Google starts blocking access to Android tethering apps

first_imgDevice tethering is a feature we would all like the option to use on our smartphones, but the network operators want to limit and control. The reason? There’s money to be made in offering access to tethering as a separate data plan.For the uninitiated, tethering is a feature that allows you to connect multiple devices to the Internet using your smartphone or similar device as the access point. In real terms it just means that data plan you already pay for as part of your smartphone contract becomes more useful as you can use it with a laptop, for example. You could burn through your allowance very quickly using it in this way, but in an emergency or just for a quick surf it is an ideal solution.AdChoices广告AT&T has been in the news lately for warning subscribers who jailbreak their iPhones and use unofficial tethering. If it continues they will automatically be charged as part of a smartphone tethering plan. Now it seems as though the same is about to happen for Android smartphones, but carriers have a surprising ally in their battle to control tethering: Google.Rather than detecting which users are tethering their devices without a tethering plan, the carriers have instead talked to Google and asked it to kill access to all tethering apps in the Android Market. Google has complied making it much harder, if not impossible to now tether specific devices through an unofficial route. What devices are blocked seems to depend completely on what Google has been asked to block by each carrier.This compliance by Google has come as a big surprise for some because it skirts the edge of licensing conditions for keeping applications and handsets open on the C Block spectrum Verizon uses for its LTE network. In fact, Google is remembered for pushing the price of the C Block spectrum sale up past $4.6 billion in order to ensure those licensing conditions would be in place.The conditions state devices and apps can’t be blocked from using the C Block through a service. However, the app blockage is allowed as Verizon isn’t blocking access to any devices, just ensuring any such devices pay for an appropriate data plan. Google on the other hand is complying with a carrier request, not directly breaking the licensing conditions.Has your Android smartphone been blocked from accessing these apps yet?Read more at DroidLife and This is my nextlast_img

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