GSM iPhone to gain 'Personal Hotspot' in March with Apple's iOS 4.3 - rumor

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A new rumor pegs Apple's "Personal Hotspot" Wi-Fi tethering feature for release on GSM-based iPhone models with supporting carriers in March, arriving after the Verizon CDMA iPhone in February.



According to an anonymous source said to be "close" to Redmond Pie, all iPhones that support iOS 4 will gain the Personal Hotspot in March, with the release of iOS 4.3. The feature was first demonstrated on Tuesday with the newly unveiled CDMA iPhone 4.



The new CDMA iPhone for Verizon's network in the U.S. was shown running a new version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 4.2.5. It can be enabled through the phone's Settings application, and allows the handset's 3G data connection to be shared with up to five devices over Wi-Fi.



Adding credibility to the rumored March release of iOS 4.3, the tipster also provided screenshots of the feature running on a handset, though the name of the cell provider has been blocked out.



Boy Genius Report also received screenshots, and was told that the new OS version is labeled 8F5148b, with a baseband of 04.08.00. It also heard that "technical acceptance" is expected to take place in March.







Word of an iOS 4.3 release with the Personal Hotspot feature came to light after the Verizon announcement on Tuesday. There it was also said that the feature would only be available if a wireless carrier agreed to support it.



For its part, AT&T said it wouldn't "speculate on potential features that could be added to its phones in the future. The carrier agreed to allow iPhone tethering last June, but currently AT&T customers must pay $20 per month to share a 3G connection only via USB or Bluetooth. The current method does not allow a data connection to be shared with an iPad.



UpdateAn AT&T rep reportedly told SAI that the company was "evaluating" supporting the feature, but that AT&T has "no plans to announce today."



Though Verizon announced the iPhone and Personal Hotspot on Tuesday, the carrier did not offer any pricing for the handset's data plans or for the ability to tether. The CDMA iPhone will debut on Verizon's network when it goes on sale in the U.S. on Feb. 10.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,847member
    Very curious to see how AT&T responds to this sort of thing. Given their new tiered data plans, they really ought to be able to do this with no trouble. They might just want to restrict it to people who do have one of the tiered plans -- making this available to those with unlimited plans might be more than their poor little network can handle.
  • Reply 2 of 44
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,382member
    That would be cool - I wonder at what price? Allowing iPad is a must! Although it calls into question the future sales of iPads with 3G etc. Even one connection would make me happy, two would be great. No need for 5 IMHO. A Free 'personal hot spot'.
  • Reply 3 of 44
    Looking forward to this on my carrier. Bluetooth tethering is a bit cumbersome when pairing non-Mac devices, even then new devices take a while to pair and it's not shareable. This is good stuff.
  • Reply 4 of 44
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    Very curious to see how AT&T responds to this sort of thing. Given their new tiered data plans, they really ought to be able to do this with no trouble. They might just want to restrict it to people who do have one of the tiered plans -- making this available to those with unlimited plans might be more than their poor little network can handle.



    It’s their right as we do sign a contract stating we won’t tether, but I think it’s silly they want to charge $20 for tethering without giving you any additional data.



    I think if they offered it for free on capped plans it would be easy to use and could very easily push people into additional charges from increasing from 200MB to 2GB plans and paying $10 for each additional 1GB. I think that would easily exceed what they are getting from people with capped plans paying for tethering.
  • Reply 5 of 44
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,257member
    I think wi-fi sharing would become the most used way of sharing.

    Would be nice to know what encryption level is being used though.
  • Reply 6 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    It’s their right as we do sign a contract stating we won’t tether, but I think it’s silly they want to charge $20 for tethering without giving you any additional data.



    I think if they offered it for free on capped plans it would be easy to use and could very easily push people into additional charges from increasing from 200MB to 2GB plans and paying $10 for each additional 1GB. I think that would easily exceed what they are getting from people with capped plans paying for tethering.



    I'd like someone to explain how (or if), the carrier can even detect this. Previous tethering was USB or Bluetooth and was activated/deactivated in the hardware at the request of the carrier, this on the other hand, is Wi-Fi and it will be built in to every iPhone.



