Nexus S 4G

The update rolling out today for the Samsung Nexus S 4G is a mix of good and bad it seems.  Hopefully fixing some of the radio and connectivity woes more than a few are seeing with Sprint's first Googlephone, the latest OTA will also end the free tethering that Nexus S 4G owners have been enjoying.  We've heard some rumblings of this across the web, but a confidential source from Sprint has confirmed with a bit of internal communication that the GRJ90 update does indeed stop tethering for those who have not opted in for the hotspot plan.  This move shouldn't really surprise anyone, and those determined will easily find one of many work arounds, but it looks like "officially free tethering" is done for the Nexus S 4G.  We've reached out to Sprint for confirmation, we'll update if they have anything to tell us.  A screen shot of the communication is after the break.

More: Android Central forums. Thanks, anon!

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Samsung Nexus S 4G GRJ90 update ends tethering for users not subscribed to hotspot plan

35 Comments

Wtf i thought sprint was every ones favorite carrier. Oh well this time next year no more unlimited data

So where are you getting this information?

Oh that's right, you're not. This is pure speculation based on absolutely zero evidence.

I rarely use the hotspot, but I'm glad I just happened to flash over to CM7 last night! And yes, Sprint is still - by far - my favorite carrier.

Sprint, I am disappoint.

Guess I'll take the radio update and forgo the software update until some enterprising dev figures out a workaround. Wonder twins activate, form of: XDA-Devs!

I guess I don't understand a couple of things.

First, I thought the whole point of Nexus was that it would be a complete vanilla Android experience and any carrier that took on a Nexus phone would kind of be bound to not interfering in what is delivered as part of the base OS.

Second, (or on the other hand), I guess I don't understand how people can expect to get something for free from a carrier that every other user has to pay for.

I know those two points are arguing the two sides of the issue, but it just doesn't seem logical to me from either point of view. To me it would seem that the Nexus phones should be: 1) Carrier controlled as to what can run on the phone, or 2) Controlled by Google with the vanilla Android releases -- and NOT a combination of the two.

we get tethering for free in holland(net neutrality is the key here)

and i some how do not see your point in

"I guess I don't understand how people can expect to get something for free from a carrier that every other user has to pay for."

you pay for your home internet right? for on your pc ect? with possible Wi-fi right?
well when you connect your phone to it it uses that internet.
but you never payed the company to use their wifi/internet on your phone.

so why would the 3/4G you get on your phone,be restricted to your phone?

so i dont see why tethering is such a big deal to all those US company's.
you pay for the data usage.not the specific usage on the phone only.

its not that your laptop will use more KB/s or w/e
it would load as fast as it loads on your phone. the company's wont lose any bandwidth at all.

its pure that your company's want to make money out of every thing.

I agree with you.

But to play the devil's advocate:

"its not that your laptop will use more KB/s or w/e"

Actually, it will. The constant usage of high bandwidth features (Such as Netflix streaming at a higher resolution than the phone version, or playing an MMORPG) use more bandwidth on a constant basis than a phone will.

I've seen people brag about using upwards of 100GB in a month, tethered. I'm constantly on my phone, using it, and I seldom hit 4GB. Before Netflix, I seldom used more than 2GB.

So yeah, I can see why they (The phone manufacturers) get pissy about tetherers. There are people out there using their phone's service as hotspots and completely foregoing any other data plans. That's crappy of them, and makes for other problems (Such as slower WiMax speeds in heavily congested areas). That costs Sprint money. And that's one reason they charge $30/mo for tethering.

Now on Verizon and AT&T, where they cap their people (Except of course for those grandfathered in to older data plans), I think they should shut up, because someone's bought 2GB, and it should be theirs to use as they will. But since Sprint doesn't police their bandwidth, I understand this move.

I still agree with you, that it's your data, and if Sprint sells it as unlimited, it should be unlimited, but there are too many people out there gaming the system.

