Optus To Charge For iPhone Tethering (UPDATED)

It's not really much of a surprise, but enterprising Whirlpool forum posters have discovered that Optus recently updated their pricing document and when it comes to your iPhone data allowance to specify that the included data cannot be used for data tethering. In other words, in order to use your iPhone as a 3G modem, you're going to need to pony up some extra cash, at least if you're on Optus. There's no official word on what that pricing might be, but a post on the MacTalk forums (that has been removed) said that we'd be looking at $15 for 500MB. That's still well and truly in rumour country, but if it is accurate, then the whole appeal of tethering your Optus iPhone just lost a whole heap of appeal – why spend $15 a month for 500MB when you can get double that for $20 a month on 3, including a 3G modem?

*UPDATE*: Aside from fixing my glorious 500GB typo, the guys at MacTalk just pinged me to say that their post was posted in error, which is why it was taken down. The Whirlpool discussion is still very much accurate though, which is the main point here anyway... [Optus Pricing table (doc download) via Whirlpool Forums]


    Ugh. Optus screwing people for money again. How does it cost them any extra using your data from a laptop rather than the phone itself?

    Maybe it's a good thing, as their network hardly works with the current load without tethering.

    Still, as soon as my contract is over, I'm off Optus. I'm sick of their poor network.

      me too. i've been with optus for 10 years now and once this contract is up i'm out. their network is shit, especially for the iphone, and this cheeky maneuver is the last straw.

    'why spend $15 a month for 500GB' - because $15 for 500GB is damn cheap!

    of course i will spend $15 for 500GB! Can't beat that deal LOL

    Apologies if I have missed something here, although what is all the fuss about tethering? I was under the impression that most mobiles do that these days... and they have never been the subject of additional data allowance charges. Why is the Iphone any different?

      +1 Mark..
      I used my Nokia 6220 Classic as a modem (bluetooth or USB) with a $15, 1Gb data Pack on my Virgin Cap as my home internet connection for 2 months while I was sorting out proper internet..
      Sucks battery like you wouldn't believe!
      It was cheaper per MB than the USB internet plans and no upfront cost.. which was very handy.. and the speed wasn't too bad, although it was less reliable in peak usage times..

    I think this is yet another example of why I do not like Optu$ due to their misleading plans and lack of customer care. I hope that Vodafone announce that tethering will be able to use your included data pack that would be a real blow for Optu$

    I truly look froward to the time when:
    "why spend $15 a month for 500GB when you can get double that for $20 a month on..." isn't a typo.

    I don't get this? Why is data tethering such a no-no?

    I know I've been using Bluetooth tethering (on all my Sony Ericssons) on Vodafone for the last couple of years and the data usage is taken out of my cap.

    What exactly is the difference between accessing data on your phone or through your phone?

    Several mistakes in the article.

    How can they tell whether its the iPhone using the data, or a computer connected to the iPhone using the data?

    Unless the connection is made to a separate service there wouldnt be anything much to distinguish the traffic from the iPhone or another computer. Is there?

    So, though they might say you cant, I'm not sure they can stop you, unless they control how the iphone connects to provide tethering.

    This would require locking down the configuration, which I'm sure would be easy to work around.

    "why spend $15 a month for 500GB when you"

    This should read

    "why spend $15 a month for 500MB when you".


    Net neutrality anyone? Goddamit, I thought it was *my* data once I'd paid for it....boo Optus, boo.

    "why spend $15 a month for 500GB when you can get double that for $20 a month on 3, including a 3G modem"

    On the other hand though - you have one device that does it all I would say that its worth it and if you could purchase it casually i.e. not have it included in your monthly plan just purchase it as you need it - that would be even better.

    Just my 2 cents.... : )

    well, i'm not sure about this.
    i've got os 3.0 installed, and just plugged into itunes, and i got a "new carrier settings" message
    and now tethering works.

    What an opportunity for the 3/Vodafone group. If they can get their marketing together they can corner the 3GS sales
    As an Optus customer I'm over the lackluster service, additional charges for standard serives (paper billing, handset insurance) and very average 3G speeds.
    I just hope some marketing exec at Hutchinson/Vodafone capitalises on this

    I cant help but feel this is similar to comcast throttling bittorrent traffic in the US and the whole net neutrality issue...

    All to do with the company actually providing X amount of data but then having ridiculous clauses saying you can only use it for certain purposes (or, atleast limiting your service for their own gains).

    The data/download speed comes down through the phone network either way... why does it matter where the data is eventually used/sent? Is optus fearful that people might actually start using up their unused data (the data that they have -paid for-)...?

    A complete joke. If it goes ahead I'll be looking into the possibility of getting out of my contract (i noticed others were dicussing this on whirlpool) and/or jailbreaking the phone and bypassing the nonsense if possible.

    Optus is just going to annoy people and lose customers by taking this path, particularly if other providers don't.

      @keith "Is optus fearful that people might actually start using up their unused data (the data that they have -paid for-)…?"

      Exactly. Their network can barely cope with the current data load. Luckily for them there is a limit to the amount of browsing people can manage on a phone, and data downloads are very limited. However if you connect your laptop then the skies the limit.

      Optus want to SAY they support tethering - as it gets new purchasers in the door - but they really don't want to support it.

    haha, I use my Xperia on - wait for it, Windows Mobile 6.5 - to tether all the time!

    Carriers are including data with the iPhone plans, knowing that most people won't go anywhere near the limit (no torrenting, no flash, etc). As soon as you start allowing tethering into the same package, usage will go up and their profit margins go bye-bye (as users will be using a PC, with a greater ability to consume data).

      "usage will go up and their profit margins go bye-bye"

      How does increased data usage lead to decreased profits. This is the same argument as the unmetered telecoms guys were having twenty years ago. Data i not like water or electricity. It doesn't cost a certain amount per unit (at least, when you're a telco it doesn't). Sure, allowing people to actually use the data they've paid for might put a strain on the Optus network, but that's not directly affecting their profit margin; it's just affecting their ability to deliver the service they've sold.

    Not surprised at all. Corroborate with the new plan details as well:


    For anyone still wondering, this is most likely the result of optus wanting to stop people from using their "mobile data" with free voip services.

    This is just a rerun of what happened late last year.

    $50 for unlimited tethering!? Erhhh

    That's feral I bet that thier version of "unlimited" tethering is actually very limited

    Secondly, has anyone gone through their existing Optus contract and found anything about how the data allowance sold cannot be used whilst tethered?

    That's why I jailbroke my iPhone. I use my mobile data really well now....

    I am not impressed with optus.
    i will change carrier once my contract is over.
    They would probably make more money with tethering as people will use more data then is in their caps.

    I use my virgin data pack for tethering all the time. In fact that's the main reason i have it, i also like the ability to acess the web on the go, but mainly to tether my Nokia E71 to my notebook when not at home.

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