Activate tethering on Softbank iPhone

A friend of mine, @kuriburi, just sent me this to publish for him, so here you go:

So it was the news of the day: Someone managed to activate tethering on an AT&T iPhone 3G by means of a “carrier support file”, a.k.a. “ipcc”. Here in Japan, the story was a bit more tricky : Softbank declared that they would not support tethering on their network and had no plans to do so in the future either.


Nice! So, with those brand new Macbook Pro without any pc express card slot, how are we supposed to use Softbank’s data cards? This bothered me to no end thus I went on a search for a Softbank carrier support file that I could modify somehow. I stumbled onto this very interesting post on a Japanese blog that talked about the same thing, but with a beta version of the iPhone OS 3.0.

OK, well, doesn’t hurt to try with the official release, right?

Now I need to get my hands on that damn file. Turns out, it was right on my hard drive at work since August 2008. So I went to work and modified the file (which incidentally is just a bundle in a zip archive with a special extension) and tried to update my iPhone with it. The steps are simple :

  1. in the Terminal, execute defaults write carrier-testing -bool TRUE
    on windows, execute C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe /setPrefInt carrier-testing 1 in a DOS window
  2. plug your iPhone to your computer via the USB cable
  3. in iTunes, display the summary page of your iPhone
  4. while pressing the “alt” (option) key, click on the “check for update” button
  5. you will be presented with a finder window. Locate the Softbank_jp.ipcc file, select it
  6. iTunes will now update your iPhone with the modified carrier settings
  7. Once finished, unplug the iPhone, go see into Settings>General>Network, and voilà! screenshot

Oh, before I forget, if Apple or Softbank issues an update through iTunes, wait a bit before updating… you never know…

Update: I updated the link with the latest file from @kuriburi that activates both tethering and MMS. よろしく!

Update: This IPCC file does not work with 3.1 update. If you value your tethering, do not upgrade yet.

377 thoughts on “Activate tethering on Softbank iPhone”

  1. Tethering is safe. Geez, so much needless worrying…/,._/

    Just don’t pop up on the radar and you’ll be fine. This has already been said many, many times. In other words, download a movie at your own risk, lol.

    It’s very easy if you don’t want to pay for MyWi. Use Cydia and add a source. You should know what this source is. If you don’t, you must use your noobish skills to find it.

    Once that’s in, you’ll have access to the cracked version of MyWi.

    Job done.

    Now quit worrying!

  2. Blitz, what the hell were you doing in that 2 hours?

    d/L’ing pr0n? Dude, use tethering for lite web surfing only – nothing should be d/l’ed under any tether.

    Simple as that.

    They’ll pwn ur ass if they find you as they may have already done.

    U sure its not a packet charge? The bill is 200k?

  3. thats just plain not true. i use my iphone/tethering like its my home network connection and i’ve yet to see any bill over max-packet

  4. So, did anyone figure out how to make this work with 3.1.4? My iPhone is jailbroken and updated with pwnagetool, and I don’t think I can go back to 3.0 to get this tethering to work…onegai-shimasu

  5. Hi guys, well, I did it! I made the jump to jailbreak! Nottoohairy (and others!), here’s how I almost effortlessly got tethering back.

    #1 = I upgraded from 3.0.1, w/tethering turned on, to 3.1.2 in iTunes on my MacBook. The tethering, of course, disappeared. No surprises there.

    #2 = I followed the simple instructions on “The iPhone blog” about jailbreaking the iPhone 3G & 3GS with “blackra1n.”

    #3 = At the end of those instructions, I chose to install Cydia. Rock also is available.

    #4 = At this point, my iPhone had been jailbroken and with it, I logged onto Cydia, found the program “MyWi” and installed it. Rock was also installed at the same time.

    #5 = I opened Rock and found, on the main screen, the option “MyWi – Tether 3.1” and clicked on that.

    #6 = I then made a Rock I.D. and chose to pay for MyWi. For the paltry sum of $9.99 (918.73 yen at today’s exchange rate!!!), I stuck a crowbar in my wallet and gladly paid for this excellent little program!

