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Monday
Jun152009

Sprint Warns Against Palm Pre Tethering Hacking

Sprint had "politely" warned the guys behind Pre Dev Wiki to desist from all discussions regarding tethering for the Palm Pre during the Sprint exclusivity period, or Palm will be forced to take legal actions against the people running the wiki and IRC. The wiki guys have agreed upon this and is not allowing any further discussions about tethering. This all feels like a weird dream... Though I'm sure tethering hacking will still go on, else where.

Pre Dev Wiki Tethering page:

"We have been politely cautioned by Palm that any discussion of tethering during the Sprint exclusivity period (and perhaps beyond—we don't know yet) will probably cause Sprint to complain to Palm, and if that happened then Palm would be forced to react against the people running the IRC channel and this wiki.

We want to retain a good relationship with Palm, hence we are not allowing discussion of tethering on the IRC channel, or in this wiki.

Note that Sprint does not have a plan available for use with the Pre which allows tethering under the Terms Of Service.

Once there is a version of the Pre available for a carrier that does allow tethering, or an unlocked GSM version, then we may be able to change this policy."

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Reader Comments (27)

Yeah, that kind of thing always works. I'm getting a vision of the near future... it looks like... ten Pre hacking sites springing up for every one Sprint/Palm try to quash.

June 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Or Sprint could, you know, have a tethering plan available. Seems pretty simple. Then the phone would officially support it, no need for any kind of hack. My Blackberry line has unlimited data everything + tethering for only around 90 or 100 per month.. why not an additional $20 or $30 for tethering on the pre?

Then again, I'm not willing to pay $20 or $30 for something I'd only use in an emergency.. but I'm sure some people would get use out of it. I only travel for business to our other offices, where I just hop on the wifi. At airports I just don't bother with the laptop at all, that's why I have a smartphone :)

June 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKansei

The headline should read "Palm warns..." since Sprint has apparently been silent on the issue.

What SHOULD happen is that Sprint should just be honest and call the "unlimited" data plan a "5GB data plan" (which is precisely what it is), and then tell you to have fun with your 5GB. You can do whatever the hell you want with your data.

I don't think Sprint or any other carrier has a right to tell you what mediums you can use to use your internet connection that you paid for. It might be against their TOS, but the idea that those rules would hold up in court is laughable.

IANAL.

June 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSam

How can you say Sprint has no right to tell you how to use your internet connection? It's their data, their terms. And you signed on for it.

I do, however, agree that they should call it what it is, 5GB or whatever, but let us use it how we see fit. If we go over tethering and sharing over 5 computers, it's our own damn fault (though, I would like to see them give us a live, or at least very close to live, data transfer meter).

June 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLinh

Call me confused but I thought sprint allows tethering on other phones. So if the pre has tethering built in then why not allow itN

June 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJason

My opinion is that carrier locks are to blame for these policies...

The average user can't just create an account with a different carrier which allows tethering, so Sprint does not need to worry about people leaving (unless they don't want the Pre :) - what do they have to lose from not offering tethering?

June 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersomeguy

If you have a little patience you can say goodbye sprint and hello Verizon in less than 6 months. Sprint is hemmoraging customers like a severed limb and should be bending over backward to woo the ones they get. Good ol' American Telcos, failing the customer for 87 years and counting.

June 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRic

I'm sure it will be given the go-ahead once Sprint figures out a way to get a few extra bucks out of all the Pre users.

I'm glad Palm is on-board with the early hacker / dev community. Those guys (and gals) are going to be paramount to the success of the Pre. Now, if I could only find one in stock at Best Buy. =(

June 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJake

Why are these guys caving to Sprint whining? Who cares if Sprint whines to Palm! What is Palm going to do to the pre dev wiki? Stop giving them money? Oh, wait! Sue them? For what, using their phones?

Pre dev wiki and their "response" to Palm is weak. Fail.

June 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

No tethering is a deal breaker. I've used Palm devices for a decade and will not purchase a Pre until a tethering plan is available, no matter how much I want Palm to suceed.

June 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGolden G. Richard III

Haven't decided if tethering is a deal breaker yet for my Pre- I have 23 more days to decide. I fly for the airlines. If you've never been stuck in a hotel room all day with your laptop and no Wi-Fi (or at best, in the lobby for a charge), it's hard to appreciate what a convenience tethering can be. From a business standpoint, I can see Palm/Sprints' reasons for delaying this feature, with possble server overloads (we're in a 3G world now, not 2G) and new revenue opportunities. What corporation is NOT looking at the bottom line these days? With my old network it was free. Now with 3G, at a certain price I would probably pay, but not if it felt like a total gouge.

June 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

No tethering is probably a deal breaker to me too--especially with the Pre requiring an undiscounted Simply Everything plan. On my Treo 755p, I pay about $55/month for unlimited data, and use tethering for emergency situations. Why should I pay an extra $30/month to lose some functionality?

June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

As much as I want to ditch my Treo 755p for the Pre, the thought of giving up my SERO plan (ie, having to pay more money and then LOSING my ability to tether) is a deal breaker right now. I'm not going to pay more money for less features. Just kinda dumb to me. If anything I'd just go ahead and add a new line for the Pre so I could keep my tethering abilities with the Treo and have a new line for personal or business use.

June 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChia

Bought a Pre June 6, 8:30 AM. Had waited to upgrade my 700P. No tethering is a big negative for me. Rarely used it, but need it. Did not know sprint had reversed on tethering. Love the phone design, software. Someone needs to offer tehering. This is a customer service issue for premium customers.

