Did T-Mobile disable bluetooth tethering?

ehj6666

    When I purchased my Samsung S6 at a T-mobile store, I explicitly tested bluetooth tethering and was going to buy an unlocked phone if it would not tether. I also wanted single number wifi calling, but was not willing to give up bluetooth tethering to get it. Since tethering worked, I bought the T-Mobile phone rather than an unlolcked one. Now I find that Bluetooth tethering is no longer available. The T-Mobile app was very recently updated, and the new format displays "Tethering disabled". Going under "Settings -> Mobile HotSpot and Tethering" now no longer lists Bluetooth or Bluetooth tethering.

     

    Did something change, and is there something I need to enable it, or do I have to unlock the phone to get tethering back? I purchased the phone outright, so I can unlock it, but do not want to risk losing wifi calling.

     

     

    On a separate note, this is a new account under a new email address. When I tried logging into my old account it tells me that account has been disabled, but offers no remedy as to how to re-enable other than "contact administrator".

     

    Thanks

      All replies

      • theartiszan

        Re: Did T-Mobile disable bluetooth tethering?

        And you tested with a tmobile branded s6? I have had the edge since it was released and never had the options for Bluetooth Tethering on it. From my understand, it does not work on most if not all of the USA variants.

        • luisrp

          Re: Did T-Mobile disable bluetooth tethering?

          I have a Galaxy S6 since last October and have never seen Bluetooth tethering on it.  Interestingly my previous phone was a Blackberry Curve which did allow Bluetooth networking.

          • abeltran1973

            Re: Did T-Mobile disable bluetooth tethering?

            Bluetooth tethering was a feature based on description found here:

             

            Mobile Internet Hotspots & Smartphone Wifi Internet Access | T-Mobile

             

            Turn your phone into a Mobile HotSpot: $14.99 per month
            Turn your smartphone into a mobile hotspot with the Smartphone Mobile HotSpot service. Share your phone’s high-speed internet connection on the go with up to five Wi-Fi devices (tablet, e-reader, laptop, portable gaming device, and more) all at the same time—no coffee shop or hotel Wi-Fi needed.

             

              

            You can also connect your laptop or netbook to your phone’s Internet connection using a USB cable or Bluetooth. All you need to use the Smartphone Mobile HotSpot service is a Mobile HotSpot Ready smartphone with a qualifying unlimited data plan with at least 2 GB of high-speed data.

             

              

            Once you’ve signed up, learn how to activate your service (formerly Tethering and Wi-Fi Sharing) at T-Mobile Support.

             

            They do have a disclaimer though:

            Internet & E-Mail

            No matter how you like to connect, T-Mobile provides a variety of services to suit your needs. Not all services are available for every plan. To see available services for a specific plan, first choose a plan.

            • magenta4272937

              Hi to sum this up for you the answer is "Yes" -- T-Mobile gets to choose these things and they disable bluetooth tethering on all their phones I have tested.

              One way around this [Still counts against your data allotment] is to flash the "U" version or Unlocked North American version of the phone software provided that your phone's hardware will support this. I have done this with my Galaxy S7, flashing the ATT "SM-G930A" to the "SM-G930U" software [bootloader, modem, AP, etc.] and I have no issues with the bluetooth tether function. I tried looking at a SM-G930T [The T-Mobile version] and this is disabled.

               

              T mobile support has no idea when I call and inquire; in fact their technical support told me to download a program that bypasses their tethering restrictions to employ bluetooth tethering. When I informed the employee that this was "bad advice" as it would in the long term COST T-Mobile more money rather than providing customers a service their hardware supported the employee proceeded to attempt to sell me a new phone despite me expressing that I buy used and unlocked phones and not new/locked devices that have limited features disabled by carriers.

               

              Furthermore, I have the Galaxy Note Edge; a phone that is a variant of the Galaxy Note 4, when you do a google search for similar question regarding BT tethering, you will find that T-Mobile's "Software" has this feature disabled. One way around it is to manipulate the system provisioning to change the value from disabled to enabled, alternatively you can forego having WiFi Calling which you are talking about wanting to keep to do this by flashing an "Unlocked" firmware that does not have carrier based modifications as out of the box Samsung North American Unlocked phones do not restrict these features. The way around this is using a SQL based editor and to locate and modify the correct value in the android system, in other words the device must be rooted and you have to enable this yourself because T-Mobile intentionally disabled it; again, unless you want to flash over to the Unlocked version [For this Note edge device it would be going from the SM-N915T to another firmware but due to the rarity of the phone no other Firmware exists supporting Band 12 I can't do that, but works for other phones like my S7]. With those facts the use of  SQL modifications you can even turn on features like double tap home to launch camera, which again is a carrier/Samsung choice to disable this feature as it is actually present in the software but again, just disabled. Just for good measure I'm posting this so that people can become aware that T-Mobile is disabling The bluetooth Tethering feature by their own choice as far as I know.

               

              Too much work for me to figure this setting out to change, it's a pain to even get the double tap home to launch camera as it is. Personally, my solution is to carry around 2 phones: I carry around my Unlocked S7 flashed over from ATT to the Unlocked with my active line; I do Bluetooth Tether automated by a scripted program to be able to text through Digits on both devices and can force the host phone [S7] to give me a HotSpot from my Note Edge or from the host phone and then with both phones have active service with the same line VIA T-Mobile Digits App which is similar to the protocol used for VOIP WiFi calling. I could care less for T-Mobile's WiFi calling and if I needed it that bad I'd just pop my sim from my S7 over to the Note Edge. They're shooting themselves in the feet for making things so complicated for customers to where only IT savvy folks can navigate these things.