    #7 = Then, with the program now registered, I opened up MyWi on my iPhone 3G and turned on “USB and Bluetooth” tethering at the bottom of the screen.

    #8 = Lastly, I closed the program, opened Settings>General>Network> and there it was – “Internet Tethering!” I clicked it, thus turning it on – and I was done!!

    I’m serious, the whole process, from beginning to end, took me less than 30 minutes! Like so many others across the Net, I highly recommend this way of doing it!
    Enjoy your jailbroken and tethered iPhone! ;-)

  6. that method only works until cydia or rockapp updates itself. then it sees that your trial of mywi has expired and removes the option in the network menu. does anyone read what i write here?

    i am an iphone developer. i do know what i am talking about

  7. Hi brian, since I stated that I paid the fee, surely my copy is registered and is now out of the trial mode and into the paid mode.

  8. That’s great. I’m glad it worked for you too. Well worth the bit of time and money it takes, IMHO. ;-)

  9. Dondocfrank, have you seen any stability issues with your iPhone after jailbreaking? That’s the one thing holding me back from following your instructions!

    I had to upgrade to 3.12 and lost tethering last month… I’m still going through withdrawels! Haha. Please let me know how your phone is running. Also, why did you chose BlackRain over the PhonageTool? Thanks!

  10. Hi AJ, I have found that my iPhone is a bit more stable and responsive than before. I was having some slight problems with mail and now they’re straightened out. Now, that might be more related to upgrading to 3.1.2, but anyway, it’s doing really well right now. Sorry to say, I didn’t do any “comparison shopping” before choosing “blackra1n.” I actually chose it for it’s ease of application. Now that I’ve read some reviews about both, I discovered there are problems after using “blacra1n” with then unlocking the iPhone to use with other carriers. I have no desire to do that, so I feel I’m quite fine the way I’ve done it. Also, Geohot has “blacksn0w” for those that want to go on ahead and unlock the jailbroken iPhone. If it’s ever necessary, maybe I’ll go that direction, but right now, I don’t need it.

  11. there is no jailbreak that will make your phone faster or more stable. by very definition jailbreaking increases your chances of bricking your iphone. i and many others like me have had to unbrick our iphones by using the DFU mode.

    no jailbreak makes your iphone “more stable and responsive” thats just wishful thinking.

    there are also significant differences between blackra1n and pwnagetool. for starters, pwnage is only for mac.
    second, blackra1n is a TETHERED JAILBREAK which means if your battery dies, or you need to restart your phone, you have to RERUN BLACKRA1N!! or else you will lose the jailbreak and you’ll now have a nice bricked iphone.

    pwnagetool is an untethered jailbreak, which means you can restart all you want. the downside is that its a little more difficult to pull off,requires a mac, and you have to reflash with a custom, pwned firmware. which means you lose everything on there and you have to start over.

    stop spreading misinformation, frank. if you dont know, just say it. you are going to cause people a lot of problems that could otherwise be avoided.

  12. Hey Brian,
    Doesn’t the Tethered Jailbreak on blackra1n only apply to the iPhone 3GS with the updated bootrom? Just want to confirm…

  13. it is dependent upon your bootroom, absolutely. but this does not apply to just the 3GS, but the ipod touches as well.

    im just erroring on the side of caution, because its painfully apparent that

    1.) most people on here do not know what they are doing
    2.) i only know one person who has a non-3GS iphone in japan.

    so i am making the assumption that everyone on here is a retard with a 3GS. i dont think im too far from the truth

  14. Good morning Brian and AJ, my sincerest apologies for intruding an unwanted opinion. I was only speaking of what I have experienced so far with my iPhone 3G here in Japan. In my personal experience only, I’ve had no problems following the advice mentioned on the iPhone Blog I mentioned above. I have no knowledge of future events or future ramifications of using the program blackra1n and what might happen if my battery dies. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. All I can confirm, without hesitation, is that the method I used, worked well for me. I wish you all much luck with your iPhones and iPods. May you fully enjoy them always. Good bye. (^v^)w

  15. what you postulated is not an opinion, but fact. facts can be incorrect as well. and if you took the time to actually read the comments in chronological order, i outlined exactly what you mentioned, then updated with my findings.

    personal experience is anecdotal evidence at very best, and has no place in the realm of computers and technology. your miss information can cause a lot of harm to good people just trying to activate tethering. hacking portable electronics is not an easy endeavor, so being informed of all angles is paramount to a successful hack operation.

    when you get to the bridge of a bricked iphone, youll see that i have ALREADY posted information on how to get around it.

    in summary, read before you leap. and shut up when you dont know what you are talking about.

