both ways on tethering or smartphones-as-hotspots — moving people from unlimited data plans to plans where they pay by the gigabyte, but then also charging them extra if they want to share the gigabytes they've paid for with other devices. But on Android phones on Verizon, at least, you can still tether, not because Verizon is trying to be more consumer friendly, but because, according to an FCC ruling, they agreed to allow it when they bought formerly public spectrum."
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Verizon Offers Free Tethering Because It Has To

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  • by CoolToe (2732573) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:54PM (#41375853)
    Tethering has worked from day one on Windows Phone devices.
    • by gman003 (1693318) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:01PM (#41375949)

      Yes, and I'm sure *both* Windows Phone users are enjoying that.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:02PM (#41375977)

      It's worked from day one on Android as well.

    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      Tethering has worked from day one on most phones? This is to do with restrictions placed on plans by a carrier, not the hardware/software capabilities of the device/operating system.

      FWIW I've tethered since the day I first got a smartphone (first on iPhone, then on an Android). But no carrier in the country I live in has ever restricted tethering AFAIK (why should they - I'm paying for the data either way, why do they care how I use it?) It's always seemed a bit mystifying to me why carriers in America seem

      • Well the difference is the type of network traffic you will do on your phone vs. traffic you will do on your PC.

        On your phone you are more or less just going to check your email, and browse a few pages. On your PC or Laptop, you will be doing hours of browsing and watching movies, and other activities.

        I would actually prefer to have G4 and a tethering as my primary internet connection. Because I can take my phone and laptop anywhere and browse. But the current restrictions are too expensive.

        • by Hes Nikke (237581)

          On your phone you are more or less just going to check your email, and browse a few pages. On your PC or Laptop, you will be doing hours of browsing and watching movies, and other activities.

          But why does it matter if I already paid for the data i'm going to consume?

          • Because then the carrier would actually have to invest some of those horrendous data rates on their infrastructure.
          • by hazem (472289) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @02:33PM (#41377367) Journal

            Because they've oversold their network capacity and would be in real trouble if everyone actually used as much data and bandwidth as they paid for.

          • by jeffmeden (135043)

            On your phone you are more or less just going to check your email, and browse a few pages. On your PC or Laptop, you will be doing hours of browsing and watching movies, and other activities.

            But why does it matter if I already paid for the data i'm going to consume?

            Because up until recently, all networks offered an unlimited plan which they hoped would see only 1-2 GB of usage, max. This makes it cost-effective for them to simply let you use as much as you want, since the power users that really cram data down onto a smartphone are few and far between. Basically, they were over-subscribed but didn't actually have bandwidth contention (on most days). You paid for the service of using as much data *on your handset* and the carriers were keen on making you keep up you

        • Well the difference is the type of network traffic you will do on your phone vs. traffic you will do on your PC.

          On your phone you are more or less just going to check your email, and browse a few pages.

          As someone who regularly downloads multi-gig Linux ISOs on my phone, I have to disagree.

          On your PC or Laptop, you will be doing hours of browsing and watching movies, and other activities.

          Well, then, maybe Verizon shouldn't have spent so many marketing bucks pimping Netflix/Pandora streaming to their customers, if they didn't want/expect customers to actually use them.

          • As someone who regularly downloads multi-gig Linux ISOs on my phone, I have to disagree.

            You must be the same guy I saw hauling six full size pieces of plywood on top of his Cooper mini. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

            • As someone who regularly downloads multi-gig Linux ISOs on my phone, I have to disagree.

              You must be the same guy I saw hauling six full size pieces of plywood on top of his Cooper mini.

              Are you kidding?? The interiors in those things are hideous. I'd be far more likely to be seen hauling six sheets of plywood in a Miata... a V8 Miata :D

              Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

              Regarding the case of downloading ISOs on my phone over Verizon's 3G network (which I have a grandfathered 'unlimited' plan with, BTW) -

              Why shouldn't I?

      • by Lucky75 (1265142)

        It didn't work from day one on iPhones (without a tethering plan, at least).

        • But no carrier in the country I live in has ever restricted tethering

          It didn't work from day one on iPhones (without a tethering plan, at least).

          It did in other countries....

