Mobistar iPhone tethering possible again (personal hotspot)

Mobistar has always blocked tethering on their network. Years ago their was a workaround but that was only for very old iOS versions.

Today, it is once again possible to enable tethering. This time without "hacks". Rumor has it this will be officially announced on monday but the functionality is already working. All you need is an up-to-date iOS version and the latest carrier update.

To obtain the latest carrier update, go to Settings > General > Usage. Here a popup will appear asking if you want to install the carrier update.
Select update, and as soon as you have done that, the Settings > General > Network > Personal Hotspot item should appear.

Configuration is quite simple. At the top of the page, enable the personal hotspot.
You will be asked if you want to use USB or Bluetooth/Wireless. USB requires iTunes to be installed on the computer, if you use this option, don't forget to disable the hotspot after use, otherwise the computer will use it every time the iphone is connected.
Wireless/Bluetooth are especially useful if you want to use a second device to access the internet (such as an iPad), or if you don't want to install any additional software on your computer.

The main disadvantage for now is the poor 3G coverage of the mobistar network. In most of the places all you get is Edge, which is enough to synchronize email but to slow for anything else.

Iphone tethering mobileconfig for Mobistar

Update: This no longer works with the 3.1 firmware - go thank Apple & Mobistar for that..

The easiest way to enable tethering on your iPhone is to browse to websites like http://help.benm.at which have configuration files that you can install on your phone. However, all the mobileconfig files I found online didn't work for me as they used the wrong APNs. My account needs to use "web.pro.be" for data and "mms.be" for MMS.

So I created my own mobileconfig, attached to this article. Use at your own risk, I'm not going to guarantee that anything here is correct, but it has been confirmed to work (both tethering and MMS) by several people. To install, simply open the attached file from your iPhone.

Of course, keep an eye on your bandwidth consumption, it isn't cheap.

10 Things I hate about the iPhone

I have had an iPhone 3G for a while now and it is a pretty nice and fun gadget. Its not as serious as a crackberry, but it does most things I want and there are many interesting apps available for it. Believe it or not, you can even use it as a phone.

There are however, many things about the iPhone that annoy me a lot. Most of them are related to the stupid artificial limitations enforced by Apple, or limitations of their software.

  1. It vibrates when new mail is received, which is pretty normal. But it also does this while you are on a call, not a pleasant feeling.
  2. It has no scheduling for email. Apple likes to say the iPhone is ready for enterprise use, but it misses a lot of the most basic features. As someone who is on-call a lot, my phone needs to be on at night, but I don't want to be woken every time I get an email. They could even save a lot of battery power and roaming costs this way.
  3. The iPhone supports 3G but unlike other phones, no tethering. I want to be able to connect it to my laptop when i'm on the road. It is technically possible, apple just doesn't allow it.
  4. Applications aren't allowed to run in the background. The phone has such huge potential - but this silly rule limits the usefulness of many applications a lot.
  5. The keyboard is difficult to use. In some places you can turn the phone to get a larger keyboard, in others you can't. The dictionary is worthless. In true American style, they completely forgot about countries where people speak multiple languages.
  6. No search functionality. Ever tried looking for an email if you get a hundreds a day? Surprising, for the people who created spotlight.
  7. The touchscreen sometimes registers clicks twice. I kept losing emails until I eventually figured out this was because the last character of my PIN was in the exact same place as the delete button. When I unlocked the phone, it would simply delete the message I had open at the time.
  8. You can't use it as an USB storage device. So you have a phone with multiple GB of storage, that connects to your computer via an USB cable. Then why can't it be used to store files on?
  9. No indication of missed calls. On most phones there is a little led that lights up when you have a missed call, or the screen backlight lights up a little.
  10. Battery life of course. With all functionality enabled, iPhones are usually found in their natural habitat, connected to the USB port of a computer.

Of course I could jailbreak the device to get around many of these limitations, but as I don't really own the device, that is not an option.

All in all, I still like the iPhone, but it is far from perfect. What I dislike most, is the company behind it. Apple fanboys like bashing Windows users, while – as an owner of several Apple products – I believe that Apple is a lot worse than Microsoft. They simply hide it behind a pretty design.

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