    Network stuff isn't my forte at all but it seems to me that unless they are doing packet inspection it will just appear that people are using more data, no? And as long as you don't go over your limit how would they know?
  • Reply 7 of 44
    I tried getting the tether option on my phone but they insisted id have to give up my unlimited data plan. I laughed and told them there's no way that's going to happen...im liking them less and less.
  • Reply 8 of 44
    Really looking forward to this if/when it comes to Vodafone Portugal, which it probably will as they allowed USB / Bluetooth tethering as soon as it was available for no extra charge. Glad I held off buying an iPad, as now when iPad 2 comes out I won't need to get a 3G version. Result!
  • Reply 9 of 44
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,733member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    I'd like someone to explain how (or if), the carrier can even detect this. Previous tethering was USB or Bluetooth and was activated/deactivated in the hardware at the request of the carrier, this on the other hand, is Wi-Fi and it will be built in to every iPhone.



    Network stuff isn't my forte at all but it seems to me that unless they are doing packet inspection it will just appear that people are using more data, no? And as long as you don't go over your limit how would they know?



    I figure they will control it them same way they control the USB/BT tethering. It is enabled by the carriers, per account if they wish, though I am not entirely sure of the mechanism for doing it (carrier settings file maybe?). But, however they are enabling tethering now could just as easily enable wifi tethering, separately or as part of tethering in general. USB/BT tethering is built into every iPhone as much as wifi tethering is (will be). It is just a matter of how the carrier can enable/disable it, per account.



    As far as them detecting if you are using it, they couldn't really know whether you are sharing your IP via wifi or via USB/BT just by inspecting the packets. Possibly they could use inspection to examine the NAT packet headers to determine how many concurrent devices are behind the NAT gateway, but this seems excessive and wouldn't in and of itself tell them you were using wifi, but might imply it if you have multiple concurrent devices detected.
  • Reply 10 of 44
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,735member
    I never understood why carriers don't allow tethering or hotspot'ing of phones. You're paying for a service that is capped. There is a data limit set, why do they care how you get to that limit? The only thing I can come up with, is pure greed. The carriers want to force you to pay for an extra service that requires no extra hardware and gives you no extra data allowance.



    Of course it makes perfect sense to charge more if there wasn't a data limit, but there is a limit and at most I only use 1/10th of it every month. Being able to also connect my iPad to the service (through hotspot'ing) would help me maximize my service.



    Furthermore, this is not something Apple had to "work" at to get on the iPhone. This has been a feature of OS X for a long time now, it's called "Internet Sharing". It can enable any Mac to become a wireless hotspot and share its internet connection. It would be trivial for Apple to add the ability to iOS.
  • Reply 11 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Previous tethering was USB or Bluetooth and was activated/deactivated in the hardware at the request of the carrier, this on the other hand, is Wi-Fi and it will be built in to every iPhone.



    USB / Bluetooth tethering is activated in software (not hardware) via the carrier profile settings. WiFi tethering will be no different.



    Assuming it's possible to "hack" the carrier profile to enable the option (as I believe is the case for USB tethering) then the carrier won't be able to detect that you're using it. That applies to any kind of tethering.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,382member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by michaelab View Post


    Really looking forward to this if/when it comes to Vodafone Portugal, which it probably will as they allowed USB / Bluetooth tethering as soon as it was available for no extra charge. Glad I held off buying an iPad, as now when iPad 2 comes out I won't need to get a 3G version. Result!



    I am looking at my iPad the same way. As I said earlier, THis will impact 3G iPad sales I'm sure.
  • Reply 13 of 44
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,735member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    I'd like someone to explain how (or if), the carrier can even detect this. Previous tethering was USB or Bluetooth and was activated/deactivated in the hardware at the request of the carrier, this on the other hand, is Wi-Fi and it will be built in to every iPhone.



    Network stuff isn't my forte at all but it seems to me that unless they are doing packet inspection it will just appear that people are using more data, no? And as long as you don't go over your limit how would they know?



    They can't really. Their network only ever "sees" data from the phone and nothing beyond that. They could monitor for data usage and request spikes, which could signify other devices accessing the network through the phone, but something like that could also come from the phone itself.



    Jailbroken iPhones should be able do this already, because it is simple enough to startup dhcp and nat to get local ip addressing served and translated across network interfaces; one interface being the cell network and the other WiFi. I've never looked at a jailbroken iPhone, so I'm not sure if there's something more to it than that, but this is how it would be done under OS X.
  • Reply 14 of 44
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,733member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    I never understood why carriers don't allow tethering or hotspot'ing of phones. You're paying for a service that is capped. There is a data limit set, why do they care how you get to that limit? The only thing I can come up with, is pure greed. The carriers want to force you to pay for an extra service that requires no extra hardware and gives you no extra data allowance.