      • by Immerman (2627577) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:55PM (#41376801)

        I think it comes down to volume - you end to use far more bandwidth for longer periods on a PC, and since there's very little actual competition in the US market the carriers are in no hurry to build out capacity to actually provide the service they're charging for - which requires unpleasant things like investment that doesn't contribute to anybody's bonuses. Worse, once you have a network with enough capacity to handle the load non-tethering people might start asking uncomfortable questions like why they're being charged such ridiculous rates. Nothing good can come of it.

  • Oh no! Regulation! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Goaway (82658) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:07PM (#41376021) Homepage

    Look how GOVERNMENT REGULATION is ruining things for the consumer again!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by CoolToe (2732573)

      Look how GOVERNMENT REGULATION is ruining things for the consumer again!

      That's why communism is ultimately the best way to go. Only with government regulation and government work program you can expect everything to go well for everyone.

      Sure, there are no rich people anyway, but more people (all people) get to enjoy good life.

      • by swan5566 (1771176)
        Don't know if people older than 30 in Russia would agree with you.
      • by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:26PM (#41376303)

        Yes, Lets go to the extremism. If some of it is good and a little bit more is better, then all of it must be best.

        The trick is to find the right balance that our culture can tolerate.

        • by ArsonSmith (13997)

          Is that really the goal? As much as we can tolerate? How about as little as is needed to provide civilized society. Is that really not even a considerable option any more?

      • by alexgieg (948359) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:51PM (#41376749) Homepage

        That's why communism is ultimately the best way to go. Only with government regulation and government work program you can expect everything to go well for everyone.

        So, comrade, here it says you want one of those new "computer" things. I notice, however, that you haven't filled forms 1A to 25B showing what the social benefits arising from your possession of said "computer" would be. Please follow through in filling them and return when you're ready. Afterwards, provided all forms are correctly filled, and our revision committee agree with the social benefits described in your project, we'll add your request to the queue. How long it is? Oh, we calculate a five year wait at most, provided, of course, you keep your production levels within the required parameters of social utility. Also, don't forget to regularly attend your local political meetings, as requirements might change and this way you'll get first hand notice of any new forms in need of filling, and otherwise you might miss the submission window and be in need to restart the request procedure all over again. Needless to say, that would cause you to lose your place in the queue. Ah, you're welcome, comrade! Have a nice day too! Next!

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:12PM (#41376085)

      You might think forced free tethering is awesome.

      Here's the actual effect it has had - everyone gets to pay more for data since everyone has to be able to tether. The new mandatory shared data plans are more expensive than older piecemeal plans. WHat about people that didn't want to pay for tethering? Too bad.

      • Does the cell network care if the data comes from the phone itself, or from the phone on behalf of something connected via USB or WiFi? No. Tethering makes no difference to the cost of the data plan because it is transparent to the system, except possibly for the bandwidth used (which you'd be paying for anyways). Tethering is just a piece of software on the phone. If you're paying extra for tethering, you're getting ripped off.
        • Datawise, no. Phone calls, though transmitted digitally, are kept seperate from data by the network. It's a QoS thing, and also the reason you may find calls still work even if a data connection cannot be established.

          That's how it works here in Europe, anyway. The US may be different.
        • The problem for the carrier is that laptops tend to consume a lot more data - more background processes constantly fetching, more windows open and so on.

          I'm not saying though it SHOULD cost extra. the companies should just charge for bandwidth. What I am saying is that the practical result of Verizon being forced to give everyone tethering is that they raised data rates to fold tethering costs in for everyone. If you really didn't use tethering before it was nice to get a cheaper data plan; now no such o

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            Well, they can limit your data access to what your plan allows.

            Yes, plans can limit your data in ways you don't really even WANT to think about.

            Unless your carrier is a Tier 1 like Sprint, your smartphone isn't getting a raw network connection. After all, they sell "unlimited data" to featurephones for people to be able to post and browse Facebook and Twitter all day, unlimited data for Blackberries to send emails, but then give you 5GB on a smartphone, or 2GB on a laptop, and the price rising higher for ea

      • by animaal (183055)

        You might think forced free tethering is awesome.

        Here's the actual effect it has had - everyone gets to pay more for data since everyone has to be able to tether. The new mandatory shared data plans are more expensive than older piecemeal plans. WHat about people that didn't want to pay for tethering? Too bad.

