back to article O2 sweetens its iPhone deals

UK mobile operator O2 is rejigging its mobile tariffs to make them simpler and offering a flat rate data charge of £1 a day. Pay monthly tariffs will be aligned with six price points to which you can add seven "Bolt Ons" of extra calls, texts or data. The new price points will include a £1 a day for mobile browsing for …


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  1. K
    Jobs Horns

    What about Jesus's unlimited data?

    Finally the Jesus tariff is reasonably competitive (*), but is it at the expense of the unlimited data and Wi-Fi?

    (*) well, not when compared to my free HTC Touch upgrade on T-Mobile's 600 minutes + 600 texts at GBP 15 a month, a TCO well under a quarter of a Jesus.

  2. Marc Easen
    Thumb Up


    ...but I am still not interested, well not until the 3g version comes along. Then and only then will I think about it!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    4 or 5p... really?

    I love how a single page is supposed to be 4 or 5p. Except that the data counter on my phone when I go to facebook is about 1.05MB, which generally costs alot more than 4 or 5p.

    Which is why I use t-mobile flat rate data. Telcos are idiots

  4. Ben Bradley
    Jobs Horns

    No thanks

    Just upgraded to a Sony Ericsson P1i on O2

    - £30 for the phone

    - £25 per month for my contract (slightly less than I used to) for 500 mins and 200 texts

    - £7.50 per month for the O2 Web data bolt on - giving you unlimited* data/web access

    * although unlimited is subject to a fair use amount of 250MB - which is a fair old amount considering without the bolt-on it's about £1 per MB

    It's 3G so is pretty fast when using it as a bluetooth modem to connect to the internet using my laptop.

    Plus it has buttons on the thing itself.

    Much better

  5. Ian Ferguson

    re. my previous comments

    Having reread the article, I see only the latter part refers to iPhone tariff. So feel free to ignore my witterings.

    I'm sure if you're a £55/month iPhone customer, you will be happy at the cheaper rate; but if you're stupid enough to pay that much per month for a mobile phone connection, no doubt you're stupid enough to 'upgrade' to £75/month.

    I'll be ever-so-amused if somebody makes a VOIP / SMS over data client for the iPhone once the SDK is released - suddenly people will realise that paying extortionate rates for what are incredibly tiny packets of data (after all, how big is a SMS? 160 bytes?) is unneccessary. Roll on £35/month unlimited data for all. (Still expensive in my view but I guess somebody's got to make a profit)

  6. Anonymous Coward

    No Surprise there

    About time. I like the feeling " I told you so" ! Yet its not enough IMHO. Where are the chinese clones now? Iphone and the deal still suck bigtime.

  7. Chad H.

    @ K

    no, unlimited data via the phone network, and the cloud remain free. O2 value the cloud access at £15, so before any of you go comparing the new tarrifs, remember to value them against tarrifs £15 lower.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    skip the free advertising

    and read us the SMALL print that leaves people with a 20k phone bill.

  9. Oliver Humpage

    Data tariffs

    Compare and contrast the fair use policy for iPhones: (click on the "What is the fair usage" FAQ), and now the little asterisk that's appeared here: .

    I phoned up to get an explanation, which I've posted at . Not too bad, but it's very sneaky to do this - bet they don't mention it in any info they send me.

  10. Rory Wilson

    Unlimited Data?

    The existing plans feature unlimited data I thought - so by changing it to £1 a day surely these packages are worse? Or am I missing something?

  11. Peter
    Thumb Down

    O2 Website

    My company's UK mobile phone contract is due for renewal at the end of soon I'll start shopping around to see which companies are offering the best deal for us.

    Unfortunately for O2, I am currently working in Brussels, and the best their site can offer me if I go to their shops is an otherwise blank screen stating:


    Thanks for visiting the O2 Online Shop

    Unfortunately, we are unable to sell to countries outside the UK.


    Very useful! Never mind - I'm sure they don't need my company's business anyway...

