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 …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Stu Wilson
    Jobs Halo

    ...only one thing to say

    ... the bastards

    1. Was Steve

      Transparency is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      At least they're being transparent. I can't actually find out what my unlimited data limit is on Virgin

      1. Anonymous Coward

        that's a good thing

        "At least they're being transparent. I can't actually find out what my unlimited data limit is on Virgin"

        I assume, as you are commenting here, that you have access to google and fingers with which to type....I typed "virgin mobile unlimited data fair use" into google...First result (virgin site) told me it was 3GB...not hard is it now?

        When the hell will people learn that search engines are not just for add delivery...FFS

      2. Danny 14

        thats odd

        my android contract on virgin clearly says 1gb. Even on the online bill it has 1gb. The 3G dongle at work says 3gb on its contract.

      3. Maxie34

        Unlimited Data.... Well thats what you think!

        All UK Mobile networks offer unlimited data bundles.... Well majority of them their version of unlimited is a hidden 1GB Cap. O2 have decided to be bold and come out and say the Cap is 1GB as 24 June 2010.... which all other networks currently have but advertise it as *Fair Usage policy Applies.

  2. Ian North


    I don't see this as a huge problem personally. I've had my iPhone since January. I use the cellular network quite a bit (not for video or VOIP though) and so far I've used less than 400MB all in all. Those caps could be a lot worse

  3. Paul Gannon


    I'm on an O2 unlimited data tariff on my iPhone 3GS. If I was to 'upgrade' my phone to a iPhone 4 I would have to start worrying about what I doing and watching how much data I'd be using? Thanks O2, I won't be upgrading just yet. Hmmm? Three are getting iPhone 4 too - maybe I'll swap to them once my contract is up?

    O2 - limit customer experience - or charge them through the nose for it :(

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Running Scared

    "FaceTime" - or video conferencing - is what must be scaring them. If Apple make it easy to use, and it's over a "network" rather than a "call", then this could gobble up lots of data. I thought I read (can't find it) that FaceTime only worked over WiFi ?

    Bugger. And I was thinking of upgrading my contract to an iPhone 4! I had thought of buying one on PAYG and sticking my existing SIM in it, but it won't fit :(

    1. jai

      wifi only at the moment

      yes, it's wifi only at the moment because Apple need to chat with the network operators first. i suspect they've so far flat out refused to allow video calls on their networks because of their unlimited data plans. once they've phased them out, then we'll be able to do video calls over the phone's data connection and the operators get to charge us a fortune for the data is uses up

    2. RichyS
      Thumb Up


      Some judicious cutting and chopping with a sharp pair of scissors and a decent knife will rapidly convert your normal (mini) SIM into an iPhone 4/iPad friendly Micro SIM.

      If you need to go back, you can buy Micro- t0 Mini-SIM adapters from eBay and elsewhere on t'Internets for a few quid.

  5. BeefStirFry


    They giving unlimited text, but charging for MMS.

    And I'm still not sure about the statement they say "Unlimited data on all smartphone tariffs is a promotion until 1 October 2010."

    Is that only the tariffs they listed on the page, or really ALL tariffs?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Well O2 just lost my business

    I am buying another iPhone (V4) to go with the 3 we already have in the family. No way I want to be hit with a monthly cap on data. The stupidity of 'plans' is that they increase things that you don't need or use, like texts and voice calls, as they increase the thing you do want.

    All our phones are on O2 at the moment (6 of us in the family) but looks like all will be changed to another carrier as soon as renewal time comes up.

    1. Dave S 1

      re: Well O2 just lost my business

      Good luck in finding a different carrier with unlimited data.

      It sucks but the race to the bottom of the offerings pile is at full speed.

      1. Simon Says
        Thumb Up

        giffgaff still have unlimited data

        giffgaff still have unlimited data on their goodybags (PAYG monthly bundles), and they don't even have a FUP - they just stipulate that it is for handset use only (i.e. non-tethering). They only just introduced these goodybags so I'm sure they must have sorted out a fairly long term wholesale agreement with O2 (their carrier) for data. Their free data promotion (for non-goodybag users) ends at the end of June, but that's been on the cards for months anyway - and was originally planned to finish at the end of May but got extended for an extra month as they were waiting on O2 to get some mechanisms in place for their planned charging structure for PAYG data. The goodybag unlimited data is entirely separate from that promotion and is set to continue for the foreseeable future.

