That's a great point raised by @paulkearnsmusic that I hadn't thought about before: if you use a SIM in your tablet, rather than a phone, then the always-on goodybag isn't always-on, or unlimited. "No tethering" actually means that you can't use your tablet after 6GB, so the always-on goodybag is a 6GB goodybag, period, in that situation. Labelling a goodybag as "always-on" when it's being used in a tablet is misleading.
It's all fine and good to suggest using a landline - which I do when I'm home.
But we are lucky enough to own an American RV ( one of the big ones) and we spend a LOT of time living in that - so we don't have access to our landline much of the time.
On our "home" campsite, there is an unlimited WiFi network available but, when people switch on their smart TVs, ( fitted as standard in some RVs) then the network speed drops down to half a megabyte)/sec and constantly drops out.
This only leaves us with mobile networks and, if I want to download a film, there goes one gigabyte of it.
Even the traffic control after the first 6 gig would be OK for me because (because of medication I have to take) I'm always up my at 4am - so I could download a couple of films or something of the BBC I've missed.
But, because giffgaff treat my combined phone and tablet as effectively being "tethered" to itself, I can't use the always on feature. Just to make life even more difficult, I DO have an ordinary phone ( which I could use) but the phone can't get 4g and the 3g signal here is virtually non existent.
I don't accept the fact that this would somehow "overload" the network - the amount of traffic generated by our financial sector is truly colossal but even that hardly scratches the surface of the bandwidth available - so there is plenty of capacity. It costs no more to transmit 1 megabyte or 100 gigabytes. The towers, microwave repeaters and landline (or glass fibre) cables don't "wear out" by putting too much data down them. It's the infrastructure that costs the money and you would imagine that, once they've spent all that money, they would try and get the maximum use out of it. They've worked this out with landlines and there are some daft offers available these days - and much of this data gets transmitted down the same lines as cellular data.
Making arbitrary "rulings" that a combined phone and tablet equals tethering makes no sense whatsoever and even excluding dongles from the "always on" bundles seems wrong to me.
I'm well aware that, companies have to make a profit and that, as yet, cellular coverage is not universal but someone soon is going to "break from the pack" and offer an always on, unrestricted mobile data package.
Wouldn't it be great if Giffgaff, the network"run by us" was the first one to do it?
If they offered an always on, unrestricted data package that allowed tethering at around £25 a month I think they would make a fortune.
Naturally, this all depends on the agreement that they currently have with O2 - which may preclude this.
I realise that I've strayed somewhat from my original point of " why is a combined phone and tablet be classified as tethering and why does tethering have to stop at 6 gigabytes" but surely, these questions all run on from that original point?
If the answer to any of these questions is " because Giffgaff say so" then it would appear that this is NOT the network run by us.
So Giffgaff, can we have an unlimited 4g bundle that can be tethered?
If we can't - then why not - and why are combined tablet phones classified as tethered?
I was aware of that yes but, despite that, when I tried to use mine ( which was able to make and receive calls out of the box) I was told that I was tethering and instructed to stop - or my account would be stopped.
I appealed against that, explaining what you mention but it made no difference. I don't think that, at their end, they are unable to differentiate between a phablet and a dongle - I don't know.
So I've already been down that particular route.
Thanks for the heads up anyway.