Google Allows Service Providers To Block Some Apps

Several US wireless carriers are preventing users from downloading free wireless tethering apps from Googles’s Android Market.

According to posts on several blogs, carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile are preventing users from downloading Android apps that allow users to turn their smartphone into a wireless modem without paying extra fees to the carriers.

The reports of the ban surfaced on Droid Life, which revealed that a popular Android tethering app Wireless Tether had disappeared from the Android Market when browsing the store on Verizon and AT&T Android devices.

The blog also reported that the app was available on the browser version of the Android Market, meaning that wireless carriers were blocking the app from users. Wireless tethering is quite a money spinners for these carriers as they charge extra fees on top of the existing data plans to people who want wireless tethering.

A Google representative told Fierce Wireless that the company was not blocking the apps, it was simply making them unavailable for download on a request by wireless carriers. The spokesperson also added that if an application violates the terms and conditions of a wireless carrier, the carrier can ask Google to make the app unavailable for download.