    -- Pete.

  12. Hass80

    Cheap tariffs but not so cheap phone

    Bet they haven't reduced the price of the phone though have they?

  13. Ian Ferguson
    Jobs Horns


    I'm not sure how this is simpler - there were three options, now there appear to be loads of combinations! I can't make sense of 'bolt-ons'. I think I'd do well in a communist society - one type of bread, one type of laptop, one type of mobile phone, one type of truth... etc. Funnily enough, Apple seem to have similar ideas...

    As I'm on the existing £35 a month tariff, I would say I'm pleased, but I haven't reached the text/calls limit yet. I suspect O2 have realised giving unlimited data is a bit of a mistake for such a data-hungry, browsing-friendly device. My bills have been resolutely £35-and-a-tiny-bit so far, except for December when I travelled across Europe, fast eating up a £6/mb roaming rate with Google Maps, adding another £10 a day to my travel costs.

    So if I wanted them to do anything, it would be to reduce overseas roaming costs, or offer an even cheaper tariff than £35 a month (no, the new £1 a day option doesn't work out cheaper than that, as I'd go way over the daily data limit). But I think hell will freeze over before the operators would allow that kind of customer-friendly nonsense.

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Gap in the market

    Call me old-fashioned, but the only phone I own sits on a little table in the hall and has a lead plugging into the wall. If Apple made a phone like that I'd definitely buy one.

  16. Chad H.

    £1per day data

    this rate actually refers to non iPhone tarrifs. Its to match what tmobile offer. One of the unlimited web options is suspiciously priced like tmobile..

    The only things that change is the text/call rates. If you really really really insist on staying, you can.

    Or so my ultra reliable sources say.

  17. Chad H.

    @ ac

    can I please ask what you told us so about? Existing iPhone customers get more texts and minutes than they originaly were offered for nothing, or save £10. Cant get much more reasonable than something for nothing.

  18. Rolf Howarth


    No, they haven't reduced the price of the phone, but it would be difficult for Apple to do so without undercutting the iPod. Remember that the iPhone is at the top of the iPod range, and only slightly more expensive than cheaper iPods with no phone capability whatsoever. It's only because of the perverse subsidy tactics of the operators that people's perception of the value of a mobile phone is so distorted.

    Incidentally, did you know that the iPhone already accounts for more data traffic on O2's network than ALL OTHER PHONES COMBINED. That seems to speak volumes about the real life usability of the iPhone. It's all very well having a free, feature packed phone on paper but if it's so painful to use that you don't bother what's the point?

  19. Mike Taylor


    That annoying "out of the UK" message. I get that from my office in Oxford.

  20. Danny Thompson
    Paris Hilton

    Here they come .... as sure as night follows day

    Clanging their bells, wrenching at their sackcloth and rubbing ash into their hair. The Apple iPhone doomsayers can sense an article like this like wasps to a jam sarnie.

    Guys, get a life. We get it already, you don't want an iPhone. Good. Be done with it and rest yourselves or you'll be approaching an early grave.

    The new iPhone tariffs are better than pretty good now. The amount of voice minutes and texts did irk me somewhat and made me reluctant to enter into a contract. But now for £35 with 600 mins and 500 texts it does much better than meet the competition head on - particularly as the data (albeit 2G/EDGE) and WiFi add a lot of value, if you are a user of such.

    There is no surprise that the iPhone is generating so much data use on O2's network - the browser is best of any current handset - making excellent use of the huge screen. Compared to my N95 loaded up with the latest V20 firmware, the iPhone wins hands down.

    I see the old "... cost of the iPhone compared to free other handsets ...." is being dragged out for another flogging to death. That particular carbuncle has been completely discredited. The iPhone is priced similar to its companion iPod Touch - the only difference being that it has a phone built into it. So, if you really do not need/want an 8GB iPod and Phone combination then don't buy one!! Gawd, it really is that simple people.

