Tethering the Centro: A Tale of Failure

I guess I can see it both ways on the subject of tethering.

Verizon wants to charge $15 per month on top of my “unlimited” data plan to allow me to use my Centro as a mobile broadband card. There are two opposing points of view one could have on this billing strategy.

CONSUMER POV: They want to charge me twice for the same data? Have the $100-dollar bills clogging their arteries finally cut off the circulation to the corporate brain!?

VERIZON POV: We view the customer as a piñata that can be beaten until cash comes pouring out. A tethering charge is just another nail-encrusted board that can be used to pound that stupid piñata until it bleeds green.

I have very little respect for cell phone service providers. The contracts, the incompatibilities (i.e., GSM vs CDMA), the ridiculous charges for text messaging, the insulting mall kiosks, and the aforementioned tethering cost… every time I turn around I feel Verizon’s blackened claws raking across my wallet.

Looking at past bills, I’m only pulling around 20 MB/month on the Centro. This paltry amount would obviously increase if I were able to attach that Internet pipe to my MacBook. Even so, I still wouldn’t use enough bandwidth to warrant a recurring extra charge. This calls for a workaround!

PdaNet – this is exactly what I’m looking for, except that it only runs on Windows. And no, I don’t feel like setting up a virtual machine to get it working. UPDATE: since originally writing this post I have acquired a Droid, and PdaNet has produced an OS X version. Works great!

USB Modem – aha, supposedly USB Modem works on OS X and even Linux. Unfortunately this note at the top of their homepage gives me pause:

However, for more reliable work with Sprint or Verizon carriers you may need to purchase their tethering plan.

A somewhat vague statement, but certainly not an encouraging one. The problem is that having an unofficial tethering capability is such a low priority for me that I’m not sure it’s worth playing around with programs like these to see if they work. Though if needs be, I will always pursue that route rather than pay some ridiculous Machiavellian tethering charge.

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1 Response to Tethering the Centro: A Tale of Failure

  1. gatortone says:

    Man, that sucks. I know exactly what you mean. Unfortunately for you, VZW has the highest data charges among all the carriers AND they want to stick another $15 to you for tethering. I totally agree with you. You pay $30 (ATT iPhone 3G plan) or $45 (VZW BlackBerry Plan – not sure how much the Centro plan is…), just include the tethering options to those plans! It’s assinine! They should follow in T-Mobile’s footsteps and just provide tethering with the data plan. Also, their plans are significantly cheaper then the big 3. That’s one thing I miss about TMO is that tethering is included, BUT their smartphone options aren’t as good as the other carriers. In any case, the one saving grace for a jailbroken iPhone is that you can download PDANet AND it’s OS X compatible.

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