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Sprint charging for BlackBerry PlayBook tethering?!

Sprint charging for BlackBerry PlayBook tethering?!
By Bla1ze on 6 Apr 2011 07:30 pm EDT
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We just got a pretty interesting image sent to us via the CrackBerry tips line and quite honestly, it leaves us wanting some more details. It's no secret that Sprint will be releasing their 4G enabled BlackBerry PlayBook this summer but according to the info above it looks as though they'll also be selling the WiFi only version come April 19. That however, isn't really the biggest piece of news here.

The real news is the info on the side that we can't really make out. But, looking closely at it -- it appears Sprint is looking to add a BlackBerry PlayBook specific plan for tethering your device. Details have been slim on how, exactly carriers were going to handle the tethering data and for the most part, we knew we'd see some carriers try to charge for it and unless we're missing something from the info here it looks as though Sprint is jumping on that ship.

When it comes down to it, tethering on your PlayBook shouldn't be an extra charge -- it uses your already existing BlackBerry data plan so charging for tethering seems rather silly. Granted, you do have to have a plan on most carriers if you wish to tether a computer from your BlackBerry but if their is a extra data plan associated to the cost of the PlayBook on top of what you already pay for your BlackBerry then carriers have just stripped the PlayBook of great selling feature. Of course, we're hesitant to say too much here since we can't see the full details based on this image but hopefully we'll have more details soon. Let this be a note to other carriers planning the same, not cool.

*UPDATE* - Better shot of the details is past the break for you all

Thanks, Gilligan793 for sending this in!

Sprint charging for BlackBerry PlayBook tethering?!
80 comments

tidebuzz

Does Tether plan on making an app for the PlayBook? Anyone know?

scalemaster34

You can bet that as 4G speeds become more common, data usage will expand on Mobile Network greatly. The popularity of Tethering will also expand... so will the crackdown on ILLEGAL data usage via programs like TETHER.

bighap

$29.99 a month? That is ridiculous. Might as well buy a 3G/4G model.

rtk777

Just buy a wifi version from Staples or Office Depot, then Sprint will be none the wiser.

TivoAl

I posted several weeks ago that I would never buy my WiFi Playbook from a cell phone carrier for just this reason.

How will they ever know if your data is going only to your Blackberry or onto your Playbook?

If they come back with, "Well, we see Flash videos being received" then they have real problems with their privacy policies.

WillieLee

Carriers can determine that the data is not terminating at the smartphone. That has nothing to do with privacy policies.

captainbdsc

I concur! That is insane! I could see maybe 5 or 10 extra a month, that is just crazy! Of course I'd like to see free, but 30 is way too much for me!

Buzduganjr

to bad ! and is not fun everything good comes out and is a huge hit and help for a phone user the network provider start to put a price tag on it !

To bad :(

BBThemes

seems like tether will make a fortune when they have a playbook app :)

bighap

Roughly says "allows ...companies and ... customers to share information between their CDMA BlackBerry phone and PlayBook wirelessly using a bluetooth connection."

musefan

They should offer discounts to college students

my.usernamegoeshere

It's just another money grab from Sprint.

biggulpseh

fucking BS is all I can say to that. shameful of sprint

ericlc2

Tether plans on making an app, shouldn't be a problem.

crbowers

This is most likely just for tethering, as in internet browsing. Not for BIS/BES access.

So you would probably have access to your email, bbm, calendar, contacts via BlackBerry Bridge (and BES users would have access to intranet sites). However, if you want to tether your PlayBook to your BlackBerry for full web browsing you would have to pay extra, just like you are supposed to for any device you tether to your BlackBerry.

Willeonabe

I'm a long time Sprint customer (using a Tour) and I'm planning on picking up the PlayBook. I would totally pay an extra $10 to tether (even though it should be free). $30? No thank you, Sprint.

SCrid2000

No one who knows anything about Sprint should be surprised; DUH they're gonna charge you.