        Or maybe this will happen instead...

        Users will be able to use the data they're paying for, regardless of what device is consuming it. People who don't use much data will opt for cheaper capped plans that only offer as much data as they need.

        Are you suggesting is that it's more expensive for my carrier if I consume 1MB of data on a tethered laptop than if I consume the same on a phone-based browser? Or that people who don't use all the data they're paying for should be subsidising those who do?

      • And the deregulation of the telecom industry caused every cell provider to roll out their own infrastructure and not share technology standards (GSM, CDMA). This caused consumers to pay for redundant towers everywhere which is one of the reasons why most of Europe has faster and cheaper cell service than the US.
        • by Solandri (704621) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @02:52PM (#41377619)

          This caused consumers to pay for redundant towers everywhere which is one of the reasons why most of Europe has faster and cheaper cell service than the US.

          Actually Europe had slower cell service because the EU mandated GSM. GSM is a TDMA technology. In TDMA, the phones basically take turns talking with the tower. The tower divides each 1/20th of a sec into timeslices. Each phone gets one timeslice per 1/20th sec, regardless of whether or not it has anything to say. If I'm talking with my mom and there's a 10 second pause while she looks for something, my GSM phone still takes up all its timeslice of the tower's time, wasting the bandwidth. Same if I was using a data connection to browse the web and paused to read the slashdot comments I just downloaded. The phone was still connected to the tower, so it still got its timeslice, wasting the bandwidth.

          But the U.S. decided to take a hands-off approach and let the technologies compete. Half the carriers went with GSM, the other half went with CDMA. And when data services started to become important, CDMA completely wiped the floor with GSM. CDMA is based on orthogonal codes, like one person writing on a chalkboard horizontally while another writes on it rotated 90 degrees. They're overwriting each other, but because the letters have enough distinguishing marks, you can read what both have written. The key here is that CDMA doesn't waste bandwidth. As you approach capacity, the noise floor (from codes overwriting each other) increases until the error correction can't cope. But if someone has an active voice or data connection, but isn't saying or transmitting anything, then there's no noise added, and no bandwidth used.

          This is why the CDMA carriers rolled out 3G data service more than a year sooner than GSM carriers. CDMA won. There was simply no way for GSM technology to compete as a data service because it wasted so much bandwidth. GSM was forced to take an extra year to design completely new (non-TDMA) data protocols, and add a second radio to GSM phones for data (since the GSM voice radio was TDMA-only). Many if not most of the data protocols were based on CDMA or wideband CDMA, they just disguised the fact by adding it to the GSM standard. So even if you have a GSM phone, there's a good chance you used CDMA for data prior to 4G. (Incidentally, this is why you could talk and use data at the same time on GSM networks. It wasn't because GSM was better. It was because it was worse, and they were forced to add a second radio to GSM phones just for data. CDMA uses the same radio for voice and 3G data. The limitation is gone with 4G, since LTE requires a different radio than GSM voice or CDMA voice. Unless you do a stupid design like the iPhone.)

          So you can thank the U.S.' free-market approach and the CDMA carriers for the high-speed cellular data network speeds you enjoy today. If the entire world had standardized on GSM, it would've taken years longer for data speeds to reach what they are today because there would've been no competing high-speed data service to shame GSM into improving. (LTE is based on orthogonal frequencies [wikipedia.org] - similar concept to CDMA except the orthogonality is in the frequencies used by each device instead of the coded signals. It requires more CPU cycles to untangle the different signals, CPU cycles which consumed too much power previously, but which is now within reach of a mobile device which has to last a day on battery.)

          As for your number of towers argument, the TDMA for GSM voice (yes, voice transmissions still use TDMA in GSM) artificially limits the range of the tower. For the phone to communicate with the tower during its timeslice, its signals traveling at the speed of light have to reach the tower before the majority of its timeslice is over. This artificially limits the range of a GSM tower to about 20 miles. If you want to cover

          • by djdanlib (732853)

            Comments like this make reading Slashdot worth while. Thanks for such a good writeup.

