American mobile carriers have collaborated with Google to block so-called tethering applications from the Android marketplace on the basis that they circumvent surcharges the firms place upon tethering functionality.
The Android Marketplace has the capability to block certain applications based on the type of device but this is thought to be the first time tethering applications have come under attack since Google initially removed some tethering applications from the marketplace in 2009.
At the time Google drew attention to distribution agreements with device manufacturers and mobile carriers in order to place the Marketplace on specific handsets. The Android developer said the agreements "may require the involuntary removal of Products in violation of the Device manufacturer’s or Authorized Carrier’s terms of service."
Chris Ziegler on thisismynext.com suggested that Google’s move ran counter to previous policy statements as well as the firm’s $4.6 billion bid for US wireless spectrum which was designed to trigger ‘open applications’ and ‘open handsets’ conditions.
Data surcharging 3G/4G data on notebooks when tethered to mobile phones is an common practice worldwide. Built-in tethering features in smartphones are designed to be trackable by the network operators.