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O2 to step back from unlimited mobile data deals

Tighter data plans to debut alongside iPhone 4

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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 500MB, 750MB or 1GB, depending on how much you pay each month. Contracts will run for two years.

Customers already tied in with a contract, and those who take one out before 24 June, will continue to receive 'unlimited' data access, O2 said.

O2 Data Plans

Upgrade your smartphone or become a new O2 customer on 24 June or after, and O2 will give you 'unlimited' data "as a promotion until 1 October".

After that, the limits will apply. Extra data can be bought as Bolt Ons: 500MB for £5 and 1GB for £10.

O2 said the move was prompted by customer demands for "clarity in pricing", but it seems really about managing demand.

“By doing this, we are laying the foundation for a sustainable data experience for all customers and the huge possibilities that technology will create over the coming years," said O2 CEO Ronan Dunne.

The implication: give punters all the data they can eat, and they'll gobble it up, to the detriment of all. ®

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