back to article O2 to step back from unlimited mobile data deals

O2 is to stop bundling 'unlimited' data access with the smartphones it sells. Buy a smartphone on an O2 contract today and you'll get 'unlimited' data - well, unlimited up to the cut-off point mandated by O2' 'fair use' policy. However, from 24 June - the day O2 begins selling the iPhone 4, we note - data will be capped at …

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FAIL

High prices for poor service.

I had an 18 month contract for my iPhone 3G, back when they first came out. 500Mb would have been fine as O2 was so bad I hardly ever got a 3g connection anyway.

The other real problem is that once you exceed your limit it has been truly punitive in the past. So if you forgot you could end up owing a lot of money.

Three for me :D

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Anonymous Coward

@ukmountie

I'm like you, I have a 3G and it was on an 18 month contract. The moment the contract ended I switched over to T-Mobile, dropped my monthly payment to £15/month, and ended up with a free PS3 for signing up! O2 didn't give a rat's ass about me until I rang them to ask for my PAC. They are expensive and getting moreso now it seems.

I'm just hoping now T-Mobile gets the iPhone at some point so I can upgrade, as I'm not so keen to pay for the phone outright.

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

you are in luck , T-M announced iPhone 4 today.

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Rip-off Britain

As an ex-pat living in Sweden, may I just say I'm glad I don't have to pay the crazy prices you appear to have back in Blighty these days.

I have a HTC Hero Android smartphone that I paid cash for and then bought a subscription separately. I have a mobile subscription with Telia in Sweden. I opted for the cheapest voice subscription that they have (since I use my phone mainly for e-mail and surfing the internet and streaming music via Spotify), and then added an "unlimited" data package. I pay £2.50 per month subscription with no free minutes or included sms or data. Calls cost 2.5p to all mobiles and landlines and SMSs cost 2.5p a pop. I then added "unlimited" data for around £17 per month this gives me 10GB data per month and access to all Telias wi-fi hotspots. There is no limits on tethering, VOIP calls via 3G or anything and I can even connect my laptop to a wi-fi hotspot while using the phone on 3G data. Plus they have just upgraded their network so the maximum theoretical speed is now 10Mb/s using UMTS. O2's price of £60 per month for just 1GB is crazy.

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Anonymous Coward

Post your own message

Meh. I've had my iPhone 3G from O2 since, hmm, 23 months ago. I browse the web a fair bit on it, or so I thought, but I seem to average 2MB per day which is way below their cap.

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Clarity

As a non-iPhone user I've always had a limit on every network even though it's sold as unlimited. So I welcome clarity in pricing and the removal of anything labelled as 'unlimited' that isn't.

But will O2 cut off data once a user reaches 1GB in a month? Or will it let users go over the data allowance and charge the £10 for an extra 1GB of data?

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Good

It's far better to be able to buy the data usage you want rather than have to choose "unlimited" but which is no such thing and subject to "fair use" limits and so on. It's a return to honesty and a good thing.

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...or build a better fing network

o2 are moving backwards and this isn't a good thing.

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Everyone knows that "unlimited" never was...

...so I don't mind this move too much.

However, if it's going to have a cap I'd hope they'll stop forcing handset makers to reduce features that involve heavy 3G usage...

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Anonymous Coward

more than current fair use limit

The current "fair use" limit for O2 is 200MB, so the 500MB limit on the lowest band is 2.5x more than is currently available. Not so much a step back, then.

It looks more like they are going to raise the limit, and stop pretending that it isn't there. Both of which I would call steps forward.

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FAIL

Oh well

There goes the 1 advantage O2 had over orange.

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sigh 2

Seems orange is heading the same way as well.

Gogo price fixing enquiry ;)

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1gb seems fair?

I've had my phone since August 2009, data usage is 500mb (I've never reset).

I assume this doesn't include wifi, which I use at home, work and some places in between.

The plans are actually better value tbh. I'm paying £45 at mo. I could drop that to £20 based on the last few months usage, and then add another 500mb for a fiver if needed rather than roll it in to every monthly bill.

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Unhappy

Sustainable data experience

Experience. Time to run for the hills when you see that word.

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Well...

I don't know how the current O2 T&Cs define "unlimited" and we all know there is no such thing as "unlimited" data, so it's actually nice that they are being clear and open about the limit on these tariffs.

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JWS
Coat

Screw O2

I'll stick to T-Mobile thanks very much, O2 have always been terrible with Data unless you paid huge sums of money to them. I'm still clinging to my old Flex tariff on a 12month contract (they'll have to kill me to get me off 12 months), which is by far the best mobile package I've ever used - pay X p/m and get Y to spend, no stupid extra charges for voice mail or MMS even though you have a billion "free" texts, just a wedge of cash to spend as I see fit! Simple. Oh and iPhone 4 = A 5 year old Nokia.

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Happy

Some unlimited data is more unlimited than others

I'm very happy using giffgaff.

Well, mostly happy - giffgaff using using O2's network means the data connection is very unpredictable, but the price is right.

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WTF?

Whois?

If you whois giffgaff.co.uk it turns out it's owned by o2 holdings..

