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O2: We'll disconnect 'free' iPhone tetherers

O2 says no to free iPhone tethering
O2 says no to free iPhone tethering
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O2 has responded to reports that users have been bypassing the forthcoming iPhone tethering charges by stating it will disconnect or charge offenders.

The internet is rife with reports of a site hosting a file for your iPhone that configures the device to act as a modem, using the free data allowance included in the monthly contract.

However, O2 has smartly responded to the news, telling TechRadar that it will come down hard on such users:

"Internet rumours suggest that some customers have modified their iPhone to enable Internet Tethering without the purchase of the Internet Tethering Bolt On. Any use of this particular feature without the purchase of the Bolt on is specifically prohibited under our terms of service.

Disconnection and option

"Under those terms we reserve the right to charge customers making modem use of their iPhone or disconnect them. If customers wish to use the Internet Tethering feature on their iPhone 3G or iPhone 3G S, we recommend taking the Bolt On which is available from Friday 19 June."

We're still waiting to find out exactly how O2 will know the difference between data on the mobile and on a laptop, although simple usage graphs would show a sharp increase in data consumption.

However, whether this is enough for the network to prove tethering wrongdoing is also unclear, so we're still waiting for clarification on the subject.

Gareth Beavis
Gareth Beavis


Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.