        Worth checking them out at - I've been with them since January and very pleased so far. I'm currently on their £10 goodybag which gets me 100 mins, unlimited texts and unlimited data each month - not to mention the £220 payback I'm getting this month for the last 6 months of forum participation and friend recommendation signups. They also have £15 (with 300 mins) and £35 (with unlimited minutes) goodybags available, or pure PAYG if you prefer - but that's not very attractive for smartphone data users. They are apparently also looking at getting into mobile broadband too, so might well be worth looking at for that as and when that comes along.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      they all have data caps....

      ...they just don't tell you. Instead they have what's known as a "fair use policy", which lays out the cap in the small print. For example, I have an "unlimited" data plan with Vodafone. However, the actual limit hidden the FUP is 500MB. The operators are dirty, weasly liars who are only able to act with such impunity w/r to consumer law due to the typically corrupt blind-eye-turning of Ofcom. O2 should be commended for making this ballsy move back toward transparency in this regard. I only wish it had been done for honorable reasons, rather than out of desperation caused by O2's crazed pursuit of exclusivity deals without the corresponding investment in infrastructure to serve all the new customers.

    3. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      No Fail

      O2 have just achieved mobile operator nirvana. All the whining dullards who expect gigabytes of data usage for pennies a month have hitched up their skirts and run off to other operators, leaving us loyal, long-standing customers to enjoy paying a reasonable price for a reasonable data usage on a no doubt suddenly much more responsive network. Thanks!


  7. Anonymous Coward


    O2 are getting expensive... I have just left! they couldn't get anywhere near the deals from any other operator, and now they are cutting back further?!

    I suspect they have a thorn in thier side. and it is hurting. The consequence of a pair of blingy handcuffs no doubt.

    1. Pete 2 Silver badge

      Roaming caps

      Now that caps are being enforced on what mobile operators cn charge for overseas use, they have just switched their cash-cow to be another service as a consequence.

  8. Chris Holt
    Thumb Down


    One would assume then that they have no problem with tethering after that, given you have the same limit...? Though the chances ofthat happening are the same as my bacon sandwich lifting off and flying home

    1. Annihilator


      Completely agree, both with the sentiment and the chances. Previously I could understand the tethering charge as there was a natural limit to how much you could "eat" on an iPhone. Now though, you're paying (through the nose) specifically for a finite amount of data. To tell you how you can eat that is just ridiculous.

      O2: We're better, connected (to the mains with a nail in place of the fuse)

      1. Stu Wilson

        fully agree

        ... but hell, if Always Tits-up & Tripe can do it, I'm sure O2 are thinking they can get away with it too.

        mines the one with the iPad sized pocket

  9. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Which is really a way of saying...

    "That we've spunked all that money on advertising lies and sponsorship rather then investing it in our network infrastructure... which is shit BTW."

  10. gpb_1

    Reconsidering upgrade

    Well this changes things. Prob not going to upgrade now but stick with my current unlimited package

  11. James Barber
    Thumb Down

    data rip off

    Not happy about this, I use my iphone data quite a lot, although I don't know the true extent of my volume of usage, but it is nice to know I have an unlimited plan.

    Now I have to consider curbing my iphone usage in case I go over, which I fin disappointing.

    Perhaps if they had a better value bolt on I might take it.

    1. Matt.Smart

      Re: data rip off

      Settings > General > Usage > Cellular Network Data

      I thought I used mine a lot, too - turns out I've only used 1Gb in 12 months; the rest has been by wifi.

      Don't get me wrong, though - this is still a little annoying. But o2's terms seem to suggest that existing customers on unlimited tariffs won't lose the unlimited data (subject to FUP) in one section, and then simultaneously suggest it's only a promo lasting until October in another... hmm.

  12. Antony Smith


    our service levels are going backwards.

  13. Andrew Katz

    Well from O2's perspective it beats investing in some INFRASTRUCTURE

    Try using an iPhone somewhere, like the Isle of Man, which actually has a 3G infrastructure that works, and you'll find it an order of magnitude more useful.