"you pay for your home internet right? for on your pc ect? with possible Wi-fi right?
well when you connect your phone to it it uses that internet.
but you never payed the company to use their wifi/internet on your phone."

Yes, but my home internet is provided via a wired service from a local provider. My local ISP does impose bandwidth restrictions if I go over a certain amount (I don't know what those are because I've never hit it).

I think you are right -- eventually we very well may get to the point where bandwidth is just bandwidth, but right now the carriers apparently don't have that luxury.

"First, I thought the whole point of Nexus was that it would be a complete vanilla Android experience"

This. 100% this.

Except Sprint/Google didn't remove/change the hotspot capabilities of the OS. They just made it so you have to pay what everyone else pays for tethering. I just don't understand why everyone is so upset about this. If you want to tehter but don't want to pay then take 10 minutes out of your day and root the phone.

@ghost
Actually the carriers feel the exact opposite. Using your computer WILL eat more data than your phone
Sprints premium data fee is based on that exact principal to begin with. They feel these new devices w/ larger displays and powerful processors will consume more bandwidth than previous generation handsets.

unlimited is sold in the context of all you use WHILE ON YOUR PHONE. Nowhere in the advertisements or features does it show people watching netflix on their laptops or killing bad guys on Xbox over the network using their wireless device as a hotspot.

As someone has said previously, you will use more data when it's tethered to a bigger or faster device. Unlimited is unlimited when it's on your phone. That's how the infrastructure and the carriers designed the pricing. I hate it as much as the next person but there's no thing as a free lunch. I don't know how you can honestly expect to pay $30 or $40 a month for Internet that you get without any wires and think it's ok to use that as a stand alone connection for all your internet net enabled devices at home. Something has to give.

So really, it's not really unlimited, it's perceptually unlimited. They want to give the perception, and bill as though it were, but really only want you to use a 1 GBps. That $30/GBps works out much better for them than just honestly charging you $2/GBps for your true usage. Then adding a double dip fee for alternate devices works out even better.

I think Europe has better data plans and no tether charge because fewer of them fail math.

really its that the infrastructure & pricing were designed for devices that didn't have 4g, netflix, tethering, & constantly syncing operating systems.

Plus carriers are stupid & instead of embracing change & technology by building out their networks to stay AHEAD OF demand, they are choosing to throttle use with prices & limits.

If they weren't so ignorant & short sighted, carriers could have built out their data networks, kept prices low & everyone would have a tethering smartphone that had excellent speeds & high capacity & we could all cancel our home Internet connections.

Unfortunately carriers are stupid & greedy & we have users who abuse the system so this is what were stuck with at the moment.

really its that the infrastructure & pricing were designed for devices that didn't have 4g, netflix, tethering, & constantly syncing operating systems.

Plus carriers are stupid & instead of embracing change & technology by building out their networks to stay AHEAD OF demand, they are choosing to throttle use with prices & limits.

If they weren't so ignorant & short sighted, carriers could have built out their data networks, kept prices low & everyone would have a tethering smartphone that had excellent speeds & high capacity & we could all cancel our home Internet connections.

Unfortunately carriers are stupid & greedy & we have users who abuse the system so this is what were stuck with at the moment.

really its that the infrastructure & pricing were designed for devices that didn't have 4g, netflix, tethering, & constantly syncing operating systems.

Plus carriers are stupid & instead of embracing change & technology by building out their networks to stay AHEAD OF demand, they are choosing to throttle use with prices & limits.

If they weren't so ignorant & short sighted, carriers could have built out their data networks, kept prices low & everyone would have a tethering smartphone that had excellent speeds & high capacity & we could all cancel our home Internet connections.

Unfortunately carriers are stupid & greedy & we have users who abuse the system so this is what were stuck with at the moment.

really its that the infrastructure & pricing were designed for devices that didn't have 4g, netflix, tethering, & constantly syncing operating systems.

Plus carriers are stupid & instead of embracing change & technology by building out their networks to stay AHEAD OF demand, they are choosing to throttle use with prices & limits.