June 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDennis Redmon

Bought a Pre June 6, 8:30 AM. Had waited to upgrade my 700P. No tethering is a big negative for me. Rarely used it, but need it. Did not know sprint had reversed on tethering. Love the phone design, software. Someone needs to offer tehering. This is a customer service issue for premium customers.

June 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDennis Redmon

Sprint REALLY mis-handled this from a PR point of view. The Pre DOES support tethering. They just decided that -- like other 3G phones on the Spring network -- they want to charge a bit more for the higher bandwidth use. Older phones which do NOT support the higher speeds -- like the Treo650 -- have always been allowed to tether for FREE. What they simply decided with the Pre is that since it supports the higher speeds, it should be subject to the tethering fee (which they call PAM -- Phone As a Modem). The PAM fee is cheap -- $15 compared to $50-$70 for a wireless card from any carrier or compared to the fee other carriers will charge for tethering. Sprint knows they have the better data network, so they are trying to take advantage of that. But they're mis-handling it. They should have left tethering in the marketing materials and simply noted there was a small extra fee.

BUT WAIT -- there's more. If you already have a phone that supports free Sprint tethering (like the Treo 650), you most likely can get a customer service rep to sell you a Pre and "grandfather" your free tetherthing. They lock you into a 2 year contract, sell another Pre, and give away the tethering fee. Since they're going to charge you at least another $10 or $15 a month for the upgrade that supports Sprint TV and (more importantly) Sprint Navigation (think turn-by-turn GPS in your phone, better than the free Google Maps), it's a win-win situation.

Oh, and there's more. Besides being able to negotiate free tethering, you can KEEP your SERO discount. Sprint is dealing, my friends. Stop complaining. They just need to get better people in their Marketing dept. who understand that if a phone supports tethering, the specs should say so, even if a caveat is required.

June 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrobo45h

robo45h, are you talking about what Sprint SHOULD be doing... or about what they ARE doing?? Are you saying that if I walk into a Sprint store and tell them I want a Pre, but won't upgrade from my Treo 700p because I must have tethering, that they will sell me a Pre with Tethering? I also have a lot of grandfathered discounts... on a whole family of phones... so, I'm a bit worried how much more expensive this will be.

July 19, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIwantTETHEREDpre

IwantTETHEREDpre ...


I'm in the same boat... almost. I have already purchased the pre. Still own my Treo pro and Treo 800w, and am SORELY disappointed with the lack of functionality. I have lots of complaints, but close to the top of the list is tethering.


Unfortunately the rep that sold me the phone misinformed me of the tethering policy and by the time I figured it out (Same hotel situation stated in one of the above comments) I was way past my 30 days window.


Try to think positively though. This phone is in it's infant stage as is the OS. As it grows older, the list of features/functionality will get better and better. It already did with some minor (though very functional) updates with update 1.2.


I'd bet that the next update will address some of those other issues people are having including unlocking tethering out of the box when Sprint get's off their butts and listens to all the complaints (like the ones on this page) and does what's right... Keep it up people! Let your voices be heard!

October 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLostSoul75

IwantTETHEREDpre ...


I'm in the same boat... almost. I have already purchased the pre. Still own my Treo pro and Treo 800w, and am SORELY disappointed with the lack of functionality. I have lots of complaints, but close to the top of the list is tethering.


Unfortunately the rep that sold me the phone misinformed me of the tethering policy and by the time I figured it out (Same hotel situation stated in one of the above comments) I was way past my 30 days window.


Try to think positively though. This phone is in it's infant stage as is the OS. As it grows older, the list of features/functionality will get better and better. It already did with some minor (though very functional) updates with update 1.2.


I'd bet that the next update will address some of those other issues people are having including unlocking tethering out of the box when Sprint get's off their butts and listens to all the complaints (like the ones on this page) and does what's right... Keep it up people! Let your voices be heard!

October 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLostSoul75

It's kind of ironic that I am using my Pre as a modem as I respond to this. LOL
I am currently tethered and it's awesome.

I don't know why Sprint / Palm are having issues. You apparently made the Pre to work just as adverstised and now you want one of the best features of the phone to be blocked off, or at least the knowledge of the abiltiy to tether?? What gives?

November 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGMan

by the way,
did I mention that my tethering plan is free and I didn't have to go through Sprint!!
It's possible people!!!

November 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGMan

I too am grandfathered under the old "Phone as modem" plan (got it back when they were selling the LG Fusic). Been using it ever since.

I sent an email to Sprint requesting a legal explaination as to how my contract should be handled since they have agreed to provide me with phone-as-modem yet no longer sell phones "capable" of this feature.

I wait to head back,,,

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDean Rantala

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March 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngy

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April 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCantrell20Christina

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May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaskotun

Since 4/2010 Sprint no longer 'legally' allows users to tether for 15$ a month (unless they are on a corporate account). Read: NOBODY that it is an everyday Joe can buy the 15$ tether any more. Those that had it have been cancelled immidiately. If you hack your phone, that is a different story I guess.

May 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRene

Thanks for sharing and great information in this site here. Unfortunately the rep that awash me the buzz apprenticed me of the tethering action and by the time I ample it out (Same auberge bearings declared in one of the aloft comments) I was way accomplished my 30 canicule window.
Try to anticipate absolutely though. This buzz is in it's baby date as is the OS. As it grows older, the account of features/functionality will get bigger and better. It already did with some accessory (though actual functional) updates with amend

May 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndroid code

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