So you don't mind stealing? Using things that are specifically prohibited in your T&C just because you can doesn't make it right.
The fact that I can
doesn't mean that I do
all the time. And stealing is a very emotive word - it implies physical loss, theft of an item which cannot easily be reproduced. I'd hardly say using a couple of hundred kilobytes of data over an hour with WLM could be sensibly classed as stealing.
When I signed up to T-Mobile I also purchased the Web & Walk addon because it was marketed differently - it wasn't advertised as a tiered service in the fashion it is now. In a nutshell, I was sold Web & Walk as Internet access on the go, regardless of what I want to use through it protocol-wise. If my Pocket PC can technically do something like send/receive IMs (MSN was supplied with the bloody phone!) or Skype, then I'd reasonably expect to be able to do this over the network.
I've always taken an agnostic approach to Internet connectivity, and it really annoys me when unreasonable or unnecessary limits are placed on the abilities of users to utilise the networks for no particular reason, other than making a quick profit... Or because there's an underlying lack of investment which results in chronic shortage of resources, necessitating the artificial limits. I'm fairly confident that with TM, it was a marketing and financial decision more than a technically-influenced one, because from what I can gather, TM has one of the best 3G networks in the UK speed-wise, it's just the coverage that needs improving (which it is).
Of course, with regards to services and protocols over mobile data, I'm talking technically - as I'm sure you've also found, in reality, the saturation, contention and latency involved in the current mobile data networks means that a lot of the things that are 'technically' possible really just aren't viable at the moment
. I hardly ever use Skype (the only times I've ever fired it up were to make an 0870 call, which I can now do over the GSM network thanks to EQO, and send a few skype IMs to someone who I wanted to quickly speak to). I don't use PPC torrent clients and saturate the local cell's uplink, that's just antisocial (and pitifully slow anyway
Let me give you a scenario... About nine months ago, my phone line was taken out of action for a WEEK by BT because an Openreach engineer made an incorrect adjustment to my line at the exchange. I had my phone, and I tethered it to my laptop to use the Internet, to stay in touch, to do essential emailing and read the news, surf the (plaintext) web, things like that... I used probably about 800Mb in 8 days, and for the rest of that month I probably used about 100Mb - if that. All the heavier usage was done between 10pm and 1am each day, when I had my laptop running in the house.
Would you call my (technically prohibited) tethering stealing? I didn't leech ISOs or movies over the connection, I just used it pretty much how I'd use the web on my phone (I also email from my phone anyway and have push email configured, so there's really little difference aside from the end-user UI) - if you were looking at my case, and my account, would you put me on the 'naughty pipe' or bar my flatrate access? Would you class what I did as theft? I have no reason to pay £12.50 for 18 months just in case I need to tether for 8 days, I hardly use the network resources as it is, probably doing 10/15Mb in a day and often not using any data at all. I'm pretty sure they're making money off me most of the time, so why should I feel bad about the occasional technical infringement?
If I went to a T-Mobile store and nicked one of their 3G USIMs to use in my phone, that would be stealing and I would indeed feel very bad about it (and it'd also be futile because after 10 minutes, the SIM would be barred anyway). Because I'm being forced to comply with an otherwise artificial set of restrictions, why should that also be classed as stealing? The functionality was there before, it was then taken away from me after I'd been paying for a particular service for many months, and I think if you thought about it this way you'd see that it's not so unreasonable to expect certain, fairly simple, non-intensive services such as instant messengers to work over a network which really should be amply capable of handling hundreds of users doing so in the same cell at once. I think they've only applied these limits because they're worried about scalability, but they're worrying too much.
Sorry about the long reply, you got me going a bit.