    Will a 3G iPhone make that much of a difference to people? Perhaps, and probably only if it will act as a 3G/HSDPA modem to an external device. And there is no assurance that it will. But then again, the data experience on the iPhone surpasses that on any other handset. It may make the phone/modem/laptop thing entirely moot.

    Paris, crying, for all the naysayers who just cannot get over it.

  21. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    Still Crap

    Still crap , so the questionable Apple kick back fee in many countries with proper fair business laws must be killing them still !

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Rolf Howarth

    "the iPhone already accounts for more data traffic on O2's network than ALL OTHER PHONES COMBINED"

    From where did you get this information?

  23. Snail


    The iPhone is a gorgeous piece of kit, but its highly overrated.

    The only really good thing about it is the UI, and the looks of it, theres a large number of phones on the market that do everything the iPhone does and more.

    The whole Apple business model is seriously flawed, and in a couple of months when Nokia/Sony Ericsson have their next phones out, which have take a lesson from the iPhone on looks/UI, the Consumer will be the winner, and Apple the loser.

  24. Michael Jolly

    I will stick..

    ... with my viewty and my T-mobile flext plan for the moment it offers a better deal IMO,

  25. kerlmann


    Peter - you can buy if you're using a UK address for purchase and delivery purposes (you might need to arrange for someone else to collect the phones for you).

    I doubt that any UK network would deliver phones abroad for security/fraud reasons, and as O2 doesn't have a presence in Belgium, there's no way it could safely reconcile and fulfil a purchase from you.

  26. Duane Caton

    @ Rolf

    Can I ask as a matter of interest where you get your information concerning the amount of data traffic on O2 network from? As it’s an area I am interested in.

    I use data all the time on my non-iPhone (with O2 - I pay the £6.50 for unlimited data)

  27. Ascylto


    Errr... YES!

    I have an iPhone and it suits me well (well-designed, simple, shallow and shiny!). I am delighted by o2 giving us 'users' a decent tariff at last. I shall now be able to talk away without worrying too much about exceeding the measly 200 minutes.

    Nonetheless, I would be even more pleased if o2 and other telcos gave a more flexible tariff. I don't really like texting so would be happier if my 600 call minutes and 500 texts could be, say 1,000 'units' of any mixture. I have a feeling such a system would suit lots of folk so I suspect there must be a financial reason for the non-offering of such tariffs.

  28. Alan James

    iPhone Tariff

    Rolf Howarth has made the key point here. Using data services on iPhone is so easy, so, well, Mac-like that people do it more than all other O2 customers combined.

    And we now pay £35 or £45 a month to do so. That's £1.12 to £1.80 per day (depending on tariff and length of month). And for that what do you get?

    Unlimited phone calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles up to reasonably high monthly limits.

    Unlimited access to Cloud WiFi, EDGE and GPRS data services, with no limits which impinge on day-to-day use. (Quote O2 T&C: "Your O2 tariff for iPhone allows you unlimited use of O2 UK's Edge / GPRS networks and The Cloud's UK Wireless LAN network".) There then follow the usual restrictions on "excessive usage" and ban on using it for VOIP. Personally I'm happy with that. The telco has had to provide an infrastructure to enable me to use their service; I'm happy that their contract seeks to restrict me from using that infrastructure to access directly competing services. By analogy, we don't demand that rail companies provide railway infrastructure and then allow us to drive private cars along it.

    The inclusive data services also now (v 1.1.3) power a sub-SatNav location-finder/map/directions combo using the Google Maps cludge, which, from experience, is accurate to within about 10m in UK cities, but whose maps/satellite imagery overlay is massively more intuitive than most SatNav UIs.

    Plus your phone is also an iPod. And you can use it to present MP4 video by just hooking up a TV via the dock (hint: shoot it in HDV, then use Compressor to encode to MPEG-4, looks great). And, and..

    Yes I like the iPhone. Yes it needs improvement. Larger capacity, video camera, voice activation. Cut and Paste text (although I can understand the problem of which swipe/wipe gesture to use without compromising the simplicity of the interface).

