07 Dec 2009
By Richard Fink

Apple iPhone™ tethering with Telstra


David Thodey recently commented on this site about iPhone tethering and we promised to let you know when it was active.

I am pleased to let you know that as of Saturday 5 December, tethering on Apple iPhone™ became available for Telstra customers.  Telstra Next G™ network customers can now use their compatible Apple iPhone as a modem. Customers can activate tethering through an update to their settings which is available through iTunes. There is no charge for activating this feature however ongoing usage rates apply if you use this service.

Data used when tethering is charged at either a ‘Pay as you go’ rate or as part of a Browsing Pack.  To assist in managing costs Telstra recommends that customers who plan to use this feature add a browsing pack which provides a set amount of data each month for a monthly fee. If customers use more than their pack amount per month, they will pay for the extra browsing at a reduced rate.

The Telstra website has more information about the ‘pay as you go’ rate or browsing packs.

Thank you.


Posts: 20


  1. Robert Fletcher says:

    I’m so happy that Telstra has enabled tethering on the iPhone – I was playing around with it over the weekend and the speed was excellent!

    Now all we need is for Telstra to activate Visual Voicemail. It’s one of the features of the iPhone that appealed to me when Steve Jobs launched the device a few years ago, and the iPhone seems incomplete without it.

    I’m also glad that Telstra have re-priced their Bigpond plans for home users. Is there any chance that the cost of Wireless Broadband will be reviewed any time soon? $60 for 1Gb of data does not seem very competitive or cost effective.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Ben Hoskings says:

    Awesome! I’ve stuck with 3.0.1 until now, because that version still worked with patched carrier settings. Updating to 3.1.2 now.

    Good on you guys for not charging extra for tethering, too. With reasonable decisions like that, I’m more than happy paying what I pay for 1GB per month, especially when your network is as awesome as it is. Top shout.

  3. DaveH says:

    Do Big Pond “Free to Browse” websites count towards d/l when using a tethered iPhone?

  4. Nicky Jurd says:

    What a huge sigh of relief. Thanks for listening Telstra. The new CEO is a breath of fresh air.

  5. Danny Baker says:

    Really! $59 for a 1Gig Browser Pack. Yer Right, when hell freezes over tight asses.

    I pay $49 for 40Gigs on the home Broadband, and as a long time customer using your phone and mobile service you give me prices like this.

    One day even the desperate customers you have will get tired of your excessive pricing and go else where. And it’s not Optus either, they’re prices suck like yours too.

    Keep your tethering ya greedy SOB’s who needs you.. I don’t!

  6. Uwe Moeschel says:

    Thank you!

    As previous comments outlined Visual Voice Mail would be a great next steps.

    Another point would be a review of the data rates or the respective data package allowance. Ideally as a liberty plan so that it would slow down when you reached your limit.

    Thanks again and keep up the great work!

  7. Rick M says:

    Can Bigpond wireless internet accounts be accessed through iPhone tethering too?

  8. Greg says:

    Hooray nice work Telstra the fact you did it without charging everyone like the other telcos is great! I’ve bagged on Telstra in the past for poor decisions and marketing, but this is a great move by you.

  9. Stefan says:

    I believe some other phones can be tethered also. Which ones?

  10. PHerbie says:

    I too could not believe Telstra would not allow us to tether. In the end we are just using the data allowance that we are paying for anyway.

    We are paying for a premium service……these are the sort of extra features that make it premium.

    Thanks Telstra and please ensure it continues to work in future updates.

  11. Spartacus says:

    How do I go about activating this please?

  12. Naren says:

    AWESOME news !

    However I have a problem – can anyone help ???

    I have the new software on my iphone, I have hard reset, I’m running Telstra 5.1 and Apple 3.1.2 but no tethering options are shown in my preferences.

    I’ve check this against my mates phone and all the options are the same, just not tethering option.

    HELP !!!

  13. korowa says:

    RE How do I go about activating this please?
    click on;
    settings -> general -> network -> internet tethering

    RE 3G data pricing
    yes, telstra really needs to cut the price

  14. Jay Dahl says:

    Tethering is great, not if you are prepaid though – I bought a i-phone 3GS but Telstra removed the 4GB data plus pack for $89.

