iPhone users connected to the O2 network could receive a telephone warning from the company if it believes they are using part of their contracted free data allowance to tether the iPhone to a laptop.
The company claims that using a tethered iPhone can have adverse effects on other network users. "There's no limit on our mobile browsing fair use policy, but it might affect the experience of other customers," warned Steve Alder, general manager of devices for O2 UK. "We will contact them first (to alert them of the terms and conditions of their deal with O2) and if it continues then we may have to disconnect them."
Legitimate users of the Internet tethering (which is available as a chargeable add-on for the iPhone 3G and 3G S) will still be using the same data servers as their illegitimate counterparts, but Alder maintains that prohibited use will still disrupt the system. "It uses the same system, but we have you logged in and can plan our network capability around that contract. However, we have ways of monitoring the data our iPhone users are consuming."
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