FeaturesGood and EVO

Sprint blocks free tether applications from the Android Market

Tether goneI flashed a ROM yesterday on my HTC EVO 3D, decided I wanted to check out the new Wireless Tether for Root in case I ever needed it (I never do since everyone has WiFi these days), searched for it in the Android Market app, and discovered that it was gone. Confused, I went to my computer, searched for it, and bam, there it was.

I looked at my phone and make sure I had spelled it correctly. I did. So I figured there must be something up with the mobile app. I clicked install on my computer and then noticed my device was grayed out. Maybe the Market thinks I have it installed?

But when I put my mouse over it, I got "This item not available on your carrier." I checked Barnacle Wifi Tether and got similar results (I also have a Verizon device in house; it was blocked from the first but not the second).

It appears that Sprint has decided to enforce the fact that their Unlimited Data Plan has major limits; these being you are limited in what you can run on your phone, what you can see in the Android Market, and how you choose to use your data . . . unless of course you pay for Sprint's Slightly Less Limited Unlimited Plan and purchase their $30 a month tether application.

I'm actually fairly angry about this. I do not want to use the Sprint Hotspot if I ever have to use WiFi tethering, but that's not the ending annoyance of this and I realize that Sprint never offered an unlimited plan, just an "Unlimited" plan with limits. How soon before Sprint decides you can't download RDIO or even know that it exists and makes you use a custom branded Sprint application and rent storage space on Sprint servers so data is not going off-network? Or that Google Maps is interfering with profits from Sprint's branded GPS navigation?

What about when they decide that all "unsavory" apps are blocked (like AT&T – America's most hated network did) – with "unsavory" including apps that are very large and might have an impact on the network if they were downloaded over the air (say Contract Killers: Zombies, which downloaded 350+ megs of game data).

I'm not happy with this, Sprint.

It's not just that you're blocking these apps from being installed, you've got Google hiding the fact that they exist to people on your network. We now have a whole set of hidden programs we can't see from our phones, and although I respect that it's your right to run your network as you see fit, I didn't sign up for censorship, and the word "Unlimited" has never meant "with all these carrier-imposed limits that actually make our service just like what we advertise our competitior's service is" and has never included blocking me from seeing what exists and what my phone has the potential for – that's not anywhere in your 13-page agreement.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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