Google bans tethering apps for T-Mobile users

By on April 2, 2009, 2:51 PM
When the Android Market formally launched last year, Google promised a much more hands-off approach than Apple has taken with its iTunes App Store in that it would not screen submitted apps for approval. They did, however, reserve the right to remove any application should it violate the manufacturer’s or authorized carrier’s terms of service and apparently that has led Google to pull all tethering apps from its marketplace.

The news will sure come as a letdown to many but we really can’t blame Google for complying. Turns out T-Mobile, the only operator actually selling an Android smartphone in the United States, expressly forbids tethering phones to a computer. This, on the other hand, does come as quite a surprise given that T-Mobile’s CTO Cole Brodman specifically said last year they wouldn’t lock down Android or update it to break tethering applications. Users outside the T-Mobile US network would still have access to these applications.

User Comments: 2

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viperpfl said:
This is no surprise since all the cell phone companies ban tethering. Computer tethering interferes with the cell phone companies making money. I am in no way against a company making money but I think they are going overboard with this. I remember a Verizon rep telling me the reason they don't allow tethering is because of viruses and to protect the customers phone. I was about to tell her she was full of it because it is about Verizon making money.
PanicX said:
To be fair, the CTO did say that they wouldn't break the tethering apps, if it remained to a small percentage of users. That they'd keep an eye on it affecting their network. The problem here is that even if its just a small percentage of users, if those users are concentrated in small enough areas, they can overwhelm cell towers and prevent calls from going through. You'd hope that there'd be some QoS to keep things in check and running smoothly. But just like viperpfl said, I think its all likely just another ploy to make a dollar.
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