If they weren't so ignorant & short sighted, carriers could have built out their data networks, kept prices low & everyone would have a tethering smartphone that had excellent speeds & high capacity & we could all cancel our home Internet connections.

Unfortunately carriers are stupid & greedy & we have users who abuse the system so this is what were stuck with at the moment.

Just goes to show Nexus phones are not controlled entirely by Google. Updates and features still have to pass through the carrier.

I assume it will not be too difficult to get wireless tethering re-enabled on the Nexus though.

However, If this keeps the people who overuse data off Sprint I am happy. Those people are the reason the other carriers have had to switch away from unlimited.

Only on stupid American CDMA networks, where the carrier actually has to allow your ESN on their network. I don't think it will work this way on the T-mo and AT&T GSM versions...they can be sold entirely without the carrier's knowledge and used right out of the box.

In the past (EVO) I had the paid tethering plan and used it for everything, including COD via PS3. If your enjoy tethering and have a device capable of the needed speed (not sure the Nexus does the best job) than pay for the feature. You'd be paying a home service provider alot more than Sprints asking for. Again, if your device is capable, I can attest that you will get your moneys worth.

That is my issue with paying for tethering with Sprint, I paid for the hotspot when I had the Evo 4g with the hope that it would be fast enough to drop my home internet. It was way too slow even for one laptop. Why should I pay 30 dollars for such slow speeds? Sprint's 4g is still very spotty in my area and even then, who knows if it would be fast enough to drop my home service.

I only use the wireless tethering for web surfing on my transformer when I'm not home so I guess rooting will be my only option because I will NOT pay Sprint for sub par speed and coverage.

Sprint is unlimited. No overage fees like VZW, no throttling like tmo, etc. Your arguing that its not unlimited because they don't want you connecting all of your devices to their network. This is crazy. If your job gives you a gas card to fill your vehicle does this mean you have the right to use the card to fill every vehicle you and your family possesses?

I'm sorry sprint may have unlimited web but the network sucks I'll stick with my grandfathered unlimited access with vwz.

How is sprint unlimited? 5gb for 3g and 4g half is unlimitetd. My vzw 4g is unlimited no caps on 3g or 4g.

There is no 5gb limit on 3g. I have gone over that many times with no fees or throttling of any kind.i have friends that abuse there internet way past 5gb and have never had one single problem. 4g is also unlimited. Way back I think there was a 5gb limit.

That's just not right. It's a feature of the phone, not a service from the carrier!! They disable a feature that came with the phone and charge customers if they want to enable it... unbelievable...

There is only one reason that I'm interested in root for my 3D EVO.

FREE TETHERING!!!!!

OEM's, your customers choice in handsets has a lot to do with carrier service plans. If you make a really good phone and put it on a crappy carrier, your phone doesn't get bought and then the customer chooses a better carrier. (I would have gotten a Thunderbolt but the data cost for my usage would have been too high)

But even with Sprint's 20 dollar tethering feeI still come out cheaper than paying Verizon.

I want to do some clearing up of sprint

the plan price is nice and the network is good not great but good enough and for everyone who bags on sprint I just want to say I left Verizon because they are blood suckers on prices....

I now get everything I did before for less but wait there is more

I get unlimited 4g and and free mobile to mobile also free roaming to any other CD-MA provider....That means good old big red so when I'm in the metro in DC it just flips to Verizon 3G data and it costs me nothing extra so i get the best of both world and a much better price

SPRINT IS MORE FOR LESS

Now on topic I am just as upset at this move to cripple the hotspot on my Nexus but there are many ways around this root and not. People just need to suck it up its big business.

That's why its up to the consumer to keep them on there toes with root and PDAnet and Tether any anything else we can do. It will go one of two ways they will get wise and give us what we want or they will loose customers there choice.

I only need to tether for my Tablet so I use PDAtablet beta and it works.

Does anyone know how to bypass the update and its notifications? I can't find the process responsible for it in Manage Applications.