Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” supports WiFi internet sharing/tethering

It seems like Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” still has a few surprises for us. Today the guys at WPCentral posted a photo showing a Samsung Focus running the RTM version of “Mango” (Build 7720.68) with internet sharing/tethering enabled. Here’s the photo of it in action:

Internet Sharing

Based on the text in the photo above, this feature allow users to share their mobile data connection over WiFi with up to 5 guests. However, WPCentral reports that this feature uses quite a bit of power, so to conserve battery life, the tethering will turn off automatically after a few minutes of inactivity.

Long Zheng over at went further and digged out some “Mango” localization files which shows how this feature might work:

Tethering Code 

The text highlighted above shows a Windows Phone dialogue text in “Mango” which gives some clues as to how this feature can be enabled. The text reads:

To enable tethering on this device dial {0}
To enable tethering on this device, go to {0}

According to Long, this suggest tethering will not be enabled by default and instead users will have to call their operator or visit their operator’s website to have the feature enabled (provisioned) remotely. In addition, Long also mentioned that users will be able to choose between no encryption (Open) and WPA2 encryption, and the number of guests allowed is also apparently customizable, presumably by the carrier.

This is definitely great news for Windows Phone users, and another feature to cross off the “list of things that iOS/Android has and Windows Phone doesn’t”.