Yesterday Information Week ran a story entitled, “The End Of Wireless Tether For Android.” The story quite rightly describes how Google is responding to carrier requests to disable the distribution of free tethering apps via the official Android Marketplace.
According to the author,
“The wireless carriers would rather you pay a fee either for tethering plan or buy a device like a MiFi or USB dongle that will let your PC get online.”
“Take the example of AT&T. To require a data plan that is 80% more expensive than a non-tethering plan is a bit of a money grab. AT&T has data caps, so why do they care how you use it?”
I’ve long held that there’s a fundamental disconnect with how wireless data is handled. It should not matter what device I use, as long as I’m paying for the data. If I pay for 5 GB/month then why does the fact that I’m using a netbook, laptop, tablet or cell phone make any difference?
If I had a USB type interface I could well move it between a desktop, netbook, laptop and even some tablets. The carrier simply wouldn’t know anything beyond the amount of data consumed transferred. And why should they?