    Of course it makes perfect sense to charge more if there wasn't a data limit, but there is a limit and at most I only use 1/10th of it every month. Being able to also connect my iPad to the service (through hotspot'ing) would help me maximize my service.



    Furthermore, this is not something Apple had to "work" at to get on the iPhone. This has been a feature of OS X for a long time now, it's called "Internet Sharing". It can enable any Mac to become a wireless hotspot and share its internet connection. It would be trivial for Apple to add the ability to iOS.



    Because their entire business model for data services is predicated on the idea that you will pay for unused services. If everyone used what they paid for, it would diminish their profit on data.



    I like to think of it as if you could pay your grocer to provide you with a dozen eggs each week, but their business model being based on the assumption that you will only take 2. If however, you share your eggs with others, you might well use those 12 eggs. Their business model fails. They need you to only eat 2 eggs but continue to regularly pay for 12.
  • Reply 15 of 44
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,735member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by michaelab View Post


    Assuming it's possible to "hack" the carrier profile to enable the option (as I believe is the case for USB tethering) then the carrier won't be able to detect that you're using it. That applies to any kind of tethering.



    Well we can safely assume that if a carrier can modify or download profile settings over the air, they can also look at and upload settings. Which means if you hack the profile, they will be able to "tell". But only if you ever give them a reason to look.
  • Reply 16 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    They can't really. Their network only ever "sees" data from the phone and nothing beyond that. They could monitor for data usage and request spikes, which could signify other devices accessing the network through the phone, but something like that could also come from the phone itself.



    Jailbroken iPhones should be able do this already, because it is simple enough to startup dhcp and nat to get local ip addressing served and translated across network interfaces; one interface being the cell network and the other WiFi. I've never looked at a jailbroken iPhone, so I'm not sure if there's something more to it than that, but this is how it would be done under OS X.



    This is pretty much what I thought. It seems to me that once the feature is in the phone, that we can all expect to tether whatever we want and the only thing the carrier can do is catch us if we go over the cap.
  • Reply 17 of 44
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,735member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


    Because their entire business model for data services is predicated on the idea that you will pay for unused services. If everyone used what they paid for, it would diminish their profit on data.



    I like to think of it as if you could pay your grocer to provide you with a dozen eggs each week, but their business model being based on the assumption that you will only take 2. If however, you share your eggs with others, you might well use those 12 eggs. Their business model fails. They need you to only eat 2 eggs but continue to regularly pay for 12.



    Yeah, I pretty much figured that. My post was more of a rant than a real question.



    I think on the last day of each billing cycle, I'm going to look at my data usage and begin to download huge files just to use up the rest of my data allowance.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post


    Because their entire business model for data services is predicated on the idea that you will pay for unused services. If everyone used what they paid for, it would diminish their profit on data.



    I like to think of it as if you could pay your grocer to provide you with a dozen eggs each week, but their business model being based on the assumption that you will only take 2. If however, you share your eggs with others, you might well use those 12 eggs. Their business model fails. They need you to only eat 2 eggs but continue to regularly pay for 12.



    The only reason I'd pay my grocer for 12 eggs per week when I average 2 per week is because I have no other option. That is not a business model, that is just ripping me off. Why not offer me a per egg price that is higher than the guy who signs up for 12 per week? That way I will pay more than him when I take 12 but less when I take 2. Answer: because my grocer is part of an oligopoly.
  • Reply 19 of 44
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post


    Well we can safely assume that if a carrier can modify or download profile settings over the air, they can also look at and upload settings. Which means if you hack the profile, they will be able to "tell". But only if you ever give them a reason to look.



    I think the reason AT&T didn't offer tethering was because they wanted a mechanism that allow them to tell the iPhone if tethering should be disabled or enabled. I have officially unlocked iPhone 4 and I use my AT&T account. When I put a T-Mobile or any other carrier SIM card I see "tethering setting" in the network setting. If you fill it correctly, you get tether. But once I put AT&T SIM card tethering is disabled. I think it works by AT&T giving the iPhone the carrier setting over the air and if you have tethering on your account they can tell the iPhone to enable tethering.
  • Reply 20 of 44
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,550member
    Love this. Jailbroke my iPhone just for this feature so my kids could connect their iPods and my wife her iPad whilst on a long car journey. I don't see why this is should be any kind of issue. If you burn up data by having four kids stream youtube for hours on end you'll have to pay for it, is all. (and you deserve the bill for being stupid!)\
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