Vodafone bundles mobile data
You can't give it away these days
Vodafone has decided to bundle net access with its monthly service packages, whether the punters want it or not.
Like most operators Vodafone has mucked about with data charges, including per-byte charging and walled gardens (some with gates in them). Most recently the company has adopted the flat-but-capped rate that seems to be establishing itself as standard.
Now Vodafone has gone one better by bundling 500MB/month of data with every monthly contract, and anyone already paying £7.50 a month will get their limit upped to 500MB/month too.
That limit is "fair use" too, rather than capped - exceed it a few times and you'll get a warning, take the piss and they'll ask you to move onto a more expensive tariff. Altogether a better arrangement than being hit with an enormous bill 'cos you left your phone downloading Desperate Housewives.
Vodafone has also released some stats on how their customers are using mobile data. Most of them are, apparently, searching for Facebook, Bebo, eBay and Hotmail. More surprising is that Facebook outranks Google in most-visited, so users are socially networking from their mobiles. Other popular destinations include the BBC, in third place, followed by MSN and Bebo. MySpace ranks eighth, reflecting its has-been status; YouTube makes an appearance at tenth, but that could well increase as Vodafone reckons the improved data allowance covers more than 300 90-second YouTube videos.
The new contracts, which start at £25 a month, show how data should simply be part of the basic telecommunications service, and it will be interesting to see how the other operators respond. ®
Better than Orange's £3 per meg scam
Orange *still* by default charge you a standard per-meg charge (now £3 per meg) unless you say so otherwise, and it's not hard with many phones these days to download quite a lot of data without realising (e.g using a map application like Google Maps or Nokia Maps).
In fact Orange offer a daily capped rate for £0 extra on your monthly bill... but they don't advertise it and don't give you it by default.
Worse than that (as I have found), even if you change to daily capped, they seem to ignore the request and continue to charge you at £3 per meg. Now I have to fight some £100 worth of data charges over the last 6 months for around 20 meg of data used! (although some was overseas... at £8 per meg!!!!).
Sadly even though I have WiFi on my phone, finding reliable hotspots is near impossible as is finding any that have decent PAYG payment (i.e. pay just for what you use, not pay £7 for an hour's access whether you use it or not!).
I have a payasyougo orange sony ericsson k800i which cost me £69.99 from argos a few months back I bought there £1 unlimited interenet for a day bundle and managed to download 2.3gb worth of videos on bbci player using my phones 3g conection, i think my way is the cheapest i could get 14gb with £7 lol think i will stick with orange
New contracts only? damn
I just signed up for a new contract on monday... guess i'll have to make use of the right to send the phone back and cancel the contract within 7 business days, then i can buy it again the next day and get 500MB/month data added in for free! (at least it means i can check my email from the road - although not too sure about reading the pdf files some companies insist on using for all correspondence!)