    Cutting your nose off despite your face comes to mind, for 2 reasons:

    Subsidising that wireless prepaid modem I bought cost way more than $89, returned & refunded – poor quality ZTE product.

    I am recharging at least $150 a month just for data usage on my handset so tethering is never going to be cost effective for me, I have thousands of Talk & Text units incurring that I cant get down – I cant use them and still not enough data, thankfully like most i-phone users I am metro I am now leaving Telstra like many of my friends who loved Telstra to other prepaid networks – alas Telstra shot themselves in the foot.

    Data Plus Packs that make no sense:

    Light BROWSEPLUS5 $5 for 5MB
    Medium BROWSEPLUS10 $10 for 100MB
    Frequent BROWSEPLUS29 $29 for 200MB
    Heavy* BROWSEPLUS59 $59 for 750MB

    (*ideal for using your mobile as a modem) REALLY ? 750MB is heavy tethering usage ? Come on Telstra, that makes as much sense buying 200MB x1 @ $29 over 100MB x3 = $30.

    Regards Telstra,

    It was nice till you killed us off.


  15. Richard Fink says:

    Hi everyone and thanks for the feedback.

    I have a few answers for you.

    For those who have asked how to enable tethering on your Telstra supplied Apple iPhone, just follow these steps:

    1. Connect your iPhone to a computer;
    2. When iTunes opens, select iPhone under ‘devices’ in the ‘source list’ on the left;
    3. In the ‘iPhone summary’ pane, click ‘check for update’;
    4. Click ‘download and install’. Do not disconnect your iPhone until the update has finished. The update will activate tethering capability. You can then select the tethering feature in your iPhone’s settings menu.

    Just a handy tip if you’re a bit iPhone savvy, just make sure your APN is set to Telstra.iph for tethering to work. And also remember to consider a Browsing Pack to better manage your data costs if you’re going to use tethering a bit.

    There’s some handy information about using your mobile as a modem here.

    As a Telstra Next G™ mobile customer, If you use your iPhone to browse the BigPond Mobile portal, this BigPond content is unmetered. You can always tell by the Green Dot at the top of the page. If you tether your iPhone to your computer and use it as a modem, browsing BigPond content is not unmetered.

    If you have a BigPond Wireless Broadband service, you are unable to use you tethered iPhone as a modem to log in with your BigPond account details. You must continue to use your BigPond Wireless Broadband device.

    We currently have no plans to offer a visual voicemail product. However, Telstra consumer customers, including our Next G iPhone users can take advantage of a similar innovative service called Telstra Voice2Text. It allows customers to read their voice messages by converting them into text.

    It’s great to see the positive comments so thanks for that.


    • Ash says:

      “We currently have no plans to offer a visual voicemail product”

      Why not? iPhone users keep requesting it, other providers provide it, why can’t/won’t Telstra?

  16. Jay Dahl says:

    Alas Voice2text over Visual Voicemail.

    Only available for plan customer.

    i-phone is Next G(eneration) – the limitations on Telstra prepaid are last generation.



  17. P aul Hogan says:

    Can we now please have Telstra to activate Visual Voicemail.

  18. DaveH says:

    Richard, I have been led to believe (see quote from Telstra on Twitter feed) that “Free to Browse” sites are unmetered whether on the iPhone or on computer tethered to iPhone. This is contrary to your post.

    Hi there, yep Sorry. Nothing changes in regards to free to browse. It’s the same on you PC as it is on your Mobile.


    Please can I get a definitive answer



  19. James says:

    you can only tether using bluetooth and USB, the WiFi is disabled :-( like gee, why only enable half of it?

  20. Rhiannon says:

    You can’t tether over WiFi with ANY network on the iphone. WiFi is only for the iphone to receive a wireless signal, so that you can access the internet without having to use your carrier’s data package.

  21. Matt says:

    Hi I have switched over to Telstra and what a breath of fresh air it is. The quality of service is awesome.

    Great to see that tethering works however I am missing visual voice mail.

    Look forward to seeing it in the near future.

  22. Jay Dahl says:

    3 prepaid caps & 250MB data packs for $8 :D

    $24 or $59 on Telstra…… brainer !

    I did like many friends love Telstra prepaid, then T removed $89 data pack. We will be back in a flash IF Telstra bring back our $89 packs, until then……..

  23. Chris says:

    Come on Telstra your customers want visual voicemail!

