11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 22, 2010 10:17 AM by Bruno.HRM
Bruno.HRM Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Just wondering, I have tethering working on my 3GS / Notebook, and the tethering settings section of my iPhone says: Turn on tethering to share your iPhone's internet connection.

Now, when my iPhone is connected to a WiFi connection, wouldn't it be logical that it share the WiFi access rather than dumping data from the 3G connection?

But alas the internet connection provided to the tethered PC is actually the 3G connection (which is pretty clear by the IP address the computer is reported to be at). is this a bug or is this as it was intended to be? (which would be pretty dumb).

My reasoning: If I subscribe to a temporary WiFi connection at a hotel or coffee shop while traveling at a foreign location, I want to be able to use my iPhone and PC without being charged my cellular carrier's outrageous foreign roaming rates.

My most recent trip in November incurred a charge of $300 for 50MB data usage. My main reason for wanting to be able to tether is traveling). To me it's important to use the iPhone sparingly to be alerted when something is up that needs to be dealt with (SMS and email and other alerts), then to hook up the PC when I actually have to deal with things.

iPhone 3GS, iPhone OS 3.1.3
  • wjosten Level 10 Level 10 (93,690 points)
    Tethering is a carrier supported function, has nothing to do with wifi, so yes, when you tether, it will be over the cellular data network.
  • Bruno.HRM Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for your reply wjosten.

    Perhaps in it's current incarnation it is defined by the carrier - So I suppose you have answered my question.

    But tethering is really a matter of a data unit (something with and internet connection) providing a gateway to the internet for another device connected through it.

    This functionality should not be dependent on the carrier, it really should be built into the OS, and managed and controlled by Apple. I don't believe that every carrier should be writing their own data tethering code versions - that will lead to tremendous incompatibilities down the road. I would be really surprised if this is actually the case - It's probably just apple code a carrier switches on or off when configuring units they sell.

    Assuming that Apple does control the code, it should support tethering a WiFi connection as well, and why not offer this functionality to all iPhone users now, even those that do not have 3G data connections at their disposal? It would certainly save a lot of configuration headaches on multiple devices when moving around if your phone could simply become your data connection.
  • roaminggnome Level 10 Level 10 (92,655 points)
    Unless Apple announces, there is no way to know why they do anything.

    You can leave feedback for Apple at:

    http://www.apple.com/feedback
  • Graham Outterside Level 4 Level 4 (2,910 points)
    Bruno.HRM wrote:

    This functionality should not be dependent on the carrier, it really should be built into the OS, and managed and controlled by Apple.


    Thats naive - the network is owned by the carrier not Apple and it quite reasonably they who decide who uses their network and on what terms.

    I don't believe that every carrier should be writing their own data tethering code versions - that will lead to tremendous incompatibilities down the road.


    Nobody said they did - they just choose to activate the feature or not as you suggest . Again, you seem to think that a user can dictate how a carrier operates. If you own a company, you wouldn't like such a demand from your customers.

    Assuming that Apple does control the code, it should support tethering a WiFi connection as well, and why not offer this functionality to all iPhone users now, even those that do not have 3G data connections at their disposal?


    You are appearing getting confused between tethering and wifi - tethering is irrelevant as far as wifi is concerned. Devices can connect to wifi direct - they don't need an iPhone to access it as wifi is not controlled by your carrier.

    It would certainly save a lot of configuration headaches on multiple devices when moving around if your phone could simply become your data connection.


    Perhaps - I've never really had an issue. If there's wifi I use it, if not, I can use cellular data.
  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (30,135 points)
    Bruno.HRM wrote:
    My reasoning: If I subscribe to a temporary WiFi connection at a hotel or coffee shop while traveling at a foreign location, I want to be able to use my iPhone and PC without being charged my cellular carrier's outrageous foreign roaming rates.

    Two approaches are possible. If the hotel or coffee shop does not charge for WiFi just subscribe both the PC and the phone. I assume this is not the case, however, as you would have thought of this also. If you have to pay to use the connection you can set up Internet Connection Sharing on your PC, then tether your iPhone to your PC and just pay for the PC connection charge.

    There's another option, depending on where you travel. I was in Scotland a while back. I bought a Vodaphone cellular USB modem for £20 that included a 20 GB SIM PAYG card. the card is rechargeable for £15. This is like one night's Internet charge at most hotels. I then tethered my iPhone to the laptop using ad hoc networking. The deal may not be as good in other countries (you really get taken to the cleaners in Canada if you try this), but in most European and Asian countries similar packages are available.
  • Bruno.HRM Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I think you are missing the point Graham.

    Let's try to think out of the box: The idea is to have a single connectivity point to simplify data access administration. The carriers are not in control of whatever WiFi connection I choose to connect to, they are only in control of their own data service offerings, so why should they be allowed to decide that I can't share a LAN connection if tat is my current internet acess connection?

    If the implementation of tethering is currently limited to what a cellular carrier is willing to provide you, this is my opinion is a flawed premise.

    And yes - Every device can connect to WiFi, but you have to go to the trouble of setting each one up at every connection point, which is just a nuisance. To me the idea of a data-capable phone is to be able to able to connect all my devices quickly without having to spend loads of time setting them up. I have traveled at time where is was in a different location each day for weeks, and had to setup 5 different connections at each location every day, where some of the connection were flaky and difficult to establish, but once established worked. if this only had to be done on one device it would save often an hour a day.