               

              Facts:

              No T-Mobile representative really understands what's going on at a system level, this is more something that developers at T-Mobile disable when they are given the access to enable/disable features, you will easily find that Verizon's Note 4's have Bluetooth tethering enabled, as it is much more power efficient and that Verizon apparently is more "with it" in terms of functionality and enabling useful features.

               

              Inquiries:

              Feel free to comment, I'd like this to be escalated, I'm mentioning key words so google searches for T mobile Bluetooth Tethering disabled brings this thread up so that all can see and know that T-Mobile's software development is intentionally crippling devices to make things difficult for customers. I've been a customer for 6 years and love their service, hate what they do on a software level to cripple Samsung devices. I don't blame customer support as they don't understand the logistical software/hardware/firmware components involved in these matters and you will never get a straight answer because it is beyond anyone's understanding that is a line staff answering phone calls or "technical support person" providing any support would be able to answer. (other than telling you to download third party apps to bypass T-Mobile's way of tracking tethering, that person should be fired if I was in charge of things--but there's always a way around things "where there's a will there's a way" I say.)

               

              Tagging these folks below so that they can provide rebuttal, or rectify this issue by slapping their software development team on the wrists and telling them to stop disabling useful features that preserve the lifespan of devices and improve user experience (furthermore ruining the reputation of the company for selling phones with disabled features over other carriers that don't do these sorts of shenanigans). I doubt that will happen though, people don't care for useful features like Bluetooth tethering for the most part. They would rather the robust, battery draining WiFi tethering that T-Mobile is forcing customers to use, or to have people find alternative methods by using 3rd party apps as suggested by T-Mobile staff I spoke with over the phone [Who agreed that "this decision was not helpful to the company making money" but "they didn't care", their words--not mine]. Palm-Face.

               

              Enjoy. Hope to hear a reply regarding this because it's upsetting that a carrier would disable functions that on a software and hardware level are available. Looking forward to hearing a response, this one will be a good thread.

               

              Warmest regards,

              Loyal T mobile customer for 6 years.

               

              tmobile-admintidbitsehj6666

                • tidbits

                  Re: Did T-Mobile disable bluetooth tethering?

                  Samsung has already said at the products manager level in court multiple occasions that OEMs charge for features to be enabled or disabled.  Often carriers just opt not paying for features vs. buying in them.  So you'd have to have something to show that Samsung enables said feature by default to show it is really T-Mobile's doing or actually the OEM.  If a carrier doesn't buy in to me it isn't a carrier problem because at the OS level its enabled by default.  Carriers don't touch the code like people think they do which OEM's also testified in those same court cases.  Even HTC went as far as to admit in picture timelines carriers don't touch the code.  Sony as well in their timelines

                   

                   

                  A lot of other devices on T-Mobile has bluetooth enabled which further backs what I think is happening.  Samsung disabled it and tries to charge for it, or even Samsung developers accidently removing said feature during testing and forgot to turn it back on.

                   

                  rationally thinking on a developer standpoint(I am one).  Why would Samsung let carriers modify their code?  Android is ASL and they can keep their code proprietary.  You don't see Touchwiz, MotoBlur, Sense, or Quantum UI source code anywhere.  If OEM's were allowing these code to modified we'd have it by now because almost every carrier would have the source code and you bet your bottom dollar someone would have leaked them by now.  Even Microsoft isn't that loose with their code.  It's one of the biggest lie being passed around.

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • magenta4272937

                      So then how do we go about pushing for enabling those features per Samsung?

                       

                      I wish the representatives at T-Mobile new more about this because that is

                      something I have been voicing about disabled features wise for years. Any

                      recommendations I make seem to just go into an empty bucket that has no

                      bottom.

                       

                      Please advise on how you would handle pushing Samsung to make this right on

                      a customer level. I mean come on it's Bluetooth tethering for crying out

                      loud!!!

                        • tidbits

                          Re: Did T-Mobile disable bluetooth tethering?

                          magenta4272937 wrote:

                           

                          So then how do we go about pushing for enabling those features per Samsung?

                           

                          I wish the representatives at T-Mobile new more about this because that is

                          something I have been voicing about disabled features wise for years. Any

                          recommendations I make seem to just go into an empty bucket that has no

                          bottom.

                           

                          Please advise on how you would handle pushing Samsung to make this right on

                          a customer level. I mean come on it's Bluetooth tethering for crying out

                          loud!!!

                          Get more and more people pressuring Samsung.  Europe and Asia have been doing this for years and you see the kind of support they are getting right?  It's one of the arguments to get an international version because it's supported better than any US counterpart.  OEM's actually have to compete there, but they also do have to pay more per device.  I believe the Not8 for example cheapest was $940 in the US, but in the UK for example it's $1200 US.

                          Also carriers to get branded and their software they have to buy in so carriers end paying the difference and it doesn't get factored into sales.

                            • magenta4272937

                              Tidbits your full of useful bits of information. I have contacted Samsung

                              for other issues in the past regarding limited support but I will

                              definitely be sure to pursue this to add some "squeaking to the wheel to

                              get some good grease." in other words I will try and contact Samsung to add

                              to that squeaking but I understand that in many of these cases they just

                              "pass these reports on up" and we just cross our fingers that they do

                              something about it.