    Remaining rant. Roaming charges are extortionate, even with the Europe Bolt-On.

    Vodafone's Passport tariff is the best I've ever had. 75p connection fee from pretty much anywhere in the world then just uses up your normal inclusive minutes as if you were in the UK. If O2 offered something like this package on the iPhone, I'd be 100 percent happy.

  29. Matthew Morrison
    Jobs Halo

    @ Ian F

    VOIP is one of the restricted data classes in O2's terms and conditions - they reserve the right to throttle or disconnect your data flow if they spot you using it.

  30. Chris Sanderson


    I completely agree.

    With the iPhone you are getting an extremely capable iPod. In fact the iPhone is almost an iPod with a phone built in, plus come the SDK many other things at that.

    Yes the iPhone is a little bit costly on the backpocket and there will be some that are possibly not interested in the iPod functionality or the superb web browser, or the wonderful email client and for those people the iPhone is not going to be the phone for them. However there's no reason to moan about the cost or how bad the phone is, if you don't like it don't get it.

    For me, and my other half the iPhone has superb and hats off to O2 for giving us a little extra for free. It's often said that nothing in this life is free, well O2 just give us all something.

    Cheers O2

  31. Andy Turner

    Shame on you..

    These are just new O2 tariffs, available with any handset and have nothing to do specifically with the iPhone at all.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Ascylto

    T-Mobile offer the 'mixture' tariff you mention with their Flext tariff. I pay £35 a month and get the equivalent of £90 PAYG credit, working as 900 texts or 450 minutes. And I also get Web & Walk with that, allowing me to browse the web at 3g wherever I am.

  33. Alex Johnson
    Jobs Halo

    Price of the iPhone

    It seems to me that the real sticking point is the price of the phone. I have one, and for me the price of the iPhone compares well with the iPod Touch and previous top-end iPod models. I would have had an iPod come what may, so the added cost of the iPhone is minimal. I do actually use the data and unlimited means what it says. If they want to put language in there so that if someone develops a P2P app for it, or manages to get it tethered and does much the same thing, they have a come-back, and I just don't find that weasely or objectionable. Looking at what's available for data, the iPhone tariffs certainly aren't bargain basement, but demonstrably they aren't a rip-off either. If you want some other smart phone and you can get it on a lower tariff, well congratulations, but that's rather like saying a Chevrolet Matiz is equivalent to a BMW. In a way, it is - it will get you from A to B in roughly the same amount of time. If that's your one metric for comparison, well it's a no-brainer. Personally, I would never buy a Matiz, and I would never buy a Windows mobile device for much the same reason. Nor do I buy Tesco Value even though the calorific value of its products must be much the same as branded. And so on. Maybe the iPhone's pricing isn't pitch-perfect for the market they're aiming at (though it isn;t a million miles away). But who cares? It's a game-changing device, on a reasonable tariff that just got to be a whole lot better value. I'm quietly delighted, FWIW.

  34. Andrew Maddison

    @Chad H

    "O2 value the cloud access at £15, so before any of you go comparing the new tarrifs, remember to value them against tarrifs £15 lower"

    How do they value unlimited WiFi access that costs £6.99 / month when bought direct from The Cloud as £15 in value?

    Oh wait, they're selling a device from Apple.

  35. Kebabster
    Thumb Up

    And how's about....

    ...making the old 200 mins £35 tariff only £25 as an entry level? You wanna drum up business O2, go grab the low-usage market and I'll be there along with many others...

  36. tebiru


    The problem is that you can't even look at the website from abroad, not get the phones delivered. I currently live in Japan and was looking around for which phone to get when I return to the UK, only to find that the O2 site doesn't seem to like foreign visitors...

    I wonder whose brilliant idea that was.