  24. Vincenzo says:

    I’m running iTunes, iPhone 3.1.2 (7D11), Telstra 5.1, APN is telstra.iph and still the tethering doesn’t come up. When I jailbreaked my iphone it worked but since Telstra announced that it would allow tethering I restored back to normal. The tethering appeared for a few days and when I wanted to use it today it wasn’t there anymore – have I missed anything? If I can’t tether I can’t work from my client’s site – so should I jailbreak it again?

  25. Stephen Hahn says:

    Telstra = waste of money + appalling customer service

  26. Timmsy says:

    I have all the updates too and tethering isn’t showing in my options. How do I get it to work when tethering isn’t in options? Will it work on my Mac? Thanks

  27. vaestanfors says:

    I have the same problem but my phone has never been jail broken, tethering works fine with Three but it’s never been able to tether on Telstra. I use a Telstra usb dongle to use the internet on the road and if I’m in a major city I tether the iphone with a Three sim card installed and as you know Three is much cheaper than Telstra…the iphone is free to unlock if you get it from Three. As for Telstra tethering, like anything Telstra touches good luck if it works.

  28. David says:

    I’m about to buy an i-phone 3GS with the $60 1GIG data pack, but will I be able to access my Bigpond Wireless broadband at home and use it instead of my data pack?

  29. Adest says:

    I must say Telstra has gotten much better over the past few years.

    I still can’t get the tethering to work with Telstra – yet it works a dream with Vodafone (pity their signal always sucks!)
    I am using Latest Software for Iphone etc

    Please Mr Thodey can you make sure the software actually does what it should.

    I seriously never accept what ATT and Telstra have done and blamed Apple for not allowing tethering. After all many other phones have been doing it for years eg Samsung SGH.

  30. sean says:

    I’m looking at getting the iphone maybe the 3gs or the new model that is comming out later this year and get it from the apple store so it’s not locked and i’m even thinking of going back to telstra and porting the number from optus i’ll like to hear what is the signal like with telstra on the iphone and a shop in brisbane called mobiles made simple are selling the iphones unlocked and they are in Adalaide street or there other shop is in the Wintergarden shoping centre under the Hilton Hotel Queen Street Mall Brisbane there email is or ph is 07 3210 6777 fax is 07 32101668 i haven’t got there Adailaide Street phone number yet there phone number and email and webpage address is on the white pages online each shop is one block away a five minute walk if that

  31. KJS says:

    The company I work for uses VodaFone globally, but I got such bad reception at home and on the road that I convinced them to let me try Telstra (I have an iPhone).

    I wasn’t sure if it would may a difference, but…..I used to have to stand at a window at my house and maybe get one bar (usually half or nothing). Now anywhere in the house with Telstra I get all four.

    I’m flabbergasted at the difference. How can it be so? How can VodaFone be so bad? How can Telstra be so good in comparison.

    I didn’t like Telstra like everyone else. Now I do – they probably have a customer for life.

    Miss the visual voice mail very much, though. Telstra needs to up their game on that

  32. Alan Bottomley says:

    I am running iPhone OS version 3.1.3 and also had the problem of the Internet Tethering button disappearing after trying to use it.
    However, I found that what was blocking the new profile from being installed was because I still had an old profile installed (that I used to get tethering working before Telstra officially supported it).
    After removing the old profile the “Tethering” button re-appeared and now I have tethering working!
    (Getting it working for my Windows 7 (64 bit) laptop was however another story).

  33. Thanks Telstra! :) First great thing you have done in some time!

  34. For all of you above who are wondering why you can not find the teathering option in your iPhone even though you have the latest iPhone OS it’s because you need to update your settings before this will be enabled (This isn’t a standad update in most cases) Go to in safari browser (On your iPhone) select your country, then your carrier eg. “Telstra iPhone” and tap to download, once the download has completed simple reboot your phone and plug it into your PC/Laptop via your standard USB cable, then go into your iPhone settings/ general/ network/ and the option to turn on internet tethering should be there…. make sure you have at least iPhone 3.0.0 OS for this to work. Hope this helps.

