Telstra finally allows iPhone tethering

Previously Telstra didn’t let its customers use their iPhones for tethering, unlike several other Australian providers like Optus and Vodafone. Tethering is where customers can connect their smartphone to their laptop to receive wireless broadband internet. Essentially, the phone acts like a USB wireless internet device, and the data you use is counted towards your download data limit on your mobile phone plan.

Originally, Telstra blamed Apple for blocking the right for their customers to use tethering, but Apple was adamant each Australian telco has the right to choose whether or not their customers can have access. In a recent carrier software update over the weekend, v5.1, this block was removed. However, the changes were acknowledged by customers in technology forums, as opposed to the information coming from Telstra itself.

Ever since the iPhone 3.0 update released in June this year, tethering has technically been available for Australian iPhone users. Optus and Vodafone allowed access right away, but Telstra limited their tethering access to other smartphones. On Telstra’s blog, the telco tells customers to purchase a browsing pack. These packs have data rates charging from $5 per month for 5MB to $119 for 9GB.