WTF icon as i'm a long time reader but first time poster.

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Stop

giffgaff is a subsidiary of O2

Yes they are owned by O2, but they are a company in their own right and they set their own tariffs and have their own arrangements with O2 for carrying their service. Their whole model is around low cost (basic customer service is provided by other customers on their forums, who are rewarded with payback for doing so - a core team of support staff deals with account specific issues), so I don't see any particular reason that they will be changing their rates anytime soon - especially as their unlimited data with goodybags (their monthly bundles) only just got introduced a couple of months ago.

They have had a separate free data promotion going on since their launch 6 months ago which was due to end at the end of May (but got extended to end of June), but that is quite separate from the goodybag data bundles which aren't due to change at all.

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Paris Hilton

Bugger!

I knew the fair cap was 250mb per month but thought I'd never got near it even though I hammer my 3G...

Just checked my online bills and iPhone usage stats (under Settings > General > Usage) and found that I've used 8.5Gb over the last 13months!!!!!!

Averaging at 800Mb a month this has really pee'd me off! Looks like they'll less "Specialist Browsing" in future!...

Paris, because we all know she receives plenty of Specialist Browsing!...

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FAIL

Oh dear

Apparently, since I've had my iPhone 3GS I've received 9.7GB of data over the cellular network and sent 709MB. I've had it since August last year. Shit! My bills are already £35 + extra non tariff-inclusive texts such as competitions, international texts, texts to Radio 1 etc.

I remember back in the day, being on One-2-One and my bills were £16 a month free voice-mail, free evenings and weekend calls, 200 free texts. It's not really comparable to the service we used to get from mobile companies.

I've been with O2 for 4 or 5 years. I may have to rethink my network choice if this data throttling doesn't change.

Over the past 12 months the amount of time I have had a 'No Service' message instead of '3G' has increased. My iPhone 3G Speed has been mostly a iPhone 3G Stop! I'm loosing faith with O2

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WTF?

We're regressing.

Daft shits.

I often download using 3G over 100mb for one game that I didn't pay for. And the games usually shit. I once made the mistake of paying 49p for Lemmings and that put me off for good.

I also provide all my friends at Uni with an almost free WiFi hotspot using MyWi (I ask for a small contribution in the form of beer).

This will fuck me. Why should I have to pay for this? Or in fact anything?

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Anonymous Coward

Final paragraph rewrite...

“By doing this, we are laying the foundation for charging more for data usage for all customers knowing full well the huge increase in usage this technology will create over the coming years," meant O2 CEO Ronan Dunne.

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Unhappy

Ermm

I have used 1.2GB on my iPhone since 20 May and I reset it each month on new billing date. Listening to streaming Radio...The new tariff is NOT attractive.

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Never mind this, O2 just suck generally

I'm tired of O2's rubbish network where I can't get any signal at all in certain parts of London, let alone 3G signal. I'm tired of the dropped calls and all the calls which just go straight to my voicemail because the network is usually too saturated to pass the call through to my phone. I think O2 should focus less on fiddling around with tariffs and more on trying to fix their crappy network.

I'll therefore be moving to another provider when I get my iPhone 4. It certainly won't be Orange because they are the most horrendously dreadful company in the whole world, so I'm going to try Vodafone.

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FAIL

Called for PAC tonight

Ok, after reading that i'm ready to defect to anyone offering an unlimited data plan.

Called up for my PAC; I'm guessing I'm not the only one either, as the annoyance of the customer service representative for dealing with another iphone PAC code defector was very evident.

I was told that "all operators are under contract to provide the same data conditions with Apple" I find this very difficult to believe. Well on the off chance I have my PAC code ready to order with whoever brings out their iphone unlimited data plan first. Alternatively I switched to simplicity iphone. They say anyone keeping their phone, or not changing their contract can maintain their unlmited data. So I for one am expecting either a data plan or, i'll be camping outside the apple shop for an unlocked phone and keep my simplicity plan.

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O2 3G performance

I could probably live with a lower data package...IF O2 WOULD GUARANTEE SOME PROPER F*ING 3G SERVICE! At least then I could actually use it.

3 city centres (Edinburgh, York, Durham) in the last 2 weeks, and f* all 3G. It's actually better for me to hook up via mifi on 3 (full 5 bars at all times), than try and get a native 3G connection with O2.

Yeah, cheers O2. Sorry - if I do go for a iphone 4, it'll be with anyone but you.

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Anonymous Coward

O2 3G performance

The data cap will help you, not to bore you with the ins and outs as to why but the way 3G coverage works is that its area of propogation receeds when its heavily used, this is why you can be sat somewhere with a reasonable 3G signal and it will then disappear for a while and then suddenly return.

When this happens it likely that someone nearer to the cell site (Node B) has accessed a data service of some discription and this causes the coverage area to reduce it footprint thus taking you out of coverage (the reduction varies on the amount of bandwidth the customer is using).

This is not a trait of the O2 network this is a trait of UMTS (3G) radio propogation, when the next development of mobile radio network comes on line (4G or LTE as its known) hopefully this trait will be negated.