BobGod

Why not buy the Playbook elsewhere and don't tell 'em.

gordongr

it does suck but do you honestly think Sprint is the only carrier that will try to pull this crap off?

BobGod

Um, it could just be a data plan for the BB that's tailored to the Playbook. something like less text messages, phone hours, etc. and a little heavier on the data. Do we know it's something that goes on top of the BB data plan, and not just a name for a data plan.

I know, I'm giving Sprint the benefit of the doubt here, but we should confirm before accusing.

setset

first the lame $10 extra on smartphones, then the lame change to Spring Premiere. Now this add-on to tethering? Sprint is the lamest carrier in the US.

nellie_jb

I'm SO glad I kept my unlimited data plan when at&t reworked their plans. I will be acting a fool with my PB!!

cmmora

Sorry to break it to you, Nellie but your unlimited plan will not work on the playbook. I called AT&T and told them that since I had one of the grandfathered unlimited plan, would I be able to teether? They said no! I would have to give up my unlimited plan and go into their 4GB, $49 plan so I would be able to teether. This is B.S. I told them, why do I need to give up my unlimited when I already have it. They were b.s.ing me and try to convince me that my old plan was not compatible.

I was looking forward to the playbook, but if I can't have unlimited access to the Internet, I'm not going to buy it.

greatness10

cmmora, you are kind of right, kind of wrong.

1)Whether you have an unlimited plan or not has NOTHING to do with if you can tether. Tethering is a completely different plan all together. Your not paying for the data when you tether, your paying for the ability to transfer the data from your phone to the playbook. All carriers are going to charge this, and yes, it is a vicious scam.

2)DO NOT give up your unlimited plan. Hang up and call back until you get someone who will do what you want. AT&T is HUGE, if you've been with them a long time its just a matter of calling until you get someone who will wave that tethering charge, I guarantee it, they love loyal clients, and make sure you make them know that. It all depends on how much effort you want to put into it, and how much you want to complain.

3)We really shouldn't be complaining about this all that much, and here's the reason. Playbook drops on the 19th, blackberry world is the beginning of may, which is when RIM will be showcasing all of their new handsets, many of which will have 'mobile hotspots'. I'll tell you right now, i'm buying a playbook, not because it can tether without a charge or not, but because of RIM's upcoming phones. Mobile hotspot will let you leech wi-fi right off your phone, thus running the web on the playbook.

Suck on that carriers!

nellie_jb

You don't need a tethering plan with at&t, all you have to do is set it up. They want you to think you need to purchase a service in order to do it but you just don't. I set my laptop up for tethering in literally 2 minutes without anyone's permission or extra service.

shupor

Same with Tmobile. Theoretically they have a tethering plan that you are supposed to pay for however i tether my BB all the time without an extra cent being charged to me for it.

gordongr

you are partly right & partly wrong, they will make you get a tether plan for wireless hot spot also

greatness10

my brother currently has an android, he doesn't get charged anything extra for wireless hotspot. Also, iphone4 has wireless hotspot in its latest update, and guess what, not charge there either...your wrong gordongr

bigbmc26

But you do realize that carries still charge for the mobile hotspot feature. The do for Android devices, so you can bet the will for BB. Sprint charges the same $29.99 for the mobile hotspot that are charging here so there is really no benefit there.

greatness10

listen, I have an iphone4, my brother has an android, neither of us get charged. It just goes on to your regular data. Please, comment only if you know the facts. There will be NO EXTRA charge for mobile hotspot features...ON ANY PHONE!

can't wait for bb world and playbook.

nellie_jb

I don't see why that would be. I've tethered on that plan A LOT and I've never had a problem. Never charged an extra cent. Though once I did call to ask "theoretically" if I could tether and I was told the same thing you were. But I kept my plan and tether my heart out. It's an unlimited plan, that's the bottom line. I think they lied to both of us :)

elle-ade

Bell also plans to charge an extra $10 to tether the Playbook. I wonder how one can tether without the carrier knowing about it?

