Singtel iPhone 3.0 allows tethering. Starhub and M1 needs a bit of workaround

iPhone 3.0 firmware is out yesterday night (Singapore time). If you are a iPhone user, do upgrade to the new firmware soon. There are lots of great new features on the new 3.0 firmware. Things like cut/copy/paste, Spotlight Search, MMS, landscape, Stereo Bluetooth and internet tethering. FINALLY.
Speaking of internet tethering, you might want to note that Singtel allows it’s iPhone users to use their iPhone for tethering. Tethering is not currently offered in the U.S. and some other countries. Lucky for us in Singapore, Singtel allows all iPhone 3.0 users to use internet tethering. After you have upgraded to 3.0, go to Settings/General/Network/Internet Tethering and turn internet tethering on. You may choose to use internet tethering via bluetooth or USB cable. But judging by iPhone battery life, I would suggest you use USB cable whenever possible or see your iPhone battery drain at hyper speed.
But here is the problem. If you are using a iPhone but on Starhub or M1 line, you will not be able to use Internet Tethering. I tried using a Starhub SIM Card on my iPhone and when I plug the phone to my netbook, I discovered that the Tethering option disappears. I guess the same will happen for M1 iPhone users.
I guess the iPhone will check with Apple to see if the operator is allowed to use the Internet Tethering option. Since Starhub and M1 doesn’t carry iPhone, they are most likely not inside Apple’s approved list. Which explains why the Tethering option disappear after I slot in a Starhub SIM card. But someone posted a workaround to get iPhone Tethering on all operator. Use it at your own risk.
And one more thing to note, even though you turn on Internet Tethering, note that data charges still applies. It’s easier for you to exceed your 500MB/1GB/2GB free data usage when you are using Internet Tethering. So watch your usage.
Update: For the uninitiated, Internet Tethering means using your phone as a 3G modem to access internet. This is especially useful if there is no WIFI network around you and you don’t have a 3G modem. But data charges still applies as per normal since it is using your 3G data to access internet. PS: This feature has been many other phones since long long time ago. If I not wrong, my old trusty SE K800i can do Internet Tethering.
Update 2: Tethering for Starhub and M1 doesn’t work on firmware 3.1. So far, I haven’t found any workaround. BUT not to worry. Starhub and M1 will be carrying iPhone soon. Which means Apple will allow the 2 telco’s SIM card to use tethering soon.
Update 3: M1 and Starhub users can use internet tethering now without any jailbreaking/workaround. Just follow the steps above.


  1. Tethering via bluetooth seems to be problem with late ’08 to early ’09 MB and MBPs as the iPhone does not pair with them. USB Tethering is excellent though.

  2. Thanks dk! Useful info for me esp since I haven’t upgraded my OS yet! Can’t wait for the faster speeds and copy/ paste function, though what i really really want is sms forwarding.
    Btw, had no idea about the Internet tethering, so your update with the explanation was really useful.
    Lastly, are you planning to get the iPhone 3Gs?

  3. Ssumin: Yeah, I got several people asking me what is tethering after I posted this blog entry. I forgot that Tethering is in geekish. πŸ˜›
    iPhone 3Gs? Most likely not. Unless I win it in lucky draw or something. Haha. There isn’t enough improvements for me to consider ditching my iPhone 3G for iPhone 3Gs. I think it is more targeted at iPhone 1st Gen users and also non iPhone users.

  4. Thanks for the very helpful information!
    Do you know if one can tether, make voice calls and send/receive SMSs all at the same time? If yes, I can just get an unlimited data plan and ditch the Internet subscription at my home altogether!

  5. thecloud: Yes, you can still receive/make calls and sms when tethering. BUT I don’t think you want to live on a 3G internet access at home. Its too slow already, especially when indoors.

