Android ‘No Valid Tethering APN’ Issue (Resolved)

ERROR: There is no valid tethering APN. Please contact the customer service to update your tethering APN.

The Issue Explained

I bought an unlocked Motorola DEFY to use on Canada’s Rogers network. It didn’t have any APNs set, I knew that, so I set them up according to the details provided on some forums. My data plan worked fine and everything was accessible but as soon as I tried to enable “Internet Tethering” in the settings menu I got an alert that said “There is no valid tethering APN. Please contact the customer service to update your tethering APN.” No problem, Rogers support is generaly not that bad so I gave them a call. After going through the usual “maybe your plan doesn’t have tethering, let me check” and “your phone is not from Rogers so maybe that’s why” kind of stuff I was able to confirm that the APN details were, in fact, correct. So then why did tethering not work? Strange…

I googled around and pretty much the only people with a similar problem seemed to all have the same phone as me. I started to fear the worst, that the phone was just incapable of tethering or something and I had no way to return it. I refused to give up and kept searching. Mind you, I was trying to set up the connection with Bluetooth at the time so when I came across the suggestion to use the “3G Mobile Hotspot” app instead of bluetooth tethering I was intrigued. Not really the solution I wanted, but if it worked, then sure why not? I fired it up. Unfortunately this gave an error message along the following lines: “cannot establish data link”. So no dice there.

I also up until that point had an interesting run in with the bluetooth tethering on windows 7 where clicking ‘connect’ actually started the PPP dialup process and got as far as “Registering your computer on the network” but then it would time out and give me an error 734 (I forgot the exact message but basically it just didn’t connect).

APN List

The solution

The solution is damn simple, and I pieced it together from this support thread. While the solutions listed by the people in that thread did not work, I tried an experiment and it worked. The solution is to create a seperate tethering APN with an APN Type of ‘dun’, leaving an original APN with no APN Type (blank) for the phone’s regular data connection. For Rogers customers this means you’d need to create the following APNs:

Name: Rogers
APN: rogers-core-appl1.apn
Username: wapuser1
Password: wap
MCC: 302
MNC: 720
APN Type: *leave this blank*
Name: Tethering
APN: rogers-core-appl1.apn
Username: wapuser1
Password: wap
MCC: 302
MNC: 720
APN Type: dun

Note that the names don’t actually matter. Anyway, once you have these two APNs you are ready to go! Both 3G mobile hotspot and bluetooth (and probably USB) tethering will work.

Here are screenshots of those settings, just in case:

APN Settings #1
APN Settings #2

Good luck and have fun with your new tethered internet! Just be careful since the data meter in Android doesn’t seem to count the data you send over tethering (just directly from the phone) so if you don’t have an unlimited plan then be careful of how many kilobytes you send whizzing through the air!

5 Comments

Jimmy McNutty says:

Thank you!

Al says:

By far the best solution! I kept trying till I nearly gave up! Thanks for detailing it!

ShanghaiKid says:

This also solved the Tethering Motorola Razr Maxx problem. For some reason the DUN option for the APN type is not set by default in most of the motorola razr or motorola razr maxx (usually verizon in US but I found the same problem in other countries).

To fix it go to the system settings, then More…, then APN, then Mobile Networks, then Access Point Networks, click on the APN you are using and in APN Type add dun (in my case I have default,mms,dun).

restart the mobile connection, open any hotspot app and check that works. If not you might have to reboot your mobile as well…

Bernard says:

I was not able to use my Samsung ACE 2X GT-8756M for Tetehring until I change
Setting
Wireless and networks: More setting
Mobile Networks
Access Points Names
Rogers Internet
Change APN Type to : internet+mms=dun

Now I can turn on WI-Fi tethering and use that wifi network on another device.

APN type
This specifies what types of data connection should use this set of APN settings. This is the second most important setting after the APN field itself.
If your carrier allows all data (including MMS, if you use it) to use the same APN settings, then this field may contain the special value of “*” (an asterisk). Note: the actual setting should not include the quotation marks.
Otherwise, if your carrier requires different APN settings for MMS and for internet data, you will need two different sets of APN settings, each with a different value in this field. This field determines which APN settings should be used for which types of communication.
The APN setting that is to be used for MMS should have “mms” in this field.
The APN setting that is to be used for internet data should have “default” in this field.
It is possible for this field to include multiple values, separated by commas (without any spaces).
Other APN types exist, but the above mentioned values should be enough for all internet data communication and MMS messaging on your device.
Other APN types that exist include “supl” for a feature called “Secure User Plane Location”, a feature of Assisted GPS. This APN type usually doesn’t need to be specified and Assisted GPS will still work correctly. Another is “dun” for dial-up networking, however this refers to an outdated method for using your phone as if it’s a modem and is not the way that modern smartphones do tethering anymore.
Some websites recommend adding even more values to these fields, however in normal cases (unless you have been advised by your carrier to use a certain value) these will have no effect at all: “default” or “*” is a suitable catch-all. In particular, specifying “hipri” does not improve the performance of your internet data.
As usual, you should follow your carrier’s recommendations for what to include in this field for each APN setting.

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