bravest1

that's just BS thanx sprint for taking all the fun out of getting something we wanted so bad and make us wait for months ... what a bunch of Ball Bags

gregorylkelly

Did anyone expect anything different?

xxplosive82

Yes, it's using your BlackBerry's data plan. However, your BlackBerry doesn't use data like the PlayBook will use it. Of course it will cost more to tether. The problem is that 29.99 is a lot to pay for data on a BlackBerry. I'd pay $40/month for a data plan that included tethering... UNLIMITED tethering... On top of phone data.

akaquietstorm

I don't understand why everyone is getting upset with Sprint.. TRUST, all the other carriers will do the same thing. They are just like banking and airlines, once 1 company change the game all other companies will follow. No company want to be first but they have to.
I will not be surprised if a chip is n all the new devices where they will be able to tell if you are tethering or not.. Sad , but true..

DenverRalphy

Charging for tethering is nothing new. All carriers charge for it. What makes you think the Playbook should be any different?

ryguy2008

You're forgetting that most carriers charge extra for tethering. This is of no surprise to me at all. In fact, I'm surprised this is an article.

thpsrulr

Yeah sprint and all other carriers need to get lost with all these extra fees! They already are getting rich off of us as it is and $30 to tether to a CDMA 3G connection is nonsense. Like others said $10 perhaps, $30 they can all go away with their extra fees! This should just leverage the existing unlimited data plan most BB users already have since they are not even 4G capable. >:(

Also, just not long ago in December/January I tried to add tethering to my plan and Sprint said they don't even offer tethering any longer.... I used to have it on my account and they took it off when I upgraded to the stupid Bold (Tour 2) back in August and was told then too that I couldn't have tethering anymore.. Interesting how quickly things change back when there is a way to shake us down for more money when the PB comes out. Very annoyed at Sprint these days!

If Tether is making an app for PB then they will be making some good money from us. I use it already for tethering to my pc and don't have to pay Sprint for that so looks like I will just do the same for the PB too if Sprint does try to charge for PB tethering.

Cameron MacDonald

I'm with Wind Mobile (Canada) and in their terms of use for data it specifically notes that tethering any device is not permitted unless you get the unlimited data plan or pay extra for billed useage. Could it be that tethering anything is not included in Sprint's data plan? Not sure, just a thought. I agree, it should be automatic on any plan and simply dependant on having the capability on the device. That's Capitalism I guess.

k_evjen

Where I live, if you don't have a tethering plan they charge you $10/MB. Yes MB. I will buy Tether (the app) as soon as its available.

ICEMAN9

Rogers in Canada offers free tethering if you have more than 1GB of data...I tethered with my laptop & never received extra charges...good thing I have my 6GB for $30 plan

mgerbrandt

Just to confirm on what ICEMAN9 said and here is the proof. Rogers does not charge for tethering. I am very happy I am with Rogers and can't wait for my Playbook :)

http://www.rogers.com/web/content/wireless-products/tethering

Bla1ze

This is true -- and one of the only reasons I'm still with Rogers.

1canuck2

There's a lot about Roger's the pee's me off, but the reality is as a cellular provider they are the least bad of the bunch in Canada, for more reason's than just their "free" tethering. But I sure am happy about the free tethering (assuming they don't somehow define PB as "different" and upcharge for it).

Oilfan_2009

don't be surprised, Staples doesn't believe it's a tablet... :p lol had to beat the dead horse with a stick one more time...

Oilfan_2009

don't be surprised, Staples doesn't believe it's a tablet... :p lol had to beat the dead horse with a stick one more time...

Rockdog97

So you all are saying that the only way to access the internet on the PB via your BB is to tether? Um.. I thought you could access all the BB features on the PB via the Bridge feature? why all the drama?

bighap

Yes, you can access BB features like BBM and email via Bridge. Sharing data for browsing is by tethering.