With a reduction in data rates across O2's network which are inevitable as a result of the data cap (currently 3% of the highest users take up 36% of O2's total data usage) hopefully less people will cane the network and as such your 3G service should become more consistant.

Hope this helps and I hope your service improves.

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MIWI?

Good of them to spell out the tariffs in clear detail, makes it easier to decide to switch at long last.

I'm really interested in 3's WIMI ... I know coverage in my house isn't so hot, but the point is for out & about... anyone with WIMI experience?

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MiWi

Gorgeous little device. Buy one immediately.

GJC

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Happy

MiWi - Belay that

The second generation device is coming out next month. Delay your purchase until then, and then buy one immediately.

GJC

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goodbyeeeee

Oh well :)

I was due for renewal, looks like it is goodbye O2

as said by everyone, the O2 3G speed is as slow as an asmatic ant carrying a huge biscuit

I was wondering whether to switch operator or not, that helped me decide for sure :D

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Anonymous Coward

Don't really see the problem

Since here north of the border I'll be amazed if anyone gets near that limit since 3G coverage up here is so piss poor streaming video etc is a complete waste of effort.

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far
Alien

CONSPIRACY

This is obviously a conspiracy. If all ISPs do the same thing consumers have no choice!!!!

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Jobs Horns

So its ok for them to charge...

in the region of £700 per MB for text messages, and god knows how much for voice calls, but as soon as we start getting value for money, they introduce new charges. If we work out how much a text message costs based on £5 for 500MB, its about 0.0001p. Its about time that calls, text messages and everything else are simply counted as 'data'. 500MB per month would most likely cover the all calls, messages and the majority of users browsing and smart phoney things; something which O2 values at £5. Of course this will not happen any time soon because it will completely axe the ridiculous profit margins. All they're doing is keeping us tied down to outdated pricing models while limiting access to a service which they actually have to put money into! We're already being utterly screwed and this is just a slap in the face!

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FAIL

YEAH!!!!

"Of course this will not happen any time soon because it will completely axe the ridiculous profit margins"

That's right ! Right On. Why pay for a 'service that would be dirt cheap IF it weren't run by a bunch of profiteering gluttons!'.

Except that O2's profit margin is currently a shade over 25%, which is considered to be reasonable, but by no means excessive. It is less than most Hairdressing salons, for instance.

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FM

Data caps unrealistic...

With a 2min 50 sec daily news video podcast [small format] hitting 28.5MB I am thinking 500MB per month which is about 16.5MB a day seems a bit mean. These limits are going to render these phones useless or very expensive.

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Anonymous Coward

Reasons for O2 cap limit

Hi all, I work for O2, sorry to all of you for the data cap but frankly this has been coming for months, metaphorically speaking the big operators in the UK have been sat staring at each other and waiting for the other ones to blink, O2 have blinked first mainly due to being the biggest provider of the iPhone and it high data usage profile on the network.

Any of you planning to move networks to get around the cap bear a few things in mind:-

1. Most networks do have a "fair usage cap" which they don't tell you about, check this out before you go elsewhere

2. O2 have blinked first, highly likely that the other networks are going to follow in a couple of months time (they will hold off long enough to let disgruntled O2 customers move across to them first of course)

3. Make sure that the network your thinking of moving to can provide an equiverlant service, its ok moving to a tariff on "H3G" but all the unlimited data in the world won't help when you spend most of your time on Oranges GPRS network due to the lack of coverage that "3" have (for the unaffilliated, H3G have an national roaming agreement with Orange that provide coverage when you run out of signal on H3G's network).

The truth is that the average data usage per subscriber increases each month with the take up of more and more smart phones (iPhone being the main culprit however new additions like the Sony Ericsson X10 and the HTC range of handsets contribute heavily as well), we are increasing the network capacity at a riddiculous rate but with data throughput doubling in size around every 100 days or so we seem to be endlessless firefighting to stay ahead of the game.

With 36% of our network data throughput being used up by the top 3% of the high usage customers the truth is that the majority of you are suffering service issues / slow download and network access speeds / inconsistant coverage on 3G and a range of other service quality affecting issue for these few people who are caining the network mercilessly

By introducing a charge (not a huge one, £1-00 per 100MB over the usage limit) this will hopefully deter these high usage customers and free up more resource on the network for the rest of you and with that improve your customer experience.

I can assure you that O2's network expansion plans are very ambitious and you will see improved network performance and speed over the next 12 months however these things take time to do them right, quality over quantity is the motto we have.

By the way i'm not some O2 PR bod looking to put a positive spin on things, I work in a technical area of O2 (I won't say which one as don't want to give my identity away), just telling you guys the way it is and why we have done what we've done.

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Stop

iphone data caps

orange: 750 meg

vodafone: 1 gig

At least o2 are being honest about theirs. I don't work for o2, I remember recently the hoardes of complaints here directed at people who offer 'unlimited' with a fair usage policy, now o2 rectify this you complain about that!

Honestly, it's like some people just like to complain......

(Admittedly their 3G coverage sucks the big one though)

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