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I understand that Android is principally an wired-Ethernet client. i.e. it requests and receives a DHCP address. The internet is on the other side of the Ethernet cable.

Does any version of Android have the capability of running its wired-Ethernet in an "access-point", "tethering" or "server" mode, where Android's Ethernet provides a DHCP server and NATs Ethernet traffic out through its 4G radio, to the internet?

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While the feature has never been part of stock Android (not sure if some custom ROM provides this), it's possible on rooted devices.

I recently answered to How to make Ethernet work on Android over OTG? which may help you make Ethernet work on your device. Once done, there are two more things required:

  • Run a DHCP server (we already have dnsmasq on device up to Android 9, or you may get a static binary)
  • Share internet (by doing IP forwarding and NATing)

Both of these steps are explained in my answer to How to create a WiFi hotspot from the terminal? and the answers linked there. Just ignore the steps related to WiFi and pick the relevant parts.

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