Read: http://crackberry.com/blackberry-bridge-vs-internet-tethering

R1cE

Rofl. Sprint is gonna lose all their potential customers to Staples and bestbuy xD

Rockdog97

I guess WiFi is the way to go instead of tethering then..

gordongr

This just answers my biggest question with Playbook, will it cost me more per month to own it? Looks like it would so that rules out the Playbook for me

captainbdsc

Only if you need to tether. If Sprint makes you signup for a plan to get a PB then buy it somewhere else.

yobecks

$29.99 is almost double your bill for some folks! Glad I have free data share on my plan with Rogers :D

pittster

RIM take a cue from the pre HP Palm. Sell your own unlocked units with BB bells and whistles and just may realize the leverage you have compared to the service providers. They wanna charge us to see it on a bigger screen. AT&T, I kept my unlimited data just becuz I couldn't figure why you stopped the feature and I plan using it to the fullest.

dakid72

So here is the million dollar question that i have--When the 4G playbook comes out with Sprint this summer the current data plan they have for Tablets is $59.99/month unlimited 4G speeds, 5GB 3G speeds, but if i want to tether it to say my Bold for whatever reason i have to pay an extra $29.99, but is that a plan that is locked in for x number of months or pay as you go, hmmmmmm!
We live in a digital world and everyone is gonna make their money but why are we the consumers left holding the short end of the stick on everything.
Is BB hiring in my area?

Gamesdmc3

it should be $29.99 per year

luqman24

Uhh just get a wifi model and tether from your bb?

kjdoug

I personally think all this nonsense is going to hurt playbook sales. I think RIM is sabatoging their chance at a succesful product launch. They should have made deals with the carriers ahead of time. Also no advertising blitz with 12 days left to launch is ludacris!!

BUKEsq

I was told by "the playbook guy" at my local VZW that Big Red will be requiring an additional data plan as well... same route that the rest are heading, a one gig option and a six gig monthly option. Pretty much solidifies that I will be buying at BestBuy and then getting the tether app for blackberry

TheEagle19

does anyone know when tether is going to release there playbook app? would I have to purchase the app again or could I just use the licenses I already have?

edyts

Wish everyone would stop saying ALL cariers will charge for tethering. You realize how many carriers are out there? In Canada where I live, the 2 largest carriers Telus/Rogers will NOT charge a fee for tethering, call them your selves if ya dont believe me. With rogers you need a data plan of 1 gig or more, and with telus you only need the 500 meg plan, so not ALL carriers will charge, im sure they arent the only 2 in the world.

captainbdsc

Why cant carriers just set it up so that each phone-line/SIM card on your account gets X GB each month for Y amount of dollars and then when you use up your allowable amount you are done. It is your data, why should you have to pay extra to use it all even if it is on separate devices?

Someone could say well, going from using only a BB to a BB and a PB will increase demand on the network because a BB alone is quite kind on the network. Well, what if I change my usage habits or set up my BB to just sit there and run You Tube all day every day and I max out my limit, am I going to have to pay more? I had better not have to pay more! I am still just using my BB.

This is what I have to say to carriers:
When a person pays for X GB per month then let them use it anyway they want. Especially if the data is still running through the same device it always has! It's not like you are giving them more then they paid for; especially since there isn't more than one phone-line/SIM card drinking the bandwidth at a time. You still only have 1 device connected to your blasted networks!

Alright... I am done... stepping down from the soap box...

leilani_J

Sprint continues to be the lamest / whining carrier. How "anti-competitive" of Sprint. The dumbest argument they've ever made.

snowfort

Maybe I missed it.... but perhaps Sprint is only referring to their customers who don't have a BlackBerry.

kjm2010

I think you might be right on the $29...looks like $15 if you have a BB with an existing data plan

lnichols

So even with Sprint's new $10 Smart Phone fee for truly "unlimited" data they are going to get you for an extra $30 for this? And you can't even use the bridge and tether at the same time because they are CDMA? Final nail Sprint! Final Nail!

rbenjami

The ad makes it sound like they are charging $30 for the bridge, not teathering - although I know that is wrong.

jlb21

What worries me the most about this image is that Sprint is saying the Bridge function is a feature of paying the $30 connection plan for the PlayBook. So either:

1) Sprint is being deceptive and not letting people know you can Bridge for free

of

2) Even Sprint, or their marketing people, are confused and don't understand the difference between bridging and tethering.

or Both.

