Originally Posted by prof
The takeaway here is: Is it not up to Apple to decide and/or enforce who can use this function or not. That's strictly between the operator and the customer and Apple trying to be a MITM is shady behaviour.
Actually, yes it is up to Apple if they wish their devices to be usable on those networks. The carriers have strict requirements that Apple and any other manufacturers with cellular components must follow before they're allowed in the network. They have contacts in place to ensure each device does not take up the allowable amount of data based on the data plan.
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf
How do carriers justify their tethering policies? How does loading a webpage on an iPhone affect the network any differently from loading a webpage on an iPad that happens to be connected to the internet through the iPhone?
Here's the beauty of it, they don't have to justify it. It's their networks, they can do whatever they want with it.
If you're not happy, you can switch to a different carrier with a better tethering policy.
In the past, this is justified because of the unlimited data plans. Back then, you could practically use your cell phone as a primary internet access for all devices in your home. That eats up a lot of data and something that's not sustainable for the carriers given the finite resources available for the spectrum.
That's why they're enabling tethering more freely on the new data plans that are no longer unlimited.
I wish FCC and/or Congress can step in and tell all carriers that as long as there's a data cap, they have no rights to charge customers for using it in any way they want.
Until then, we're stuck with this usual business being greedy crap.
Note that if you're paying for an unlimited Internet plan at home, there are restrictions in place as well. They can still legally terminate your service if you use too much data in a given timeframe. Sad but it's true.