        • by ArsonSmith (13997) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @03:15PM (#41377927) Journal

          It's always better to have a politician decided on a technology to use rather than trying out many to see which ones work best. Government is always best and finding the best answer because of the flawless scientific evaluation of every proposed regulation.

        • by swb (14022)

          I sometimes wonder if there wouldn't be any advantage to an antitrust-type ruling that split the cell phone carriers into retailers (sell phones, sell plans/minutes/services to end-users) and wholesale network providers (put up towers and implement the network side) with heavy regulation coupled with a fixed 15% margin making the business profitable; fixed pricing guarantees would ensure a 10% margin for expansion and upgrades.

          The FCC in conjunction with experts would come up with a wireless standard and re

      • Except those expensive plans were introduced BEFORE the tethering ruling came down....

        They wanted to charge you more AND charge you for tethering, obviously.

        No regulations had to force their hand, since the way they corner models of phones and geographical rollouts is borderline anti-competitive itself

      • by lorenlal (164133)

        The new pricing scheme was implemented in June. It wasn't until the end of July that the FCC dropped the tethering pricing ban on Verizon.

        If anything, this will just increase the data demands for Verizon, and they'll keep charging you more... Because that's what they do.

      • by ewieling (90662)
        If Verizon did not want to "allow customers to freely use the devices and applications of their choosing.", then they should not have purchased spectrum ("C Block") which requires just that.
      • Do you believe that Verizon's prices are determined by their costs?
      • Here's the actual effect it has had - everyone gets to pay more for data since everyone has to be able to tether. The new mandatory shared data plans are more expensive than older piecemeal plans. WHat about people that didn't want to pay for tethering? Too bad.

        This is where markets come in to play. Rather than increase regulation, I propose simplification: make free tethering mandatory for all carriers. Then the carriers can actually compete on price.

        Of course, a healthy, competitive market would require another demonic government intervention: breaking up the cell monopolies. Heaven forbid...

      • by cfulmer (3166)
        That would be more convincing if the pricing hadn't been set BEFORE the FCC told them that tethering had to be free. Typically, effects happen AFTER their causes, not before.
    • by alexgieg (948359)

      Look how GOVERNMENT REGULATION is ruining things for the consumer again!

      You've got it reversed. This is government trying to hack a fix to an earlier error: that of providing private parties monopolies over natural wireless frequencies. If that first government intervention hadn't happened, allowing instead the free market to develop technological solutions to the obvious fact that you'd have tons of people trying to use the same frequencies, then you wouldn't need such a hack. And neither the new hack down the line that will appear when this one proves problematic, and so on a

      • by Qzukk (229616)

        Apply the Chodorov Principle of abolishing the actual source of the problem rather than trying to fix it over and over again.

        The problem with that post is that [nearly] every government program X was created in response to problem B. Kill X, problem A caused by X goes away, problem B comes back.

        In this case, how long will cellphones work before radio interference makes broadcast anything unusable?

    • by darjen (879890)

      Government regulation is the direct CAUSE of our telecom monopolies in the first place. That didn't work out so well, so they try to apply band-aid after band-aid. Talk about breaking your leg and giving you crutches. "See, without us you wouldn't be able to walk!"

    • by gishzida (591028)

      So what you are saying is that you approve of the idea that government regulation is interfering with corporate profits and you would like the wireless carriers to be able charge you multiple times for providing the same service based upon that carrier purchasing the right to use a publicly owned resource-- the wireless spectrum. Endorsing the idea that a corporation should be allowed to do whatever it wants is in effect saying you want a totalitarian corporate state...

      Then I take it that you would approve

      • by Richy_T (111409)

        Would you like to pay for your power that way?

        Perhaps I would. Perhaps a lot of people would. Know why they can't?

      • by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv...vadiv@@@neverbox...com> on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @11:38PM (#41382931) Homepage

        No shit.

        I remember when cable companies used to charge you per TV. And people would illegally run splitters and cable and have to disconnect it before calling the cable company.

        And then, suddenly, bam, the cable company wasn't allowed to do that anymore, by law.

        The sky did not fall.

        And did the sky fall after jailbreaking was legalized?

        And remember when the phone company only allowed you to connect _their_ phones to the line?