    Frankly, O2 should be banned from selling any more 3G handsets until it upgrades it to something with slightly more data capacity than someone yelling "one one nought one nought nought" through a piece of string with a tin can at each end.

    Ofcom, as usual, are supine and useless.

    1. The Other Steve

      Powered by fairies ?

      And where are they going to get money to invest in infrastructure to fling data about if the data flinging isn't generating revenue ? Try selling that to YOUR bank manager.

  14. Tom 38


    I decided not to jump on the new n shiney bandwagon, and just jumped on the best value O2 iphone contract when my original iphone 3g contract came up in February, and that still includes unlimited data.

    Since thats a 12 month contract, I wonder what they will be doing with my contract. I almost certainly use in excess of 1GB in certain months, what with sky sports and spotify streaming over 3G.

    I wonder how much data a days worth of cricket streamed over 3G takes..

    1. TeeCee Gold badge


      "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.

  15. Shinobi87
    Thumb Down

    I'm sorry

    are we going back in time? I thought we were meant to be moving away from stupid figures like this............ infact If i recall O2 had the best "fair useage" until now I see

  16. hahnchen

    At least they're up front

    Other networks, such as 3, sell their plans as unlimited, but in the small print, their data limit is a paltry 500Mb.

    3 dropped their limit from 1Gb to 500Mb and still sell it as unlimited. How is this legal?

    1. archengel46

      You're on the wrong...

      Add On.

      Unlimited Data

      Fair Use Limit: 1 GB each month

      X-Series - 1 GB should be more than enough to allow you to surf websites, use ISP email and download podcasts

      X-Series Silver & Gold - 1 GB should be more than enough to allow you to surf websites, use Mobile Mail and download podcasts

      We will let you know by text message once you have reached the fair use limit and ask you to cease using the included data services for the remainder of the month. If you continue to use the services we may suspend your data usage until the next month. This will not impact your access to other X-Series services.

  17. Jessica Werkz

    I can live with that cap

    Provided they get their 3G coverage in sync with their coverage maps (fat chance).

  18. Martin Lyne

    Yeah right

    I just got cutoff from my unlimited web bolt on, that after buying my new package. was told was not included free (as their contract update app stated) so I pay an extra £7.50 for net that wont get reactivated until the end of this month. While I wait for O2 broadband to be installed. Oh I love how they turn evil after they lock me in.

    Customer for ~7-8 years

    Also, I couldn't find their "fair usage" policy on the website. Won't be able to either as I have no net anywhere but work. Good times..

  19. Code Monkey

    Just in time

    I got my HTC Desire and "unlimited" data plan last week. Just in time*

    * Just in time for O2 - if they'd denied me I'd have gone to Orange**

    ** I'd have swallowed their foolish animal tariff names for "unlimited" data

  20. Annihilator
    Thumb Down

    Full details for the full details.

    I was going to buy on the day on the assumption I would carry on my existing tariff. But now I'll wait to see what the other operators do. A potential "TTFN" to O2 from me I reckon...

  21. Mark Thomas 3
    Thumb Down

    Well thats just great.

    How sucky.

  22. David Gosnell

    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.

  23. The Original Ash

    24 month contract?

    Go fuck yourselves.

    Buy the handset on a 6th month interest free credit card and put a PAYG sim in it. No lock in, phone you want regardless of price. You need a credit check to get the contract anyway, may as well save yourself the trouble and buy the phone, then cut up the card and pay the credit company.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I've used ~4Gb in total on my 3GS that's about a year old (a little under 350Mb/month), so the caps aren't that big a concern.

      But I didn't really want to be stuck on an 18 month tariff in the first place, so I'm not switching to 24 months.

      Mind you, as I have another 6 months to run on my contract anyhoo, I may as well wait and see what the 2011 iPhone brings to the party before I switch.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloody good idea

    They can't go on milking voice and sms customers to subsidize VOIPing freetards forever - they should be acting as a dumb pipe and charging you for the capacity you use. Then I can make a sensible choice to use their voice/sms facilities or VOIP/IM depending on what gets the job done best. Plus if the iPhone people stop battering the network for no good reason I might actually be able to run VOIP with some degree of success.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      You have it backwards...

      "Plus if the iPhone people stop battering the network for no good reason I might actually be able to run VOIP with some degree of success."

