iPhone v3.0 OS MMS and tethering 

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A quick post to share with you how I managed to activate tethering (Swisscom) on my iPhone 3G running iPhone OS 3.0 (build 7a341).

The 3.0 update was seemless. I downloaded my developer's copy and updated the iPhone via iTunes by opt-clicking the «Check for Update» button in the iPhone summary pane.

I won't go over all the 3.0 new features as they are extensively covered elsewhere. Nevertheless, the update run smoothly and without incident. All new features were instantly available (incl. MMS), except tethering.

If you read around, you'll notice that MMS and tethering may require changing your operator settings. Prior to iTunes 8.2, you could load new operator settings, called a carrier bundle (e.g. Swisscom_CH.ipcc), that enabled them. The files also allows the carrier to enable and disable features such as MMS, data roaming, and tethering, and set their carrier logo etc. Apple have disabled the adding of non-signed .ipcc files in iTunes 8.2, released alongside iPhone OS 3.0. So it wasn't as simple as loading a new set of settings.

Digging around I discovered on Andrew Harrison's weblog you could enable functions by loding a .mobileconfig file:

The solution: .mobileconfig. These files “which can contain similar information to .ipcc files, but for specific functions “are allowed by Apple, and are executed on the phone, not through iTunes.

The idea is simple: you need to build, or find, the .mobileconfig file for your operator, send it to yourself by email, and open it from the iPhone.

Load .mobileconfig file from mail INstall new settings Go to the Preference > Network pane Turn on tethering from the Network pane Connect and tether surf!

I found a list of .mobileconfig on Benm.AT which amongst others offered the Swisscom settings. Check his site for yours.

  • Base Deutschland
  • E-Plus Deutschland
  • Mobilkom Austria A1
  • O2 Deutschland
  • Orange Austria
  • Orange Austria Tethering
  • Orange Schweiz
  • Sunrise Schweiz
  • Swisscom Schweiz
  • T-Mobile Austria
  • T-Mobile Austria #2
  • T-Mobile DE Complete Tarif
  • T-Mobile Deutschland
  • Tele.ring Austria
  • Vodafone Deutschland

You can connect to your iPhone either by bluetooth or with an USB cable. To connect by bluetooth, turn bluetooth on, pair your iPhone and your Mac, and open the bluetooth menubar icon. You'll find an item with the name of your iPhone with a submenu named «Connect to Network». Select it and your done.

Select Connect to Network from bluetooth menubar

A new network device named «Bluetooth PAN» appeared in my Network Preference pane.

Network preferences

I quickly ran a speed test and obtained 2.8 Mb/s downstream and 0.34 Mb/s upstream which is acceptable. Heck this is the real world…

Speed Test

Checkout the YouTube video «iPhone Firmware 3.0 Beta - Demo of Tethering and MMS (HD)»

I yet have to evaluate the impact on the iPhone's battery life when you tether by bluetooth. Tethering via the USB cable is probably preferable.

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Comments and responses

  • 12 Jun 2009

    Bei mir funktionieren die Lightbox Pop-Ups mit den einzelnen Bildern leider nicht.

  • 12 Jun 2009

    @Christian Leu Oh, sorry about that. What browser (and version) are you using?
    Welche Browser (und Version) verwenden Sie?

  • 14 Jun 2009


    Thanks for the great help… I mailed it and installed. Working great. I would like to know if I can add this info to my blog?

  • 14 Jun 2009

    @andre Glad it worked for you.
    Feel free to add it to your weblog.
    Thanks for asking.

  • 19 Jun 2009


    Somebody knows if Swisscom will account the data used using tethering in our 250 Mb quota or will we have to pay extra bucks?

  • 19 Jun 2009

    @Coup’s This is not clear yet, but I suspect (I hope) your quota will be used prior to billing you extra costs.
    I believe this is what Swisscom does with their WiFi HotSpots. They deduct the used bandwidth from your quota before billing you for the remaining usage.

  • 21 Jun 2009


    thanks for the tip.
    Just to make sure, this will work on a 3G iPhone not jailbroken ?

  • 21 Jun 2009

    @chrisb63 You’re welcome. It works on non jailbroken phones. It is just a new set of settings.

  • I’ve got this running on a 3G using the site you described. I’m finding however that tethered over USB the iPhone does not keep its charge level when using the internet but drains pretty quickly. This makes it of pretty limited use to me.
    Anybody else have this problem or a solution?

  • 23 Jun 2009


    Do we know by now, how is this billed ?

  • 27 Jun 2009

    @chrisb63: yes, Swisscom has published the following:
    Use your iPhone 3G as a modem.
    Thanks to tethering, you will also be able to use your iPhone 3G as a modem for your notebook from 3 July 2009. Billing for data transmission will be based on the inclusive data volume of your surf subscription.
    For frequent users, an additional data option with unlimited data volume**** (use in Switzerland) will be offered for CHF 59.- per month from the beginning of August 2009.
    As of 3 July, you will be able to configure your iPhone 3G for tethering via iTunes free of charge.

    • In order to maintain service quality for all customers, Swisscom will reduce transfer speed if a customer exceeds 10GB in one month or will take other appropriate action. If there are signs of such activity, Swisscom reserves the right to exclude the subscription from normal private usage. Roaming charges are incurred for use abroad.

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