  37. K

    @ kerlmann

    No you can't. I'm working in the Netherlands midweek, and I get the "Unfortunately, we are unable to sell to countries outside the UK" waaaaaaaaaay before I get the chance to even select a tariff, never mind enter my details such as a billing or delivery address. So not only can I not deliver to my UK address (*), I can't even even investigate their offerings whilst abroad. Extraordinary.

    (*) assuming that is, that I actually wanted to buy a handset significantly less functional than Windows Pocket PC 2002 Smartphone Edition

  38. Chad H.

    @ andrew

    small mistake on my part, I meant thats what they value the full data package at.

    For those of you challenging the iPhone being the most heavily used data device, seems reasonable to me, remembering back the article on the iPhone being the most heavily used phone on the web worldwide.

    There may be faster phones, but there are no better phones for the mobile web.

  39. Stu Wilson

    Voicemail prices

    @David Williams

    You noticed T-mobile is charging for Voicemail access again but extra to any inclusive minutes?

    FYI, my T-mobile bill last month had £3 of Voicemail charges on it since they kindly charge you per minute outside of the 200 inclusive minutes I have on the plan. O2 Voicemail is free.

  40. Stu Wilson

    O2 Interview from Dec 2007,noOfParas=2,emailFormat=plainText,storyType=ultralight,dwp_uuid=8ecc657a-3018-11da-ba9f-00000e2511c8,print=no.html?nclick_check=1

    @Duane and AC

    The above article (sorry for the horrible link) described that 60% of iPhone users were using more than 25mb of data amonth, as opposed to every other handset on O2, where this was limited to just 1.8% of users. as quoted here.

    "Mr Key is excited about how iPhone customers are turning out to have a big appetite for data services.

    About 60 per cent of iPhone customers are sending or receiving more than 25 megabytes of data per month, which is the equivalent of sending 7,500 e-mails.

    By comparison, only 1.8 per cent of O 2 's other mobile customers on monthly contracts are consuming more than 25MB per month."

    Whilst Rolf misattributed or misquoted, certainly the probability of his statement being true is high.

  41. Stu Wilson
    Jobs Halo

    iPhone Data Usage/O2 Interview from Dec 2007

    In the article/interview with the O2 CEO, I've quoted the relevant section below:

    "Mr Key is excited about how iPhone customers are turning out to have a big appetite for data services.

    About 60 per cent of iPhone customers are sending or receiving more than 25 megabytes of data per month, which is the equivalent of sending 7,500 e-mails.

    By comparison, only 1.8 per cent of O 2 's other mobile customers on monthly contracts are consuming more than 25MB per month.


    So whilst Rolf may have misquoted/misremembered/misattributed the interview, it would appear that the iPhone data usage is far in excess than all other handsets on O2 *when taken as a percentage of the user base*

    of course if you have 1 million phones all using 1Mb a month, and 42k iPhones all using 25mb a month, then thats about equal at 1Tb a month(60% of 70k estimated O2 iphones=42k iphones).

    Whether we can categorically say that iPhones are using more data than every other phone on O2 is in dispute.

    taking another tack, how many O2 subscribers are there? just for arguments sake lets say 1million users.

    1.8% of 1 million is 18k users as compared to 42k (estimated) iPhone users using more than 25mb a month. With those figures, the iPhone users are sucking up bandwidth at some rate of knots. But that still leave us with 982k users with less than 25mb usage a month and without those figures, we still cant say whether this is true or not.

    But considering the levels stated, is it unbeleiveable that its true?

  42. Ascylto

    @ David Williams

    I thought about the T-Mobile Flext afterwards. Indeed, I was hoping T-Mobile would carry the iPhone as I had been with them for about 3 years. It was T-Mobile's superb (to me) Customer Service department which sorted out a couple of major 'c*ck-ups' by T-M satisfactorily which made me want to stay.

    I don't know what the telcos think about their Customer Service ... IMHO Orange used to be excellent but fell into bad ways, Vodafone and I never saw eye to eye but, as you may discern, I am a bit of a tart in this area!