    The advent of tethering is what made me finally decide to buy something other than a simple cell phone. I have had been waiting for this capability to materialize for over 10 years already. It's obviously just in it's infancy design-wise at this point. I'm sure the next few years will bring more utility.
  • Bruno.HRM Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Lawrence,

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    Sharing the PC WiFi doesn't do the job, because I only pull out my PC wen having to deal with things more serious, hence most of the time I would be on the iPhone.

    I think the best idea right now is to get a separate SIM card for data access when traveling as you suggest, and I do have an unlocked 3G data stick for exactly this purpose. I already have many international cellular SIMs because of this reasoning concerning telephone usage: Roaming rates are just too expensive.

    It's just a nuisance to have to maintain them and procure new ones in new regions.

    The main problem is that the carriers are just too greedy with their roaming charges. My typical daily traffic is about 300MB, since I develop web-sites, run servers at many locations, do remote support, etc.

    The cost of this access in Canada if I go over my plan is about $6/day, if I'm in the US and use my Canadian data plan this would run about $1800/day, and in Europe it would be a mere $15,000/day.
  • wjosten Level 10 Level 10 (93,690 points)
    Well, I think you're trying to push water uphill without a bucket. As cheap as wifi cards & doggles have become for laptops, & the fact that I haven't seen a laptop produced in the last few years that doesn't have wifi, I doubt you're gonna see anyone rush to implement tethering by wifi. Seems to me it's a solution to a problem that really doesn't exist for the vast majority of users. Just my opinion, for what its worth.
  • Graham Outterside Level 4 Level 4 (2,910 points)
    Bruno.HRM wrote:
    I think you are missing the point Graham.
    The idea is to have a single connectivity point to simplify data access administration.


    For whom ? I travel, I use multiple devices and have no problems. I think you are portraying something that doesn't suit you, into a larger problem than it actually is.

    The carriers are not in control of whatever WiFi connection I choose to connect to,


    Agreed

    they are only in control of their own data service offerings,


    Agreed

    so why should they be allowed to decide that I can't share a LAN connection if that is my current internet access connection?


    There's nothing stopping you doing that using YOUR hardware with YOUR connection. If you want to use THEIR connection with THEIR hardware, then they decide the terms. Thats called business.

    If the implementation of tethering is currently limited to what a cellular carrier is willing to provide you, this is my opinion is a flawed premise.


    Can I use your car next month ? I'll use it, mess it up and then when you refuse to lend it to me again, I'll tell you that is a flawed premise. Its called reality and you don't dictate terms to other companies unless you are a shareholder. Its nothing to do with being flawed, its to do with market economics. I respect your opinion and your right to hold it - I just think you are confusing your WANTS with consumer NEED.

    And yes - Every device can connect to WiFi, but you have to go to the trouble of setting each one up at every connection point, which is just a nuisance.


    Connecting to wifi points is utterly trivial - methinks you overexaggerate the problem. if thats your definition of a nuisance, you must have apampered life !

    To me the idea of a data-capable phone is to be able to able to connect all my devices quickly without having to spend loads of time setting them up.


    Then get a job in the industry and change market perceptions - until then, the market will continue to be as very successful as it is and your voice will be alone one in the wilderness.

    I have traveled at time where is was in a different location each day for weeks, and had to setup 5 different connections at each location every day, where some of the connection were flaky and difficult to establish, but once established worked.


    Sorry, but timezones are utterly irrelevant to setting up a communicatiosn connection. I have to assume you didn't know what you were doing.
    if this only had to be done on one device it would save often an hour a day.

    The advent of tethering is what made me finally decide to buy something other than a simple cell phone. I have had been waiting for this capability to materialize for over 10 years already. It's obviously just in it's infancy design-wise at this point. I'm sure the next few years will bring more utility.


    No, I'm not missing the point. You're trying to create connections between devices where none are necessary or economically advantageous to the providers.

    Nice ideas but a dose of reality and economic experience would help a lot.
  • Ziatron Level 4 Level 4 (3,610 points)
    The main problem is that the carriers are just too greedy with their roaming charges. My typical daily traffic is about 300MB, since I develop web-sites, run servers at many locations, do remote support, etc.


    The cost of this access in Canada if I go over my plan is about $6/day, if I'm in the US and use my Canadian data plan this would run about $1800/day, and in Europe it would be a mere $15,000/day.


    Just put in a SIM card you can buy in the destination country and put it in iPhone. Calls are then cheap.
  • Bruno.HRM Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Well thanks to all for their suggestions. this will be my final post.

    Graham has an interesting ability to picks apart little bits and pieces of a discussion without seemingly understanding the overall context of it.

    But, to your relevant observations:

    - Yes, I am an expert in the industry - I build computer networks. I develop computer software. You obviously have not traveled to the same places that I have, since you haven't had to deal with backwards systems administration

    - Yes I have shares in the companies, Apple and many telecommunications carriers. As for the telcos - As a shareholder I do enjoy the outrageous profits that these companies reap (or should that be rape?) from unsuspecting travelers, do I think this makes it right? - No. You must have had some interesting pro-banks arguments last year! (Who could have known that a house of cards might topple?

    I am not confused by any of the issues that are present - I know them all to well.

    I am simply pointing out the limitations of the current offerings available and possibly suggesting alternatives, so to your last point - Yes I am beginning to change things. That is my purpose here today.

    Regards to all,

    Bruno