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Thread: Is it true that w/some MVNO SIMs/plans, I can't share phone signal w/tablet?

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    Is it true that w/some MVNO SIMs/plans, I can't share phone signal w/tablet?

    Not all SIMs/plans are created equal when it comes to using phone to provide WIFI signal for my tablet? Is that right?

    So I will need to check this detail with whatever plan I decide to use?

    Yes, lots of question marks!! Truly, I don't know what's usual and customary in this case.

    I'll be using either the ATT or the T-Mobile network, but probably an MVNO plan, not ATT or T-Mobile.

    (I've already successfully used my company Samsung S6 (Verizon) phone to share via WIFI with my personal Samsung Note S2 tablet. But now I need to set up a new plan for my personal mobile phone, hence the question.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gponym View Post
    Not all SIMs/plans are created equal when it comes to using phone to provide WIFI signal for my tablet? Is that right?

    So I will need to check this detail with whatever plan I decide to use?...
    It is true. It's not the SIM it is the plan. Some plans include tethering, some don't.

    Some GoPhone and MetroPCS plans include tethering.

    The hotspot function/app on carrier branded phones generally check with the carrier to see if tethering is authorized and won't work it it is not a feature of the plan.

    Unbranded phones and rooted phones with a third party app will usually tether. If you do that on a plan that does not allow tethering you will be in violation of the Terms of Service and subject to cancellation.

    You can frequently get away with some unauthorized tethering. If you use a lot they will notice. There is no good way to hide it.

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    Is there supposed to be a distinction between WiFi & cellular data here? Cause I'd think you could do whatever the frick you wanted with WiFi.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    Is there supposed to be a distinction between WiFi & cellular data here? Cause I'd think you could do whatever the frick you wanted with WiFi.
    Why would you need to tether with WiFi?

    Every time I've used tether/hotspot, WiFi is disconnected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bw01 View Post
    Why would you need to tether with WiFi?

    Every time I've used tether/hotspot, WiFi is disconnected.
    I did not use the word "tether" in original question but I should have, I guess. The situation I am asking about is where cellular service is available (on my phone) but no WIFI: except for the WIFI that my phone can provide for my tablet to use ("tethering").

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    It is true. It's not the SIM it is the plan. Some plans include tethering, some don't.

    Some GoPhone and MetroPCS plans include tethering.

    The hotspot function/app on carrier branded phones generally check with the carrier to see if tethering is authorized and won't work it it is not a feature of the plan.

    Unbranded phones and rooted phones with a third party app will usually tether. If you do that on a plan that does not allow tethering you will be in violation of the Terms of Service and subject to cancellation.

    You can frequently get away with some unauthorized tethering. If you use a lot they will notice. There is no good way to hide it.
    Thanks very much, @bobdevnul. Nice, succinct summary of the state of the US industry on this question. I will be sure to check, and since MetroPCS may offer and were my starting first choice, will check them first.

    Here's what MetroPCS https://www.metropcs.com/content/met...isclosure.html says May, 2017, in their Terms and Conditions (the page has more stats on 4G HSPA+, 3G HSPA and 2G):

    "Based on analysis of third-party, crowd sourced data and subject to the notes below, MetroPCS expects customers with broadband-capable devices and qualifying service will experience the following speeds and latency on our network.** These ranges are projections based on roughly the 25th and 75th percentiles of network tests. For speeds, the peak represents the 99th percentile of network speed results:

    4G LTE Network (On Device):

    Download speeds: Typically between 4-30 Mbps, with peaks up to 90 Mbps
    Upload speeds: Typically between 3-15 Mbps, with peaks up to 35 Mbps.
    Latency: Typically between 30-55 ms

    4G LTE Network (Via Smartphone Mobile Hotspot/Tethering):

    Download speeds: Typically between 3-25 Mbps, with peaks up to 90 Mbps
    Upload speeds: Typically between 2-10 Mbps, with peaks up to 35 Mbps.
    Latency: Typically between 30-55 ms"

    Separately, MetroPCS website https://www.metropcs.com/more-data/mobile-hotspot.html says: "MetroPCS is one of the first prepaid carriers to have Mobile Hotspot INCLUDED ON ALL DATA RATE PLANS. So, you can use your data the way you want to!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by gponym View Post
    I did not use the word "tether" in original question but I should have, I guess. The situation I am asking about is where cellular service is available (on my phone) but no WIFI: except for the WIFI that my phone can provide for my tablet to use ("tethering").
    What I said applies then.