    I've no experience of o2 Customer Service but I have a feeling I don't want to!

  43. Ascylto

    Anonymous Liar

    By Anonymous Coward

    "the data counter on my phone when I go to facebook is about 1.05MB, which generally costs alot more than 4 or 5p.

    Which is why I use t-mobile flat rate data."

    By Anonymous Coward

    "Call me old-fashioned, but the only phone I own sits on a little table in the hall and has a lead plugging into the wall. If Apple made a phone like that I'd definitely buy one."


  44. Dave Cumming

    Network traffic

    First off, let me say hurrah.. one less thing for the iPhone haters to rant about (really folks, time to get over it and move on, you can't afford one, fine, don't buy it, don't like, fine, don't buy it, now get on with your lives and stop raising your blood pressures everytime an article is posted about a PHONE).

    Next.. the first 3 lines are about O2 standard tariffs, the rest is about the iPhone.. the clue being the 4th line which starts "iPhone tariffs are also changing"... pretty clear for those who can actually read.

    And lastly, of course iPhone users are browsing more. My last two phones have had 3g but since the mobile specific websites in general were hopeless and I couldn't be bothered using them aside from the odd news update or football scores. email frankly sucked big time.

    With my "Jesus" phone (whatever that means.. did Jesus have an iPod??) I browse pretty much every day, in the office, in the house, on the bus, wherever I like and can browse pretty much anything in exactly the same way as I could on a laptop, apart from the still annoying lack of flash support but I'm certain that'll come.

    Seriously, can we move on now? The fact is its a very good device, I'm loathe to call it a phone as thats probably what many people use it least as, its not in everyones price brackets, thats life, get a new job. You can't get an N95 with a comparable tariff for much less, if its even possible with the unlimited data and I don't see that getting attacked every day on here.

    Move along, move along, this isn't the phone your looking for....

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    We are legion, for we are many.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Ascylto + Stu Wilson

    Ascylto, believe me, youre not the only one who prayed for the iphone on t-mobile. Ive been with them for about 5 years now and have no grumbles whatsoever. In fact, im not at all happy about having to cancel my contract to get an iphone!

    Stu, I have noticed, only recently though! Sneaky little number on t-mobiles part I think. Luckily, Ive only incurred about 20p's worth of charges this month for voicemail retrieval!

  47. Henry Blackman
    Thumb Up

    @ Stu Wilson

    We know from announcements that there are at least 190,000 iPhones on O2, probably more by this point, so it does indeed seem likely that iPhone users combined use more data than all other phone users on O2 combined.

    The reason? It just works.

  48. Stu Wilson
    Jobs Halo

    @Henry Blackman

    I was using the last known official numbers, but yes since I own an iPhone and I know how easy it is, I am of the pro party.

    @various - i was praying for Tmobile to get the iPhone UK contract too, but they didn't and they lost a customer of 4 years. as I've said before, T-Mobile have done more to push down costs than any other UK operator through offering the best tariff's, being the first to offer a decent (affordable) unlimited data plan, and for having a good range of tariffs. It was a pity to have to move away form them.

    Having said that I have not had any reason to have words with O2 yet, and long may it continue that way.

  49. Rolf Howarth
    Thumb Up


    Apologies if I got the details wrong. I was actually quoting something I read in another blog, but that will teach me not to go back and follow up the original reference! Still very impressive though, and certainly entirely consistent with my own experience. I probably use more data now in a week than I've used on either of my past two internet-capable phones in the last few years.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Rolf Howarth

    "the iPhone already accounts for more data traffic on O2's network than ALL OTHER PHONES COMBINED"

    Sorry Rolf, coming from o2 I know you are way way way off the mark..

    o2 Active has around 8 million users, and their data traffic is huge compared to what is happening with the iphone at the moment. People have been using N95's and other high end devices for web access for a while, the other 7.8ish million are using wap data. So i have no idea where you got your info, but it couldnt be further from the truth.

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