O2 to step back from unlimited mobile data deals
Tighter data plans to debut alongside iPhone 4
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.
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. ®
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.
"I wonder how much data a days worth of cricket streamed over 3G takes.."
What you need is the likes of Boycott and Tavaré at the crease. With compression only sending the frame updates you could get through an entire day using no bandwidth at all.
Might even keep me with O2, you never know
Having seen O2's data service quality drop through the floor at the same rate as the rise of the iPhone, putting a cap on the latter's usage would be no bad thing.