WiFi internet sharing/tethering in Mango tidbits

WPCentral broke the exciting news today that internet sharing/tethering is not only coming in Windows Phone but is actually baked in to the impending Mango update. Since the details are still sketchy, I started digging around to find out how this feature works.

Following the breadcrumb trails of a tip from Aleksandr “@Arktronic”, I came across some localization files which gives some clues about how the tethering functionality can be enabled.

The two strings that caught my eye, “To enable tethering on this device dial {0}” and “To enable tethering on this device, go to {0}”, would suggest tethering will not be enabled by default. Instead, users will have to call their operator or visit their operator’s website to have the feature enabled (provisioned) remotely.

The localization files also reveal users will be able to choose between no encryption (Open) and WPA2 encryption for hotspot security and the number of guests allowed is also customizable, presumably by the carrier.

With registry editing access locked down in Mango, manually overriding this functionality may prove difficult but I’m sure top minds are at it already. As someone who has used the same feature on Android many times over, this couldn’t come soon enough.

19 insightful thoughts

  1. “The two strings that caught my eye, “To enable tethering on this device dial {0}” and “To enable tethering on this device, go to {0}”, would suggest tethering will not be enabled by default. Instead, users will have to call their operator or visit their operator’s website to have the feature enabled (provisioned) remotely.”

    This is actually how tethering on iOS works; the carrier bundle defines an APN used for tethering, as well as the carrier’s website or phone number.
    iOS tries to access the internet via the APN: if it fails (e.g., carrier hasn’t provisioned it because you may have to pay for access) it advises you to contact your carrier as per the details in the carrier bundle.
    If iOS can access the internet using the APN (because the same APN may be used for mobile data and tethering, as it is with Telstra in AU), it’ll happily show the tethering toggle.

    It appears this is included to keep the likes of AT&T who require payment to ‘enable’ tethering (allow access to the tethering APN) and why people jailbreak (to tell tethering data to go by the standard mobile data APN).

    1. Beau, you make a really good observation there, another case of MS remodeling Apple with Windows Phone. As I’m on the RTM at the moment, I might try Optus and see if they know about this feature yet, but as Mango isn’t released, it’ll be a What The for sure. Good to know the features there though, something people want ;)

  2. This can’t came soon enough.
    It is the one major complaint I keep hearing from people wanting to adopt WP7. “Why can’t I tether? If I got an Android device I’d be able to”.

  3. Can you please raise up the issue of Wifi being dropped at screen lock on wp7 and even on mango RTM…..ppl like me on 200 MB data package use wifi at home and dont put phone on charge unless the battery is low.

    Wifi drops at screen lock, and we cant recieve email notifications…..nor any messenger/facebook chat msgs….this aint the thing for iphone nor android (atleas android has an option to disable wifi drop at screen lock)

    in Mango RTM they’ve introduced “Battery saver” option…..it should be great if they could add a toggle there to enable/disable wifi drop on screenlock

      1. but 3G uses more battery than Wifi …..I totally understand MS adding this feature to save battery, but giving the user an option to disable it would help us all. If mango RTM wasnt so locked out there would’ve been hope from the jailbreak community to come out with some sorta registry hack.

        Hence, atleast people notable like you guys can raise up this point with MS so they can add an option to disable it.

  4. registry editing is possible on LG devices via the MFG registry tool. I would love to hear which keys exactly to change to try this.
    cheers

  5. Microsoft last screwed me over with a scenario like this with the Windows 95 development in 1994 when I tried to use the start menu and taskbar feature but it was kept under lock and key extremely well.

  6. I have an LG phone with mango update 7712. I can access the MFG tool and i can edit the registry.
    I just need to know which keys to edit.

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