        There is no reason that the programs or devices using a telephone's data connection should be the slightest concern of the telephone company, any more than it's their business what sort of headphones you have hooked up to it or anything.

        In fact, it's not actually their business what sort of phone you're using, or what the hell a 'phone' is. If I take my SIM out of my unlimited data phone and stick it in a cellular modem, that should be entirely fine. As long as my SIM is paid for and all the frequency and encoding stuff is correct, they should be required to provide me service. (And it's not actually their concern if the encoding is wrong...that's the FCC's problem.)

        Corporate America has demonstrated over and over that they will put infinite amounts of restrictions on the services they sell us, claiming all sorts of bullshit reasons that such things must exist...and then laws stop that, and nothing bad happens. Everyone lives happily ever after.

        We really need to that to happen with cell phones.

        In fact, an argument can be made that it should happen with data vs. voice. You should have to pay for 'tower bandwidth' usage, and then maybe some sort of microscopic 'megabyte transferred to the internet' or 'minutes of phone call onto the public phone network', but the majority of the cost for the phone company is 'talking to the tower' (Or, rather, maintaining enough tower for everyone who wants to talk to them to use.) and _that_ is what the majority of the cost should be for.

        And SMS are fucking free, you asshats. That is goddamn cellular overhead. You can't charge us for a variant of something that every single powered-on cell phone does every minute.

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      You are aware that government regulation is what lets carriers "own" any part of the electromagnetic spectrum at all?

  • by rtkluttz (244325) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:07PM (#41376027) Homepage

    That prove that consumer protections in the electronics industry are badly needed. Enshrine the separation of hardware and software in all electronics, and enshrine that owners cannot be locked out of their own devices.

    Tethering is a built in function of all android devices that is artificially crippled because crap like this is allowed to go on. Yea yea yea, I know you can hack YOUR OWN DEVICE and put a different OS of your own choice on it. I already do that (cyanogenmod), but you shouldn't have to hack past security that locks you out of your own electronics.

    • Or how about not have government enforced and propped up monopolies that prevent any substantive competition that would force carriers to offer these types of benefits to get an edge over their competitors? Yes, if we want to keep the monopolies/oligopolies we need more regulation but that isn't the only, or best, option.
    • by Solandri (704621)

      Enshrine the separation of hardware and software in all electronics, and enshrine that owners cannot be locked out of their own devices.

      Actually, in this case, I think it's simpler than that. The owner of a pipe should not own what's transmitted over the pipe. This is true for electricity, gas, water, etc. It's slowly becoming true for cable TV and phone service. And it needs to become true cellular phone service. The cellular service providers should be prohibited from owning the towers. The compani

  • Does Verizon lease or share these frequencies with any other carriers? I know there are quite a few CDMA based carriers, and they do share a significant amount of towers.

  • Actually... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdotNO@SPAMuberm00.net> on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:11PM (#41376067) Homepage Journal

    They still offer the built-in tethering on 4G devices for $20 / mo. I know this because I have one of these devices. You have to install a third party app from the market to get free tethering. Verizon is relying on consumer ignorance of the FCC decision to continue to grab revenue.

    • Re:Actually... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by skarphace (812333) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:58PM (#41376849) Homepage
      And those third party apps are severely limited(HTTP only, for instance). So don't expect to have any fun or do any real work with it without jumping through some hoops.
      • With PDAnet at least, the http only limitation is only for the free version of the app, not anything to do with the tethering functionality itself. drop $15 on the full versio of the app and have full functionality. I'm personally just fine with paying $15 to a dev then having free service, rather than nothing to the dev and $20 a month service.
      • I use Foxfi and it couldn't be easier. Name the SSD you want to use, put in a password and Go. http, https, ftp, skype all work fine. I can do everything I would do when I am normally working. It's the same as being on any other WAP.

  • Or just the one spectrum.

    • by steveg (55825)

      Verizon does not charge separately for 3G and 4G. They don't really have a mechanism for treating them separately.

      If you use the tethering capaibility that comes with the OS, it will pop up a dialog that will sign you up for their tethering plan at $20 a month. It won't work if you don't sign up.

      However, there are free apps in the Market (excuse me, Google Play) that will allow free tethering. The one I installed just checks to make sure it has internet connectivity before firing up its hotspot. No evid

  • by calzones (890942) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:24PM (#41376253)

    They don't offer free tethering because you have to pay for what you consume.

