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$30 prepaid plan and mobile hotspot

OP nikosbocho

5th March 2014, 05:23 PM   |  #1  
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I currently own a SGH-T989 (Samsung S2 T-mobile) phone and I have the $30/month prepaid plan that gives me unlimited data. However I can not use mobile hotspot, I am shown a message that I need to upgrade my plan.

I am planning to get a LG Nexus 5 phone directly from google play store and NOT from T-mobile. My understanding is that when you buy the phone from T-mobile they put restrictions on the phone which doesn't allow you to use mobile hotspot. If I get the phone from google play store since it isn't tied to any particular carrier it should not have a restriction on mobile hotspot. Will I be able to use mobile hotspot on my $30/month prepaid plan or does T-mobile still finds a way to restrict mobile hotspot on a factory unlocked phone?
5th March 2014, 05:26 PM   |  #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikosbocho

I currently own a SGH-T989 (Samsung S2 T-mobile) phone and I have the $30/month prepaid plan that gives me unlimited data. However I can not use mobile hotspot, I am shown a message that I need to upgrade my plan.

I am planning to get a LG Nexus 5 phone directly from google play store and NOT from T-mobile. My understanding is that when you buy the phone from T-mobile they put restrictions on the phone which doesn't allow you to use mobile hotspot. If I get the phone from google play store since it isn't tied to any particular carrier it should not have a restriction on mobile hotspot. Will I be able to use mobile hotspot on my $30/month prepaid plan or does T-mobile still finds a way to restrict mobile hotspot on a factory unlocked phone?

Last time I was on it recently, there was a 100mb limit to hotspot usage on the 5GB data plan. Maybe you can get around it with rooting the phone. This was with a phone I bought from Google Play directly. It is internal in the new way Android handles hotspots with 4.4 KitKat, I believe.
5th March 2014, 05:56 PM   |  #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikosbocho

I currently own a SGH-T989 (Samsung S2 T-mobile) phone and I have the $30/month prepaid plan that gives me unlimited data. However I can not use mobile hotspot, I am shown a message that I need to upgrade my plan.

I am planning to get a LG Nexus 5 phone directly from google play store and NOT from T-mobile. My understanding is that when you buy the phone from T-mobile they put restrictions on the phone which doesn't allow you to use mobile hotspot. If I get the phone from google play store since it isn't tied to any particular carrier it should not have a restriction on mobile hotspot. Will I be able to use mobile hotspot on my $30/month prepaid plan or does T-mobile still finds a way to restrict mobile hotspot on a factory unlocked phone?

Doesn't matter if you get it from T-Mobile, or through the Play Store. They are the exact same phone. The restrictions are not tied to the place of purchase, but to the carrier itself and what plan you are using. Apparently, this was introduced in Android 4.4 to allow carriers to know whenever you use your phone as a hotspot. I am currently on this $30 T-Mobile plan using my N5 I bought off the Play Store. Unfortunately, the free 100MB of hotspot usage does not apply to this plan, so everytime you try to use hotspot, it directs you to T-Mo's "upsell" page. HOWEVER, there are ways around it. The search button is your friend. Search out some of the threads in these here forums. There's a fix where you can edit a database file on the root of the phone so it doesn't block you from tethering. I can tell you from experience that it works like a charm. I can tether as much as I want now (at least up until the 5GB "limit" of this plan). I've never really needed to surpass 5GB.
5th March 2014, 06:59 PM   |  #4  
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Originally Posted by charesa39

Doesn't matter if you get it from T-Mobile, or through the Play Store. They are the exact same phone. The restrictions are not tied to the place of purchase, but to the carrier itself and what plan you are using. Apparently, this was introduced in Android 4.4 to allow carriers to know whenever you use your phone as a hotspot. I am currently on this $30 T-Mobile plan using my N5 I bought off the Play Store. Unfortunately, the free 100MB of hotspot usage does not apply to this plan, so everytime you try to use hotspot, it directs you to T-Mo's "upsell" page. HOWEVER, there are ways around it. The search button is your friend. Search out some of the threads in these here forums. There's a fix where you can edit a database file on the root of the phone so it doesn't block you from tethering. I can tell you from experience that it works like a charm. I can tether as much as I want now (at least up until the 5GB "limit" of this plan). I've never really needed to surpass 5GB.

Thank you for explaining it to me. I thought the phones that T-mobile sell you are tweaked for T-mobile in particular, so they are locked to the T-mobile carrier while the ones from google are factory unlocked and might not have some of the restrictions. But basically both T-mobile and Google play sell you exactly the same phone and the $30 T-Mobile plan won't allow you for tethering and mobile hotspot. I'll look into rooting the phone and changing the settings when I get one.
5th March 2014, 07:24 PM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikosbocho

Thank you for explaining it to me. I thought the phones that T-mobile sell you are tweaked for T-mobile in particular, so they are locked to the T-mobile carrier while the ones from google are factory unlocked and might not have some of the restrictions. But basically both T-mobile and Google play sell you exactly the same phone and the $30 T-Mobile plan won't allow you for tethering and mobile hotspot. I'll look into rooting the phone and changing the settings when I get one.

first of all the other user is right. there are no differences between two phones. no carrier is allowed to put any restriction on nexus 5
with kitkat google introduced a feature for tagging tethered data so the telecoms (if they wish) can check it against their user list to determined if it is allowed. search here for the link called nexus 5 tethering block?
to sum it up, this could be done with root or without root. that like will explain both ways. spend couple of hours reading that than having couple of days headache when the phone bootloops . does not sound plausible? do a search here for bootloop and you will see half of them are related to this.
the phone has to be properly connected to the computer. proper usb drivers installed and adb & fastboot working properly.
apply the settings.db hack. with or without root.
change the apn protocol to ipv4
if necessary use a user agent switcher for your browser.
5th March 2014, 07:26 PM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikosbocho

Thank you for explaining it to me. I thought the phones that T-mobile sell you are tweaked for T-mobile in particular, so they are locked to the T-mobile carrier while the ones from google are factory unlocked and might not have some of the restrictions. But basically both T-mobile and Google play sell you exactly the same phone and the $30 T-Mobile plan won't allow you for tethering and mobile hotspot. I'll look into rooting the phone and changing the settings when I get one.

Correct. The restrictions are more from whatever SIM you put in it. In fact, when supply was short, or when people wanted to have the phone in hand same day, they would just buy it from a T-Mobile store and pop in their own AT&T or Sprint SIM card. Also, not sure if you know this, but T-Mobile only sells the 16GB version, and it's $50 more than what it sells for on the Play Store.
5th March 2014, 07:41 PM   |  #7  
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Originally Posted by charesa39

Correct. The restrictions are more from whatever SIM you put in it. In fact, when supply was short, or when people wanted to have the phone in hand same day, they would just buy it from a T-Mobile store and pop in their own AT&T or Sprint SIM card. Also, not sure if you know this, but T-Mobile only sells the 16GB version, and it's $50 more than what it sells for on the Play Store.

Since my original idea of getting a Nexus 5 because it would be factory unlocked and would not have this restriction is not valid anymore, I might as well look into other Android phones too, not just the Nexus 5. Thank you.
5th March 2014, 08:07 PM   |  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikosbocho

Since my original idea of getting a Nexus 5 because it would be factory unlocked and would not have this restriction is not valid anymore, I might as well look into other Android phones too, not just the Nexus 5. Thank you.

there seems to be some confusion here. nexus 5 is unlocked period.
as of now any phone with jelly bean or kitkat has the tagging enabled by default. so unless you want something with ICS or older the other options are iphones?

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