  16. In dondocfrank’s defense, blackra1n worked just as he said it would! It’s true, anyone about to jailbreak their phone, should do some research before doing so. In my opinion, that doesn’t, has no one to blame but themselves!

    Anyways, enough with the negativity! I’ve got tethering again!! Thanks to everyone on this comment thread for the support and feedback. Can’t believe I waited to long to Jailbreak!

  17. Hi Brian, Im about to move house and need to decide whether to t put in a phone line and internet service provider. I’m happy enough with the download speed of my tethered iphone so I’m just wondering whether to just stick with the the iphone on a permanent basis. How long (how many months) have you been using your tethering for and what kind of size things do you download (I dont mean to be nosey, I jst want to get an idea of how much you use it – being a dolt I cant work out this packet system ((which I guess is why they use it)) ).


  18. Hi, I think I’ve done everything to install Tethering on my iphone but can’t seem to get it working.
    I get to Network, click on “Set Up Internet Tethering” and get a message to contact Softbank.
    What am I doing wrong? Can someone please give me some advice?

  19. Nevermind my last comment. I guess I just needed a night to sleep on it. Figured it out. Yes!

  20. Has there still never been any news of people getting charged extra by Softbank for tethering? Or does everyone’s packets used through tethering just come out of your 割引パケット定額フル対象通信分 every month?

    Also, how much are everyone’s amounts for this packet usage every month? Before I started tethering, I was racking up over 150,000yen (15万) some months just on packet usage on the iphone. Now that I tether to check mail and other light tasks everyday, it has doubled to almost 300,000 (30万).

  21. So which way works best I have been reading like 5 different ways…. could someone please make a sep by step guide …

  22. Ytse, yes Id like to understand this better too. My packet charge last month was something like 250,000 yen (before they minussed it out on the next line of the bill). This month it will be waaaaayyyyy more as I discovered video straming over 3g !!!!

    I think its all a bit of a con actually as I bought my wife an iphone too which she has hardly used at all and yet she still did the maximum packets and had to pay 6,000 yen whereas I&m on all the time and only pay 6,000 yen. I recon they are talking lies when they say the minimum charge is just 1,000 yen – no one could use the internet less than what my wife did.

    However, for those of us with Jailbroken iphones and tethering 6,000 yen is a very good deal indeed !!! :)

    An interesting point regarding the video streaming is that it is a legal app from Apple that streams over 3g – Im talking thousands and thousands of megabites over the course of a week – this would SEEM to point to the fact that downloading big files through tethering should not raise any red flags as the plan I have can legally using AirVideo download as many gigabites over 3g as I want.

    Or maybe it is just wishful thinking on my part…..

  23. And in case anyone is interested I just did a speed test between PDAnet Mywi and my own isp – people seem to be wondering which was best.

    download with PDanet was 3.2mbps upload .32

    with Mywi download 3.3mbps upload .33

    my isp Asahinet download 16.14mbps upload 18.10

  24. Finally got the tethering working thanks to Sn00bisnakcks comments :
    Easy Tethering for 3.1.2
    You can tether 3.1.2. Today I upgraded to 3.1.2 with iTunes and used Blackra1n RC3 to jailbreak (Win7).
    – After that use cydia and search for
    – Add the Repo
    – Search for tethering 3g – 3.12 (or 3gs)
    – Install and Reboot
    – Then install carrier settings
    – Got the info from here

    The good thing is I can remove the profile and re install whenever I want

  25. Question? does tethering have different charge from the Unlimited Packet Plan softbank offer.or is it cover with that plan?

    hope some one can make this clear for me before i start to abuse using MYWI for making my iphone a Hotspot…thank you in advance…

  26. first off there is no plan for tethering from softbank….. u r just using a modified mobile config file….. and dont abuse it either ! otherwise softbank will fuck u right up the ass with no vaseline….. dont be dumb and use it as a home network….. I only use mine when I need it… when Im not using I remove the mobile config file and when I need it since its my email attachments I just install it….