  6. Since I upgraded to 3.0 on 18 June, i got problem viewing CNA apps news and OCBC mobile banking app and initially tethering did not work. Later it did. However on 20 June, I bought another 3G iphone from Singtel for my family. With 3.0 this new iphone has none of the problems I experienced with my 1st iphone. Yesterday (Monday 22 June) I tried resetting and restoring (up to 3 times) and CNA news got problem. Then this afternoon I tried tethering but the option has disappeared. I restored my iphone again and still the tethering option not there. I restored the second time and this time restored as a new iphone, the option appeared. I was so happy and i went to restore back the data I backup today and now the option disappeared again. I am a loyal Singtel Mobile subscriber. I saw users in Philiphines having this missing tethering option too.

  7. Paul: Some of the apps have compatibility issues with the new iPhone 3.0 firmware. Do check the Apps Store for updates.
    As for the tethering option, by right it shouldn’t disappear as long as you are using Singtel SIM card. You might want to give Singtel a call to check if they know what is happening.

  8. Hi, DK. Thanks for responding. I did not go back to Singtel because when I went to the Hello shop for a problem encountered when sending group SMS after 3.0 Upgrade, I was told to wait for a fix from Apple soon. Whenever I send a SMS to a few friends at the same time, it will turn automatically turned into group MMS sent. I was much poorer on 19 June after unknowingly sent out 70 MMS. I learnt by myself from the Apple website that I can disable the MMS function and I avoided sending out Mass MMS.
    A friend of mine pointed me to this URL and after installing, I got the Internet tethering option back and working too.

  9. Hi, upgraded to the OS 3.0 on my 2G & 3G..
    But couldnt find the MMS feature anywhere on the phone for both M1 & Starhub.. Is there anyway to activate it/workarounds available?? would be great if i can get the MMS working. Thanks.

  10. I posted the “solution” to my missing Internet tethering problem on June 24th. After getting it to work, I only found out that my MMS setting was totally erased by the “installation”. I keyed them back in manually. A few minutes ago, I tried to use “Internet tethering”, the option just vanished again when I turned it on.
    Seems like I have to live with it for a while. The thing that I am so envious of my wife is her iphone 3G 16Gb is totally new as of from 20 June and with 3.0 update on the same night, she has no problem with Channel News Asia and OCBC apps or Internet tethering i.e. all the things I am encountering problems with.

  11. If u using M1 sim card on iphone 3G . REMEMBER don’t upgrade to Ver.3 . coz some time incoming call can’t call in . :C

  12. duncanchung: Was there such an issue with 3.0 firmware? Didn’t know that.
    But I heard a new firmware is coming soon.

  13. On July 11th bought two iPhones 3Gs and found one of them strangely didn’t display the tiny circle indicator at the top next to SINGTEL. When I enabled 3G, it didn’t show either. Only the usual fan-like indicator is there when I enabled wifi. I got to know via 1626 that although I am on iflexivalue plan, the GPRS service was not turned on for that mobile line. Life then onwards with that iPhone became better. The other iPhone however behaved strangely. Intermittently, My friends couldn’t hear me when I speak to them during a call. I went to Com Centre and was told I have software corruption. The only solution was to restore the iPhone to factory default but not to restore any backup data. Fearing that I would lost all my SMS I ignored those irritating people at counters 25 to 27 and life has also become better with this iPhone ever since. Yes, DK, thanks for highlighting my previous iPhone problems were due to compatibilities issues of Apps. Group MMS sending issue was all resolved in an update from Apple. Lastly, is there really software corruption for iPhone? Are those ST counter people trying to buy time and avoid replacing a faulty iPhone?

  14. Hi dk,
    Were u still able to use your wifi after enabling tethering on the iphone?
    My wifi died – it can detect but not connect. My ipod touch running beside it can connect without issue. πŸ™
    Looking forward to 3.1!

  15. John: I don’t have any problems with connecting to WIFI. I do heard of some cases where the tethering options went missing though.
    Maybe you might want to send it for repair.

  16. Hi DC,
    Your suggestion to reset the network settings worked for me. The internet tethering option was not there with my new iphone.

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