Yesterday we told you how tomorrow will come with a sweet update for your Sensation 4G device and that the Amaze 4G device would be seeing its update “in the coming weeks.” While this is exciting in itself the secondary news following it isn’t so much. Those of you that have been using T-Mobile‘s free tethering on your devices will no longer be able to do so after you update. This suggests that a $14.95 a month tethering plan will be mandatory should you wish to have the ICS update and the hotspot tethering options.
This was made clear in the Sensation upgrade support document and said the following:
“HTC Sensation 4G will be required to add Wi-Fi Mobile Hotspot feature in order to use the service after completing this update.”
The difference between the Sensation 4G and Amaze 4G documents is that that quote is missing out of the Amaze 4G documentation. Although users have reported that T-Mobile is blocking the WiFi tethering feature on that very device. The confusion arrived in the fact that although T-Mobile has always charged $14.95 per month officially for a tethering option some users have been able to use this service freely. A T-Mobile representative had this to say:
“T-Mobile began offering a Smartphone Mobile Hotspot plan in November 2010. However, due to technical limitations with software, customers were not being charged for the feature on select T-Mobile products. Customers who choose to upgrade their HTC Sensation 4G to the optional Android 4.0 (ICS) software update will be required to sign up for the $14.99 Smartphone Mobile Hotspot plan.”
Other users were given a kind of grace period for this feature. A T-Mobile customer support representative wrote this last year:
“T-Mobile may not immediately block you from Wi-Fi sharing until it is verified that you are using your device as a modem…and at that time you may be blocked and then required to purchase a feature to continue using it. That said, there may be a period of time where you are able to tether without having the feature added on the account.”
While you won’t be charged to upgrade to the latest flavor of Android you will be charged monthly should you want to continue to use this service. While rooted users are able to use various WiFi tethering apps of their own and both ClockworkMod Tethering and FoxFi brings root free tethering to dvices, this may not be as big of a sting as it could be. However those apps can lead to risk of being caught and your data plan being changed, dropped, etc. With that being said, the update is still on for tomorrow, it’s just that you may need to find other tethering options if you don’t feel like dropping $14.95 a month.