If You Go To The Olympics, You Can Bring Your iPhone Or Android Phone... But You Better Not Tether

from the wireless-police? dept

Among the latest bizarre limitations that the Olympics puts on people is a ban on any sort of private WiFi network via your mobile connection. That is, you're not allowed to tether your phone, turn it into a WiFi hotspot or use a device like a MiFi to create the same effect:
A first for any Olympic Games is the ban on personal or private wireless access points and 3G hubs, which are not allowed at London Olympics events and venues.

iPhones, iPads, and Android phones and tablets are permitted inside venues, but must not be used as wireless access points to connect multiple devices.
It's possible (or perhaps likely) that this is done to help local mobile operators from having their networks overburdened, but, really, you'd think that the mobile operators would be out in droves with those "cells on wheels" (COW) vehicles that provide significantly more cellular power at high traffic events. Still, I'm curious as to how anyone enforces such a ban. It's pretty easy to hide a MiFi. And turning your phone into a hotspot and slipping it back into a pocket would make it almost impossible to detect. The whole ban just seems pointless.

Filed Under: hotspots, olympics, tethering, wifi, wireless

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jul 2012 @ 2:25pm


    And you are right, about all they could do is ask the person to leave the premises, as long as they are not making any money off what they are doing. This is part of the reason they are pushing for things like Commercial Felony Streaming Act, SOPA, ACTA, TPP, CETA, etc, etc, to criminalise such actions.

    But then there is, of course, the problem of tethering, where you connect your computer, of whatever device you have, directly into your phone's USB input. Some mobile companies will let you do this for an extra monthly fee with apps like TetherNow. I don't see how they are going to catch someone using TetherNow on their mobiles, since the connection is hard wired and does not use WiFi.

    TetherNow might be an option if you go to the Games, but check with your mobile provider to see whether or not they requuire to pay an extra fee to connect any device to your phone's USB port using TetherNow.

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