    That other companies have the temerity to charge you extra just for the privilege of tethering is a whole other problem. That would be like the water company charging you extra for the privilege of using water to wash with instead of just drinking it.

    The fact is, we pay for data plans, unlimited or metered. Either way, it should be ours to do as we wish with! The telcos should not be allowed (should not have any right) to impose on us any kinds of fees or limitations on what we have purchased from them. End of story.

    • This is one of those things that used to make sense from the carrier's POV.

      It used to be that browsers and software on mobile devices sucked(Sometimes they sucked because of hardware limitations), and often was easier on usage than tethered computers(Plus speeds just weren't that great to begin with). It's the difference between using the water from your tap to drink and using it to fill Olympic sized swimming pools.

      Now the simple reality is, smart phones can do what a computer can and way more. Carriers

    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      The water company does put these restrictions at times. Sometimes you can't water your lawn or wash your car with that same water that you pay for.

      • by DavidTC (10147)

        Uh, no. Water companies do not do restrictions like that.

        Governments do restrictions like that.

        How the hell would a water company even punish you for breaking the rules? They can't give you a fine, and they're required by law to provide service to everyone who pays their bills.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:27PM (#41376325)

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57485518-94/what-verizons-fcc-tethering-settlement-means-to-you-faq/

    Yes I know its Cnet, but it gives a good explanation of what is going on.

      What if I have an old Verizon unlimited data plan? Can I download an app and avoid the $20 tethering fee too?

    Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. Verizon says that customers under the unlimited plan are required by the company's terms of service to pay an additional fee to tether their device.

    So you either keep the unlimited data plan and pay the fee or you switch the new plan and lose my unlimited data.

      Does this mean that Verizon will no longer charge for tethering?

    On June 28, Verizon introduced new wireless service plans that include tethering in the base price of the plan. So for new customers, they will not be charged extra to use their phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

    So again I am still being screwed,

  • Whenever I try to activate tethering on my Verizon Droid X2, they want me to call corporate and buy it for some $20/month.

    • by yotto (590067)

      Whenever I try to activate tethering on my Verizon Droid X2, they want me to call corporate and buy it for some $20/month.

      That's why you get a program like EasyTether or AZILink.

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:43PM (#41376599) Journal

    Because the iPad has tethering built in and enabled by default, for no additional fee, on the Verizon network. It's the biggest reason I selected the VZ version over the ATT version (well, that at the VZ version can still use ATT 3G network, but not visa versa).

  • by firesyde424 (1127527) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:49PM (#41376723)

    Are why prepaid carriers seem to be doing better. A few months ago when I went in for an upgrade, I found out that my old plan was no longer allowed on smart phones and we were going to need to add $30 a month per line to get our upgrade with a new contract. We decided to shop around and found Straight Talk. We did some math and discovered that we would come out ahead almost $700 over the course of two years, even with buying our own phones at retail.

    So we said bye bye Verizon and have been enjoying that extra $80 a month in our budget ever since.

    • Of course Straight Talk still is beholden to AT&T's limitations (you can't tether without an extra fee on AT&T = you can't tether on Straight Talk, you can't use FaceTime over 3G on AT&T without an extra fee = you can't use FaceTime over 3G on Straight Talk).
      • Not to mention that the instant Straight Talk starts taking significant market share from AT&T, AT&T will raise the price of Straight Talk's contract significantly and Straight Talk will promptly pass that price hike on to their customers.
  • by l3v1 (787564) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @02:59PM (#41377697)
    I mean come on, it has to be the U.S where people actually acept that tethering is some extra special "service" and it's justifiable to ask extra money for "providing" it. If my carrier would ask money for that, I'd leave them on the spot. I changed carriers for less than that, and the world didn't collapse. For a long time I thought the U.S. was the paradise of Internet and mobile phones and unlimited data plans. But then I actually started to go there a lot and it was farly quick to realize most cell companies just take people for fools, take subscribers as granted, rip them off with a lot of stupid stuff, and just see them and an endless money source. And the most weird thing, lots of people are so used so used to this, that they don't even think about it much anymore.

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