Saturday, June 20, 2009

Proximus tethering for unlocked iPhones

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, although one could easily fix the MMS part of the iPhone 3.0 for Proximus users, the tethering part needed an IPCC configuration file that Apple only delivered for Mobistar and their other exclusive Mobile operators. Other local Belgian operators, like Mobile Vikings, a young and aggressive team using the Base Network (I think) with a lot of appeal to our Cyber Youth because of their attractive SMS and data plans, rushed to create their own bundles and put them out to their users right after the WWDC. However, we, unfortunate users of Proximus, had to wait for Her Highness to move... in vain.

Thank God, there's always a kid with some brains who's like: "Since I can get my fingers on one of them other IPCC bundles (say Mobistar's, for instance) and can check into its package contents, and change some key parameters with my grandma's plist editor, why do I need to wait, at all, for any of Belgacom's braindead morons, who're still busy enjoying their late dinner at their company's expense? I could fix this hands down... Not precisely rocket science subject matter, innit?" Right on the money! Thus, lucky us, a kid like that, going by the first name of Frank (cool, innit?) went out to do what I predicted, only a few hours later after my post launched into Cyberspace (unrelated of course). And it worked. He even configured the IPCC to fix MMS and tethering both at the same time, rendering my initial how-to-fix-MMS post obsolete. Kudos to Frank. Probably Belgacom should hire you for covering their ass and hubris*, and sparing them additional swearing from our side!

Although Frank's config file turned on tethering on the iPhone like a charm, without drawbacks and such, I had initially a slight tethering enablement hick-up on the MBPro side. It seemed to work fine at first sight, in network preferences, but there was no actual connection achieved. It also showed a peculiar description message under the connection name, referring to... Parallels. I decided to ignore the Automatic setting then and forced a new 'location' that I called 'tethering' (whatever) and as the system was being self-reconfigured, out of nowhere it suddenly seemed to work fine. It also worked regardless whether the iPhone was connected to the Internet via WiFi or 3G. If you ask me to recreate that fix, I'll be damned if I could. I wish I was techie enough to understand what happened and try to explain... but I ain't! I'd suggest, if that happened to you, disconnect the iPhone from your Mac, delete any iPhone connections present in your Network Preferences and start all over again. Apple boxes have this strange ability to self-fix themselves (heard that Monkeyboy?)

Anyways, I must say I am running a Snow beta and maybe that played a blame role too. On the other side, when I tried to make my desktop 24" iMac talk to the tethering enabled iPhone, also under Snow Leo, it all seemed to work out fine first time... Who knows what the deal was on the MacBook? Oh, the mysteries of OSX! Oh, the intricacies of His Jobness...

* I don't get it. They could have achieved some additional customer satisfaction (that they deadly need) and a few thousand extra hits reaching their miserable pages... but apparently, they don't seem to care. As it stands now, the keyword search on Google returns Frank's and my own blog pages on the top three pageranks. Belgacom and Proximus, nowhere to see... The lethargy that monopolies can get you into is apparently bottomless!

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