If you happen to have one of the new Android phones such as the HTC Amaze or even the Samsung Galaxy SII which happens to be my new phone 🙂 .. you may be surprised to find that even though you pay for a “unlimited data” package of either 2GB or even 5GB with massive throttling of under 56K modem speeds thereafter you won’t be allowed to make your phone a wireless hotspot without adding a $15 package on top of your existing plan. But before you upgraded from your other Android phone you were ok. Don’t cry just yet or get angry even though you feel being billed twice for something you already pay for seems a bit unfair….there are plenty others who feel the same frustration.
So how do they know that you are attempting to use a computer as opposed to your phone to conduct Internet functions you might ask?
One way is due in part to a custom application running within the Android OS called TetheringManager which monitors the status of the this hotspot functionality on the phone itself. A detailed look into the application package content show references to AT&T and Tmobile’s online splash notification pages.
This results in an unsubscribed user being redirected to the splash screen shown below (Tmobile example).
It’s quite simple to get around this obstacle and it involves first rooting your phone or gaining higher priviledges which voids your warranty however opens up a world of possibilities for backing up your applications and doing lots of other tweaking nerdiness.
The process of getting root access is very easy and a simple search for your phone type and the word root access will typically yield good directions.
Once root access is obtained download a quick program like System Tuner from the Google Marketplace. (System Tuner requires you to turn on USB Debugging which is found under SETTINGS > APPLICATIONS > DEVELOPMENT)
Once you open System Tuner click System Apps located at the top and scroll down until you find TETHERINGMANAGER. Click it and then select Freeze located at the bottom. You should now be in business and able to browse the web without being asked to add on a package. This may violate the terms of your agreement with T-Mobile so user beware. Don’t abuse the use of it and pay your bills on time! 🙂