O2 stings iPhone customers with tethering bolt-on

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What an absolute con! One of the few real benefits of the iPhone announcements last night was that Apple handset customers can now use their little touchscreen darlings to tether with their computers for mobile internet access. In network pricing news this morning, however, O2 has completely stiffed users by charging a premium bolt-on for this new feature that’s already built into the phone anyway.

3GB of tethered data will cost you a stunning £14.68 per month while they charge £29.36 for the 10GB package. You get free tethered access over Wi-Fi in Cloud hotspots but it’s absolutely criminal to charge you twice for the same 3G data that you’re already receiving as part of your deal.

I’m absolutely fuming about this. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such blatant profiteering in all my life. This is the best advert for jailbreaking your iPhone I’ve ever seen. Jailbreaking allows you to tether your phone via Bluetooth or USB such that you can use the 3G internet connection on your phone passed on to your laptop effectively giving you mobile broadband.

Already this morning the internet community is up in arms with petitions appearing on Facebook and Twitter for the O2 to charge reasonable prices for tethering and upgrades.

In response to the outcry over the bolt-on, O2 said:

“Laptops and computers are far more data intensive than a mobile phone and tethering an iPhone to a laptop will consume a considerable amount more bandwidth on our network, which has a cost implication to us.”

You see their point but it still doesn’t feel right. Perhaps a smaller, free limit might have been an idea?

iPhone on O2

Daniel Sung

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  • “O2 has completely stiffed users by charging a premium bolt-on for this new feature that’s already built into the phone anyway.”

    it’s about archaic revenue/network protection, not ability. This isn’t surprising. Expect AT&T to do exactly the same when or if it becomes available. I wouldn’t even bother tethering – the mobile Internet is fine on the iPhone for what I want to do and anything more I just find a wireless hotspot.

  • Hmm, I already have home & mobile broadband for my laptop with O2. The mobile element is around £7 pm (I think unlimited but can’t remember). Its an 18 month contract.

    So effectively, if I didn’t have this and wanted to use the Iphone 3GS instead (Tethering) then I’d be paying double !

    By the time my 24 month contract on the 3GS is up I reckon the Tethring will be more common place and therefore I could shop around at the time and use my Iphone.

    In short – If you want mobile broadband with O2 – don’t pay for tethering yet – go for the dongle ?

  • I just got the SMS from O2 telling me about v3.0. How exciting! But then I read about the bolt on (£9.99+VAT for 3GB) and feel rather annoyed.
    All I want to do is connect my satnav to the iphone so I can get traffic updates. Hmm… not impressed at all. Sure their network might take a battering – but that’s what you get when you say “unlimited internet access on iphone”. Bleh.

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