AT&T has today begun sending out its second warning to customers who it believes are illegally tethering their iPhone 4 using jailbreak, demanding they either stop tethering, or pay the price. In a stern SMS to select subscribers, the carrier warned that those who don’t pay and continue to tether their phones illegally would be automatically upgraded and charged for its $45 per month tethering plan.
The message is surely aimed at iPhone jailbreak users, who can gain easy access to apps through Cydia that allow them to use to tether their iPhones to their laptops, iPad 2, and any other Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connected device, to share its data connection. Of course, without signing up to a tethering plan with their carriers, these users are using their data illegally.
The $45 per month tethering plan – which AT&T says customers will be upgraded to – is a full $25 per month more than a regular iPhone data plan. It provides customers with 4GB of data between an iPhone and any tethered device.
AT&T issued its first warning to iPhone users via SMS and email back in March, but it wasn’t so forbidding back then: it simply reminded culprits that tethering required an additional plan, and how they could sign up for one. Clearly – and unsurprisingly – many customers ignored the polite message and continued to take advantage of jailbreak hacks anyway, forcing AT&T to take things a little more seriously.
I’m sure anyone who’s jailbroken their iPhone has toyed around with tethering at some point – I know I have. It’s so easy to find tethering solutions, such as the MyWi app, that you can’t help but try them out for a bit of free data on your iPad while you’re out and about. Thankfully, some carriers – such as O2 in the U.K. – now include tethering in their iPhone plans as standard.