Saturday, December 5, 2015

Enable Cricket Wireless Mobile Hotspot Feature on Nexus 6P

If your like me there are times when I need to use the mobile hotspot feature on my smartphone. Up until about a month ago I had no problem with turning on my mobile hotspot feature on my Android smartphone. So what changed? I recently purchased a new Android smartphone. That new Android smartphone is the Nexus 6P. The phone before that was my Nexus 4. It struck me as odd both phones are Google Nexus phones but only one of them can be used as a mobile hotspot on Cricket Wireless. This problem lead me on a quest to figure out why one works and the other doesn't.

After doing some research online I found that other Cricket Wireless customers with a Google Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X were having problems with activating the mobile hotspot feature on there phones. Now it was until a few months ago that Cricket Wireless officially started to offer mobile hotspot plans for some of there phones. Before that when using my Nexus 4 I could turn on the mobile hotspot feature with no problem. When doing so on my Nexus 6P I would get a "authentication" message and eventually it would fail. When it would fail it would give me another message essentially telling me to contact support for more information. After doing some more research it seems certain mobile carriers are using provisioning checks to see if you're allowed to use mobile hotspot. Essentially checking your mobile plan to see if you have paid for mobile hotspot feature. Now I found articles showing ways to bypass the provisioning checks by rooting your Android phone and editing some files. Rooting Android phones was nothing new to me but I didn't want to because of some possible complications with Android features. The most notable Android feature "Android Pay" and this new talk about qfuse. So what are my options now?

My only option at this point was to add the mobile hotspot feature to my mobile plan so that I could use the feature. The feature is an extra $10 dollars a month which isn't that big a deal but still kind of irks me that I didn't have to pay for it originally with my Nexus 4. So when I logged into my account on Cricket Wireless and tried to add the mobile hotspot feature it wasn't available. At this point I found it strange the option wasn't available. After doing some digging I found this gem of information.

So even though my phones is completely capable of the mobile hotspot feature, it wasn't in the list of allowed devices (above list). This was the reason I couldn't add the mobile hotspot feature to my plan. After discovering this my next step was to just call Cricket Wireless and see if they could add the feature to my plan manually. After being on the phone with support they would not add the feature to my plan. They stressed it had to be one of the phones from the list above. I asked if I could just pay for it once and see if it worked. I didn't care if after pay $10 bucks it didn't work because I could just cancel it on my next billing cycle. They still would not budge. The funny part about all of this they told me I could trade my Nexus 6P in for one of the listed phones above. I laughed at them on the phone and said I don't think so. So now what do I do.......

I really didn't want to switch mobile carriers after all this but it was an option because I'm not in a contract. Also I have been interested in trying out Googles Project Fi service. In stead of switching carriers I just knew there had to be another way of getting mobile hotspot enabled on my mobile plan. So I thought to myself, wonder if I could find a phone from the list above, pop in my sim card and see if the mobile hotspot feature shows up under my account. Luckily I knew of an another individual who had a Cricket Wireless Moto E LTE phone. Which happens to be on the compatible phone list above.

At this point he let me barrow his phone to test my scenario. When I took the sim card out of my Nexus 6P and tried to place it in the Moto E I noticed one small problem. The sim card in my Nexus 6P is a nano sim and the sim card slot in the Moto E is a micro sim card slot. At this point I had to purchase a nano sim to micro sim adapter. I found one on Amazon that worked perfectly. After placing my sim card into the Moto E and turning on the phone it registered to Cricket Wireless and I was ready to use it just like it were my Nexus 6P. I gave the phone a couple of minutes before I logged into my Cricket Wireless account. Once I logged into my Cricket Wireless account I noticed under the section for my phone number, it listed a Moto E as the device I'm using. When I selected "add features" low and behold the "mobile hotspot" feature was listed! I proceeded to add the feature and go through checkout. Now that the feature was purchased it was time to test out the mobile hotspot feature. When I turned on the feature on the Moto E I got a message "authenticating" and a couple seconds after that the mobile hotspot feature turned on. IT'S ALIVE!! Now comes the moment truth. I proceeded to take the sim card out of the Moto E and place it back into my Nexus 6P. I powered up my Nexus 6P, crossed my fingers, went to settings, tapped to turn on the mobile hotspot feature and BOOM!!! IT WORKED!! I'm now able to use my Nexus 6P as a mobile hotspot on Cricket Wireless.

Now it's only been a few days that I have been using the mobile hotspot feature. I will be curious to see if the feature will stick when my next billing cycle comes up. I will post an update when that time comes to give everyone an update. So long story short here is what you do:

1. find a compatible phone in the list above
2. pop your sim card into it
3. go on Crickets website, under your account, then add the hotspot feature.
4. pop your sim card back into the phone you want to use and that's it!

This work around probably works for just about any phone on Cricket Wireless that might be experiencing the same problem.