This is real worrisome for so many reasons.

BoldBerryNYC

http://tether.com/blackberry-playbook-support

Won't be getting my Playbook until I see the Tether app available lol...

Senator48

Just another reason that the PB will be a failure. This makes me even less excited about buying one. Next option please.

elle-ade

Lol, you're so funny!

Playbook will be a failure because one carrier charges $30 for tethering....mm indeed.

Never mind that quite a few other carriers charge $10 or nothing at all...

Never mind that tethering is OPTIONAL..

Never mind that you can just decline to buy from Sprint and just buy from any of the other gazillion retailers...

andrew101884

Hey i think this whole thing is BS...........ive been in touch with sprint about this and the 29.99 is the same fee as "phone as modem" plan. I think this poster isn't an official ad from Sprint corporate, ive never seen it......its just a way for the chumps working there to make more commission obviously. When I talked with sprint they told me if you don't have that feature on your plan your phone simply wont be able to tether period IE you dont get charged tethering fee per MB or whatnot. That isnt the case cuz I have tethered my bb to my computer using BB Desktop with no problems. Also, and i might be wrong, the ford sync pulls data off your phone for info like gas prices and movie times (crackberry may wanna check it) cause if thats true, I have never gotten some data charge with my 9650. So i think people should chill out, sprint doesnt have the capability to stop tethering to a playbook if they cant even prevent it going to my car and laptop. Read this, im pretty sure no carrier has a Ford Sync data plan
http://bit.ly/cpDnbf

andrew101884

I pulled this nugget from that story from 8/23/10
WiFi hotspot
Wait, what? WiFi hotspot? Yep, thanks to the aforementioned USB ports, you can plug a 3G USB data card into the MyFord Touch system and turn the entire car into one giant WiFi hotspot. Sure, there are smartphones out there right now that can turn themselves into a portable 3G hotspot with a push of a button, and there are in-car systems that will endow your car with wireless data, but what do you do if you already have a USB data card? Ford says the idea here is to allow existing users to simply bring their existing USB data cards and fire up the WiFi hotspot.

The alternative for those of you with compatible phones is to connect (or tether) your smartphone to the car via Bluetooth and use the data connection to power the WiFi hotspot feature. You’ll be limited to Bluetooth data speeds this way, but it’s a convenient option to have.

I like the idea, and it should prove to be a great feature on long road trips. Or, if you’re planning a caravan, make sure you have a 2011 Ford Edge in the group. Having a rolling WiFi hotspot in your caravan is the only way to roll.

For now, only GSM data cards are supported (like AT&T), but Ford will update the system to handle CDMA carriers in the near future.

zoso28

There's tethering and then there's Blackberry Bridge. Ththering lets you use the browser, apps, etc, while bridge lets you connect the Playbook to your current Blackberry's apps (calendar, contacts, bbm, etc.) Everyone is complaining about tethering charges but I don't know why this would be different than any other tablet. Believe me, I hate the current data pricing system as much as anyone else, but I don't see why people think you should be able to use the playbook any differently than any other tablet in terms of data.

STR8WESTCOAST

Glad I didn't have all this bs with my IIIIIIIIPPPPPPAAAAAAAADDDD

jwn66

I'm with bell and I asked if there would be a charge, they said I could use my current torch plan to tether, and if i went over the limit it'd cost me...etc. That's with a 500 meg plan, I should probably upgrade to atleast 1gig anyway lul.

maciek226

Its impassible. You can use your data from phone on computer via bb desktop software through witch you may enter virtual everything. i think tis is just a joke or something alse.