    Technically "tethering" is when you do it with a cable between the phone and other device - typically USB. Hotspotting is when you use Internet from mobile data on the phone to provide a Wifi access point. Casually, the terms are interchangeable.

    How much data are you thinking of using through the phone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    What I said applies then.

    Technically "tethering" is when you do it with a cable between the phone and other device - typically USB. Hotspotting is when you use Internet from mobile data on the phone to provide a Wifi access point. Casually, the terms are interchangeable.

    How much data are you thinking of using through the phone?
    Oh, I've muddled the terms then. I would be using the phone to provide a mobile hotspot for the tablet. I would not plan to use a cable, so technically not tethering.

    Not too much data: phone and tablet combined use to fit within a 4GB/month data plan (I do hope ;-) ).

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    Quote Originally Posted by gponym View Post
    I did not use the word "tether" in original question but I should have, I guess. The situation I am asking about is where cellular service is available (on my phone) but no WIFI: except for the WIFI that my phone can provide for my tablet to use ("tethering").
    There are several ways to connect a tablet or laptop to your phone:

    On my Moto G4 Play, there is the built-in Tethering & portable hotspot which allows for USB tethering, portable Wi-Fi hotspot and Bluetooth tethering.

    There's WiFi Tether Router - a paid app that requires a rooted phone.

    There's PdaNet+ which allows USB (or Bluetooth) tethering to a laptop or tablet using software that you load on your laptop or another app on your tablet.

    The first method typically requires a plan that allows tethering.

    The other two methods will typically bypass any restrictions. (And there are ways around the restrictions with the first method too.)

    I've used all three methods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bw01 View Post
    There are several ways to connect a tablet or laptop to your phone:

    There's PdaNet+ which allows USB (or Bluetooth) tethering to a laptop or tablet using software that you load on your laptop or another app on your tablet.

    ...will typically bypass any restrictions.
    PdaNet is a great steer, thanks @bw01! Just what I might end up needing another day (sounds like MetroPCS does not throttle WIFI hotspot use, and they are my likely plan provider), or for a friend.

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    Most pre-paid plan do not legally allow tethering. People will give you answers on how to get around this. Some companies like Cricket seem to for the most part ignore it while others like Straight Talk will cut off your data almost instantly. To tether and do it legally look at plans from MetroPCS or AT&T Gophone.

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    Well, on Cricket you can pay $10 extra a month and then you can legally do a hotspot.
    Personally I am using TotalWireless and they don't have restrictions on thethering either.

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    TotalWireless good to know about, might just make my upcoming rural area trip easier (my sections of NW MO and SW WI are both Verizon over-dominated).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandelstamm1 View Post
    Most pre-paid plan do not legally allow tethering. People will give you answers on how to get around this. Some companies like Cricket seem to for the most part ignore it while others like Straight Talk will cut off your data almost instantly. To tether and do it legally look at plans from MetroPCS or AT&T Gophone.
    It's not pedantic to say that the word "legal" does not belong here. Whether or not MVNO's or carriers approve of tethering or hotspot has nothing to do with the law.

    The distinction is lost on many, especially trolls (no, you are not one) who insist that any supposed violation of a carrier's TOS is a crime.

    And, interestingly, under the Net Neutrality law which is now pretty much gone, it was actually illegal for carriers to block you from such data usage as tether/hotspot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
    Well, on Cricket you can pay $10 extra a month and then you can legally do a hotspot.
    Personally I am using TotalWireless and they don't have restrictions on thethering either.
    On Cricket you can legally do hotspot regardless of whether or not you pay anyone anything. As with any carrier in the US. It is simply not a matter for the law. It might, however, violate the terms of service. Big difference between doing that and engaging in criminal activity.

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