Nullriver released their NetShare application onto the iTunes App Store last night, only to have it removed only a few hours later.
It’s surprising that this app was approved in the first place, since AT&T typically charge an extra $30 per month to allow tethering use in the US. Upon investigating the terms set out by other telecos, O2 UK say:
You may not use your SIM Card in any other device, or use your SIM Card or iPhone to allow the continuous streaming of any audio / video content, enable Voice over Internet (Voip), P2P or file sharing or use them in such a way that adversely impacts the service to other customers of O2 or The Cloud.
Which seems to restrict the use of streaming audio and video content, something which the built-in YouTube app allows you to do, along with Last.fm radio streaming app. However what it doesn’t explicitly forbid is the use of a tethering application to allow you to access the internet through another device, as long as the SIM card is still in your iPhone, so with O2 UK there is nothing to stop you using NetShare.
If, like me, have your iPhone unlocked and on another network such as T-Mobile UK, they may have even less restrictions. From T-Mobile’s web’n’walk fair use policy:
This plan comes with a fair use policy of 1GB a month. We’ll monitor how much you send and receive each calendar month so that we can protect our network for all our web’n’walk customers. If you use more than your fair use policy amount, we won’t charge you any more, but we may restrict how you can use your plan, depending on how often you go over your amount and by how much.
Which seems to allow everything, as long as you keep within the 1GB fair use policy. As Apple has exclusive contracts with one teleco for each country the iPhone is being sold, it is possible for them to restrict NetShare to only countries that allow tethering apps. The chance of the app appearing back on the App Store is small though, which begs the question, why was it approved in the first place?