  27. iphoneuser, im not sure you are right there. There seems to be some evidence that it doesnt matter how mumany packets you use or not. Speaking for myself I used a legal app called Air Video to stream many many gigabites of videos from my house to my places of work so the movement of packets when tethering (in my case) even if it runs into a gigabite or 2 is insignificant in relation to the amount of packets I stream when showing videos at university.

    You still might be right, I agree, but anecdotal evidence so far would seem to say that it is ok – I haven’t heard of a single iphone user being billed over his plan limit.

    Just my tuppence,

  28. Hi iphoneuser, im not sure you are right there. There seems to be some evidence that it doesnt matter how mumany packets you use or not. Speaking for myself I used a legal app called Air Video to stream many many gigabites of videos from my house to my places of work so the movement of packets when tethering (in my case) even if it runs into a gigabite or 2 is insignificant in relation to the amount of packets I stream when showing videos at university.

    You still might be right, I agree, but anecdotal evidence so far would seem to say that it is ok – I haven’t heard of a single iphone user being billed over his plan limit.

    Just my tuppence,

  29. @iphoneuser
    Unlimited Packet Plan on softbank….<<–this cover the packets used browsing the net,emails…
    for tethering i think packets are also used to transmit, to share network?i want to know if that packets used will be cover under that plan?

    as we all know tethering is not available for softbank "legally",we are all using different "apps/exploit"to make tethering possible,just want to make sure that i wont be charge extra for using myWi…

  30. I admit Im still a little uneasy about it myself. Can anyone who has been using tethering (in a big way)for a few months chime in and give us their experiences?

    Any first-hand stories?

  31. just use it wisely…… so far nobody has been charged…… wether u r surfing the internet or tethering as far as Im concerned softbank cant tell the difference, the onl way they can telll is if u download tremendous amounts of thigns at once like torrents. other than that if u want to be safe do like me and only install it when u need it…. when ur not tethrering remove the mobile config file/.

  32. @ wasted like I said as far as softbank is concerned when ur tethering …. its telling softbank networks that its ur iphone doing the surfing……..
    Just use it wisely…. dont abuse it and u will be fine !

  33. i abused the bejesus out of my phone, torrenting, streaming videos, skype calls via 3G instead of wifi (with the hack from rock) i’ve never been charged. fuck softbank and their nazi policies. if im paying for unlimited internet at max packets to my phone, then im going to use all 3mbps 24 hours a day 7 days a week and i refuse to pay a penny more than what they advertise. i have yet to pay a bill over max.

  34. @iphoneuser
    thanks for the tips will certainly do,atleast now i know that i may be able to use tethering without being charge so much by softbank…..

  35. Hi y’all,

    I’ve been using jailbroken iphone and watching quality youtube videos, tethering my home network and my monthly use tops at 3,000,000 yen and no problems at all.

  36. Holy hell 3,000,000 yen?! And I thought I was using a lot with my packet usage at around 300,000 yen.
    Anyone else care to share their actual packet usage with us? Might help give everyone an idea of how much we’re all using.

  37. I use tethering only when I need it… on my macbook… I have the mobile config file saved to my email so when Im not using tethering I uninstall it…. My monthly fees are about 150,000 which is not bad at all ! but once the iPad comes out I will use it more frequently, my plan is instead of buying a 3G ipad for 70,000 which is what I assume the 3G 16GB will cost I’d rather buy me a 32GB wifi only iPad and get internet from my iPhone. No way in hell I will pay for 2 plans !

  38. Not convinced that the iPad will have the correct Bluetooth stack or USB software to allow tethering… In the same way your MacBook is unable to read your iPhone as a Bluetooth device (aside from tethering)…

    Not sure that apple is really wanting the iPhone iPad tethering, as you stated it means people paying less!