      The problem isn't the iPhone owners using the fucking service they've PAID for—it's O2 who've been calling it "unlimited", remember?—but O2's crap infrastructure.

      Thank Codd I live in Italy now. Which won't even get the iPhone until next month, and where there's no such thing as a "locked" mobile phone. (Of course, the iTunes Store here is also firmly stuck in 2006 as well, but you can't have everything. Or, if you're after a TV programme, anything.)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has anyone?

    Actually tried using data over O2...? I mean seriously, 400mb - thats gonna take at least the next 25years to download...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. stoops
      Thumb Down

      Yes I've tried using data over O2!

      Streamed 40 minutes of video from my home PC over the AirVideo app one day last month and that used up 114MB of data (in 40 minutes). You could quite easily hit the limits that way.

  26. fifi

    No upgrade for me then

    I was almost ready to upgrade to an iPhone4. Guess I'll leave it for a while now.

  27. Snetty

    Hmm, Actually

    checked my usage over the past 2 years.. somehow it's only 600m received and less than that sent, so I'm not quite as outraged as I was.

    Still moving to Vodafone if I can get a better deal though.

  28. ukmountie

    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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      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.

      1. Stu Wilson

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

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

  29. Steve Brammer
    Thumb Down

    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.

  30. Simon Casey

    terms and conditions

    in the t&cs ....The Unlimited Wi-Fi and Web Bolt On is included at no extra cost for customers connecting or upgrading to any iPhone tariff until further notice. O2 reserves the right to withdraw or amend this offer at any time on reasonable notice. Participating customers will receive 30 days notice via text message if changes are made to their disadvantage. Excessive usage policy applies see Data Bolt Ons terms below

    And on another page:

    Unlimited data on all smartphone tariffs is a promotion until 1 October 2010. Excessive usage policy and terms apply, see

    So I think even customers with a smartphone or iphone tariff 1-3 years old will also get the heave on 1st October.

    1. Simon Says

      smartphone tariff <> iPhone tariff

      "smartphone tariffs" are these new ones they are introducing (which will be used for all new smartphone contracts, including the iPhone 4). The "iPhone tariffs" are the current ones that will become ringfenced as of June 24th. After that you can remain on the old iPhone tariffs and keep your unlimited tariff (with supposed FUP which they've never seemed to bother enforcing), but as soon as you want to upgrade your handset or start a new contract, you will be moved onto the new smartphone tariffs. In other words, the only way to get an iPhone 4 and keep the old unlimited data will be to get it on PAYG and simply continue using your old ringfinced iPhone tariff but without a formal upgrade.

      The new smartphone tariffs will, for a limited period (until October 1st), have unlimited data too - but after that their caps will come into force.

      If O2 are to be believed (and I'm not quite sure I believe this statistic), 97% of their customers use 500MB or less, and only 1% use more than 750MB. Even if that was true, it rather begs the question why not simply enforce the FUP that supposedly already exists? I expect their 97% stats are for all customers (even those on ancient phones with virtually no mobile internet capability), so this is almost certainly going to affect more than 3% of their users.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  32. mafoo

    Oh well

    There goes the 1 advantage O2 had over orange.

    1. mafoo

      sigh 2

      Seems orange is heading the same way as well.

      Gogo price fixing enquiry ;)

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everyone knows that "unlimited" never was... 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...

  34. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  35. LordBrian

    ...or build a better fing network

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

  36. John Burton


    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.

  37. Richard S


    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?

  38. Anonymous John

    Sustainable data experience

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

  39. Steve Evans


    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.

  40. Craig 12
    Thumb Up

    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.

  41. bkfromcatford

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward


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

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

      1. Simon Says

        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.

  42. JWS

    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.

  43. UkForest
    Paris Hilton


    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!...

  44. Anonymous Coward

    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?

  45. Paul Gannon

    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

  46. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  47. Scouser


    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.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    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.

  49. Cavan

    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.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  51. Adam T


    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?

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
      Thumb Up


      Gorgeous little device. Buy one immediately.


      1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

        MiWi - Belay that

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


  52. A 31
    Thumb Up


    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

  53. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  54. far


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

  55. Anonymous Coward
    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!

    1. The Other Steve


      "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.

  56. 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.

  57. This post has been deleted by its author

  58. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Urbanpanda

      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)

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like