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Optus blocks Android App Store -- Does Exetel's HSPA?

Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:07 pm
by tomdavies
Does this http://apcmag.com/optus-deliberately-bl ... d-apps.htm apply to Android phones using Exetel's resold Optus HSPA?

Re: Optus blocks Android App Store -- Does Exetel's HSPA?

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:40 am
by cubic
Just based on reading the article, it appears to be a limitation introduced in the Optus firmware. If so, to avoid the problem you could either choose not to buy your phone from Optus or (since Android is open-source) you should always be free to install your own clean version of the operating system.

Re: Optus blocks Android App Store -- Does Exetel's HSPA?

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:08 pm
by tin
I got the impression it was firmware related too... Replacing the firmware is reported to fix it, so it can't be network related. On the other hand, apparently you can use WiFi to install them *IF* you use a non-Optus SIM card while doing it, which is really odd.

Re: Optus blocks Android App Store -- Does Exetel's HSPA?

Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:34 pm
by vicbitter
I'm using an Android HTC Hero with the Exetel HSPA Sim and paid apps are still blocked by Optus. The reason they did this was so they could have their own Optus store, which incidently is not accessible from this phone .. http://www.optus.com.au/appstore

The only workaround is to 'root' (jailbreak) your phone and install an app which spoof's the carrier settings to another one other than Optus (and voiding your warranty while you're at it), or to insert another carrier's SIM everytime you wish to purchase or update an app. (which means shutting down the Hero, bit of a pain).

I bought this phone outright. I'm paying for data. Is there something in the wholesale agreement which allows Optus to do this to Exetel customers? I thought Exetel was more than just a 'reseller' of Optus which may lump us under Optus's terms and conditions...

Re: Optus blocks Android App Store -- Does Exetel's HSPA?

Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:57 pm
by tomdavies
@vicbitter -- thanks for the confirmation.

I wonder if exetel can fix this -- perhaps they just don't know about the issue, and blocking is the 'default' setting... ?

Re: Optus blocks Android App Store -- Does Exetel's HSPA?

Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:35 pm
by tin
Where was the Hero obtained, vicbitter? Did you buy it outright from a non-Optus source, or was it bought via Optus in some way (or with an Optus ROM)?

Edit: I'm still unsure where Optus would be blocking this since the IP addresses we get on Exetel are allocated by APNIC to Exetel, not Optus. Doesn't that mean the data is routed out of Exetel and thus should be unmolested by Optus?

Re: Optus blocks Android App Store -- Does Exetel's HSPA?

Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:01 pm
by vicbitter
Purchased from Harvey Norman. Unlocked. Optus does not supply the device, nor do any other Australian carriers currently. It comes with the standard international ROM. There is currently no such thing as an Optus ROM..

Paid apps are blocked by the 'carrier' settings. If you 'root' your phone, thus gaining superuser access, you can change this setting either with the MarketEnabler app, or directly from the Unix command prompt. This only lasts till next reboot:

setprop gsm.sim.operator.numeric 50501

50501=Telstra, 50502=Optus

I guess Optus only have the one code, therefore it is block none or block all.

I am no technical guru, but I assume the check of the carrier is done by the market program or online at Google itself. My guess is Optus have required Google to do this. But once again, I am not sure.

I have 'rooted' my phone and therefore potentially rooted my warranty. I still can't see how they are allowed to do this to their resellers and wholesale customers though.

Re: Optus blocks Android App Store -- Does Exetel's HSPA?

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:19 am
by cubic
vicbitter wrote:I still can't see how they are allowed to do this to their resellers and wholesale customers though.
How is this anything to do with the network at all? Everything points to it being something in the Optus firmware that checks the property you've set before allowing access.

Re: Optus blocks Android App Store -- Does Exetel's HSPA?

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:21 pm
by vicbitter
cubic wrote:
vicbitter wrote:I still can't see how they are allowed to do this to their resellers and wholesale customers though.
How is this anything to do with the network at all? Everything points to it being something in the Optus firmware that checks the property you've set before allowing access.
It points to some agreement or disagreement between Optus and Google. Why there has to be an agreement in the first place? I have no idea. To me a TCP or UDP packet is a TCP or UDP packet, there should be no differentiation. Optus have either asked Google to block it, or some other paperwork hasn't been signed. Optus opened their own app marketplace soon after, hmmmm, coincidence?. I can't access this with my HTC Hero, and of course we don't have Zoo either.

Honestly, I have to be the cynic and believe that Optus are asking for it to be blocked because of their marketplace, and for it to be working for all other carriers including Vodafone (sell Android phones), 3 and Tel$tra. Tel$tra wouldn't touch Android with a bargepole and they don't have issues.

It's a pretty short thread cubic, and my post was previous. Did you miss the few couple of lines of my post which said THERE IS NO OPTUS FIRMWARE!?

I have an associate who bought a Malaysian Hero, flashed with the UK (international) firmware, puts in an Optus SIM, and NO PAID APPS!

Cheers,
VB

Re: Optus blocks Android App Store -- Does Exetel's HSPA?

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:57 pm
by tones
If you have root on your android phone you can use http://code.google.com/p/market-enabler/ to get access to the paid apps.

Haven't tried it myself as the apps I have wanted so far are free.

Re: Optus blocks Android App Store -- Does Exetel's HSPA?

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:45 pm
by cubic
vicbitter wrote:Did you miss the few couple of lines of my post which said THERE IS NO OPTUS FIRMWARE!?
Yes. Ok, so it's a limitation in the standard international rom. The point remains: if a single setting change, available once you have root, can enable this, then it is a limitation of the firmware, not the network.

Re: Optus blocks Android App Store -- Does Exetel's HSPA?

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:52 pm
by vicbitter
It is a limitation of the Optus information encoded onto the SIM, exacerbated by the information I provided previously.

Re: Optus blocks Android App Store -- Does Exetel's HSPA?

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:56 am
by noogabooga
GOOD NEWS

as of this morning I am able to access paid apps in the android marketplace on my Hero w/ exetel

anyone else can confirm this??

Re: Optus blocks Android App Store -- Does Exetel's HSPA?

Posted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:46 am
by vicbitter
Confirmed. About friggin' time! No sim shufflin' or "market enabler"..

Re: Optus blocks Android App Store -- Does Exetel's HSPA?

Posted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:00 pm
by jylan
Just wanted to let everyone know that vicbitter is right, Optus prevented access to paid apps through their SIM cards, and yes, Optus announced last week that they had enabled access to paid apps in the Andoid Marketplace: http://twitter.com/Optus/status/11062812547.