  35. Kal Jade says:

    I would also like to know when Telstra is going to lift it’s game on the Visual Voicemail situation.
    I used to be with Vodafone, until a Telstra rep. called me and convinced me to switch to Telstra.
    Although the plan is a little more expensive than what I was paying with Vodafone, the Next G network’s speed and coverage improvement was well worth the increase!
    The only downside is of course the loss of VVM, which is a fantastic service, and greatly missed.
    The Voice2Text is indeed also a good service, but why does it have to be one-or-the-other? Why not offer both?

  36. Peter Nomikos says:

    I am confused regarding the way Telstra’s tethering set-up works.

    Can you connect the phone up to your laptop and surf away, with data usage coming from your monthly data allowance?

  37. Ben Hogan says:

    +1 for visual voice mail

  38. Tim Hall says:

    +1 for visual voice mail

    Also remove the $150 iPhone unlock extortion fee, 3, Optus and Vodafone all do it for free, we are on a contract we cant go anywhere without paying it off so why not give us some freedom.

    But keep up the good work telstra, i never thought i would voluntarily sign up for a telstra service in my life, but here i am about to bite the bullet on an IP4 (something else i said id never do)

  39. Paul says:

    A quick survey of the 10 Vodafone subscribers in my office, 9 would move to Telstra if they had Visual Voicemail enabled. Myself included. The 1 detractor wanted more data.

  40. marilyn says:

    Like Peter I would like to make sure about how this works , I just successfuly used tethering with my iphone and laptop for the first time but want to be sure that i am using the data i have paid for on my phone ? can someone from telstra re-assure this is the case . Also as Dave asks is it still free to browse bigpond “greendot” sites on my laptop when i am tethering?

  41. Todd says:

    I’ve been with a bunch of other carriers for the last 5 years and since Telstra has become competitive again in the last 12 months I’ve come back to Telstra for everything – home phone, internet, mobile phone. The service is more solid, and if it’s only a few dollars more, why wouldn’t you rather than dealing with some of these telcos which seem to cut corners?

  42. Dr Spalding says:


    I have recently switched to Telstra from Vodafone.

    I want to say I am very happy so far with the improved network and phone browsing/3G.

    However, I really miss the Visual Voicemail… When is Telstra going to jump on board and get Visual Voicemail

    Then the service would be perfect

  43. Angus says:

    My contract is up soon and I would switch to Telstra if only they would implement VISUAL VOICEMAIL.

  44. AMy says:

    I am trying to tether my iPhone but don’t seem to have that option on the handset. I am on version 4.3. Thanks for any advice

  45. sammy says:

    i just bought an iphone 4 on a plan today but i cant access the internet unless im connected to a wi-fi. how do i fix this?

  46. jim says:

    Hi there – I have just switched from Optus to Telstra and have used my iphone as a modem tethered to my laptop with both providers. I switched to Telstra because the coverage is much better.
    My question is, when tethering my iphone with Telstra it seems as though it us using way more of my data allowance than it did with Optus. I’m not sure yet though whether it is the case – need to keep monitoring. Does anyone know if this is the case and why? Thanks.

    • Tom says:

      Hi Jim,

      From what I understand, you will almost always use more data with the iPhone tethered to your laptop as a wireless modem because your laptop by default will always load the desktop versions of web sites. For example, the desktop site is a different format to the facebook mobile site The mobile sites are formatted to run faster and with less downloads on hand held devices.

      Not sure why it would be different between Optus and Telstra though?

  47. Sean says:

    Hi – I went from optus to telstra and my plan is cheaper on telstra with the iphone and i got a byo plan and i brought the iphone at the apple online store so if i go overseas i can get a local phone number. I ported my optus modem number over to telstra and the number is a silver number but i had to get a month to month voice plan with 2 gb of data to use on a ipad 3g and it is the easyest way to use the ipad without a abn number and trying to work out how to top up a prepaid and i don’t like prepaid to use on any network and it is cheaper to use postpaid over prepaid but alot of poeple that use there mobile phone as there only phone would be better off using postpaid and the reason i know this is someone i know this is that they had to topup alot more in a month then my $30 a month to month plan i’m on with calls and text messages but prepaid are great for school kidds so they have security and i have herd that telstra can top up like $20 a month from the landline account or for overseas uni students or tourests that want a local mobile number in Australia

  48. Marg Cox says:

    I’m still confused about tethering with iphone 3gs and Telstra Datapack. Is the information and software update from the benm site still current? And does it still work ok?

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