    I must ask… If you have a MacBook and a 3Gs what is it that makes you want an iPad?

  39. I will tether my iphones connection by using MyWi which turns my iPhone into a wifi hotspot. I have a macbook becasue I do my work on it, the iphone is very handy for checking my emails and staying in touch but cannot do my work on it….. I have 13 inch MBP , but its still a pain in the ass to carry i around….. With the iPad everything will be much more convinient….

  40. hi guys. I think I’ve been charged for tethering. On this month’s bill my sky soaring data consumption was discounted as usual, but I see I have an extra fee called:
    通信料 世界対応ケータイ(パケット(PCダイレクト)) for
    21,664 yen

    I in fact left Japan on December 19 and roamed a bit and then again when I was coming back on January 12 I did a bit of roaming. This seems to be related to roaming as the word sekai is written there and it’s the same I got in my previous bill (in which I paid around 20 thousand yen as well, but back then I was sure it was roaming. The current bill began counting from Jan 17 and by that date I am pretty sure I was in Japan and not overseas doing any roaming).
    I don’t get it now because all my roaming feels should have been paid by now and I am getting this. I have the slight suspicion that tethering is responsible for this.
    Does anyone have any similar experience?
    By the way, I roamed through MyWi, sometimes just wirelessly and other times through usb. Now I decided to begin using PDAnet as I feel it may be safer. I suspect tethering somehow uses a different AP, not the same used by the Iphone when it is navigating on its own.

  41. I don’t think that charge has anything to do with being caught tethering.
    If you log into your account on the Softbank website, go to 各種変更手続き, and then 契約内容照会 (contract details reference), you’ll see that 世界対応ケータイ is just one of many “option services” that probably all iPhone users have. Personally I am enrolled in S!ベーシックパック(i)(I think all iPhone users have this), 世界対応ケータイ (worldwide compatible phone), 請求書オプション 郵送 (option to have bill mailed to me), and 発信者番号通知 (show caller number/caller ID).

    That has got to be your roaming charge for using 3g overseas. Here’s the website for 世界対応ケータイ for more info:

  42. The パケット(PCダイレクト is always charged, its what it’s called I guess… I always see that charge on my online statement, however at the end of the month it’s always discounted. Now My questions is WHY IN THE HELL would you do DATA ROAMING on the iPhone when traveling abroad….. ! Softbank charges roughly about 1,200 yen per 1MB…
    Visiting one website now a days on the iPhone is about 3MB at least ! What were you thinking mate ? ! If your jailbroken and possibly unlocked why not get a SIM card from a local carrier…. and buy their plans… usually when I go back home I buy a $10 SIM card from T-Mobile which gives me 270 free minutes and I Just buy the data plan whihc costs me $1 a day only if I use it… if I don’t use I dont pay….. Man…..And I’m pretty sure yo got your billing cycles mixed up ! follow up with Softbank and let us know ! Good luck !

  43. (世界対応ケータイ)can’t read kanji but i believe this charge is for ROAMING…they charge so much on roaming even if u answer an incoming call when u are not in japan..there will be additional charge for you…

  44. Ytse,

    I just got this months bill – around 4,000,000 yen (before the rebate).

    Next month it will probably increase from that as I discovered a few more streaming apps since then.

    My wife has an iphone too (non-jailbroken)and though she almost never uses hers her charge was actually MORE expensive than mine!!

    Chocks away I recon……..

  45. Also, just for those who want to know, if you don’t read or speak Japanese and cant understand the native GPS machines (I bought one for 70,000 yen and it’s pretty much useless to me) then download Navicat .99cents, it gives you voice directions in English plus a nice detailed map at turns. It’s simple and it works. I use it all the time now.

    70,000 crap/ 99cents works……whodathunkit?

  46. @kazbluesky
    Sorry to say this, cos I was really looking forward to adding a reply thanking you for the tip, but I just tried Navicat and found it to be a pile of awfulness. It can’t find a single thing I’ve searched for, and doesn’t allow pin dropping, so it can lead me nowhere.

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