Which AT&T data plans are compatible?

Ken Restivo ken at restivo.org
Thu Jul 31 21:15:09 CEST 2008

On Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 09:25:45AM -0700, ian douglas wrote:
> Ken Restivo wrote:
> > Is there a specific limit? How do they *know* you are tethering? What are the overage fees and where are they detailed?
>  From what I've read, they watch your traffic for things like user agent 
> strings (if they see an HTTP header specifying that you're using 
> Firefox, it's a sure thing you're tethering since Firefox doesn't have a 
> mobile browser yet), or that they watch for traffic levels that exceed 
> your phone's capacity. For example, if you surf and browse more than a 
> few GB of traffic (ie: torrent downloads) chances are good that you're 
> tethering since your phone will only natively hold about 200MB of 
> content plus whatever your SD card will hold.

That's bizarre. They actually hire people to sit around and snoop people's UserAgent strings? Kind of NSA-like?
If so, AT&T has *way* too much money, and their subscribers are paying for the salaries of spies to snoop their own traffic. Seems kinda creepy to me.

> As for "overage fees", it's whatever they charge you based on your 
> current plan. For example if you don't HAVE a data plan, they'll hit you 
> with pretty heavy fees. Even at 0.01/kb on the MediaNet plan, they 
> expect all of your content will come through their MediaNet browser. 
> That's $10 per 1 MB of data over their limit, which frankly isn't hard 
> to do these days.

That's unpleasant.

> Their unlimited data plan used to be $20/month but they raised it to $30 
> for the new iPhone. Tethering adds even more because they expect that 
> you'll be downloading much more data than users who don't tether.

So "unlimited data" isn't "unlimited" at all?

Never mind Open Source phones, looks like what we need is Open Source carriers.

But I'm told that Sprint Metro PCS allows unlimited data, and tethering, for US$60/mo, and also the $30/mo plan is the same thing and people have (I'm told) just paid that and gotten data for free, although I don't remember the details of how they did that. Supposedly that is at DSL speeds too. Alas, Sprint PCS is not GSM, so no dice for FreeRunner owners. 


More information about the community mailing list