back to article Three punts UNLIMITED smartphone package

Three has upgraded its The One mobile phone tariff to add "all-you-can-eat data" to the package. The cellco claimed the change will "challenge the limited offers and additional charges other operators levy on smartphone users". It added: "From today... all limits have been lifted on the amount of data you can consume on your …


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  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Yes, but...

    Is it throttled down to uselessness?

  2. Jamie Kitson

    From Their Site

    The SIM contract is 1 year, the with-phone contact is 2 years. Mind you, it still says it's a 1gig limit.

  3. Tony McAlinden
    Thumb Up

    MiFi By Any Other Name?

    I have to say this is indeed very tempting. I don't have fixed line broadband and am using a 3 MiFi which works amazingly well (about twice as fast as ADSL would be here). The only catch is the 5 gig monthly data allowance.

    However, this deal, combined with an Android phone running Froyo or above to use its WiFi internet sharing sounds like genius... Something like this one would be ideal:

    1. Anonymous Coward

      don't be daft!

      Why not just buy sim only and stick it in the mifi? no phone required.

  4. gautam

    Brilliant - If True

    Title says it all.

    Also would tethering it once in a while invite censure? FUP ? What about others already on regular contracts who have 1GB included? Any upgrades there?

    Many questions in the grey areas yet.

    Have you noticed they have stopped punting Skype to SKype free calls loudly? My guess is T-Orange have leaned on THREE to tone down this, since they are going to share the masts and T-O dont want clogged systems and offer simialr deals for a price (Three is free). People have also noticed that once when they were logged on SKype thru their handsets, now they are disconnected automatically and quietly. You can log on only when you need to!

    Big business at work again - you bet.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    How ...

    .... will the Ipad be treated. As a smart phone or a tablet? Or Samsung Galaxy S for that matter! If treated as a smart phone, its a good deal, really. And stop paying the fruit company premiums for the data access thru their pimps networks.

  6. Lxbr

    1GB limit

    It doesn't say unlimited on the linked page, it says 1GB? Can't really complain that they're selling it as unlimited. Most of the networks do a 1GB/month plan or similar now (which is enough for me, though obviously if you are tethering it wouldn't be) - 3 also has a SIM-only deal at £10 per month for 1GB, rolling contract, which seems like better value than this tariff.

  7. TallPaul

    Challenge? Not really

    At the risk of sounding like a fanboi giffgaff have consistently offered truly unlimited access for only £10 a month for a long while now. There is a catch: it's "mobile internet" only (i.e. on your phone, not tethering) but I seem to remember Three has the same limitation and it's still an impressive deal significantly undercuttings Three's new "challenging" offering.

    1. 3G



      So the GiffGaff offer includes 98% 3G coverage does it? no 84%

      So the GiffGaff offer includes as many calls and texts does it? no

      So the GiffGaff offer includes telephone support does it? no

      1. TallPaul

        I hear the sound ...

        ... of goalposts being moved.

        Sure, if you need 3G coverage, if you need unlimited calls and text, if you need phone support (now that one is weird but each to their own) then I'm sure Three is a fine deal at £25 a month. If, like me, you only want unlimited data (and unlimited calls and text to your wife, who's also on giffgaff ;-)) then giffgaff is a *remarkably* good deal at £10 a month. Shrug.

  8. Stuart Halliday

    Be wary

    I just bought a smartphone from carphone using 3 and I was told it was unlimited data tariff. Turns out it was unlimited to the order of 500MB! So I was conned. Had to pay extra £5 a month to get 1GB a month.

    1. Steve Todd Silver badge

      You sure that was 3?

      Some of their cheaper monthly plans give you a 500MB limit, but £5 extra gets you 2GB not 1 (look in their price guide PDF, not what the web says).

  9. Danny 14


    how are they supposed to know you are tethering? Obviously if you are running P2P and your usage gives you away then you're an idiot. But what is the most they can do? Look at user agent strings? I changed mine on the phone ages ago to avoid lots of crap (and get iplayer to work properly).

  10. Mark N

    All-you-can-eat - even with tethering

    "We still suggest caution. Three stresses that the limitless data is for smartphone use, so it may yet draw the line when it comes to tethering said handset to your laptop."

    A post on the Three blog - - states that "If you’ve been to all-you-can-eat restaurants before, you’ll already be familiar how this works. You pay once, you get as much as you want the first time round, and you can still keep coming back for more. And yes, if you want to use your phone as a dongle (also known as tethering) then you absolutely can."

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: All-you-can-eat - even with tethering

      Ta for the clarification.

    2. Paul Shirley

      an ADSL killer?

      If this is true its not the other mobile operators that need to worry, this could easily replace ADSL over vast parts of the country. A reasonable price compared to ADSL+line rental at speeds many can only dream of.

      Sadly I suspect it's another "3" drone making stuff up and "3"'s network is good but probably not that good. Yet.

      1. Chad H.

        ADSL KIller?


        Poor Latency, No public IP address, slower speeds.

        Anyone selling Mobile broadband as a landline replacement is either ill informed, or simply misselling.

      2. foo_bar_baz


        Experience from another European country: My parents switched from ADSL to the fastest unlimited 3G data service available. They lasted a few months before switching back to ADSL.

        3G data is OK for mobile usage, that's all.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I recently switched to Sim £10 with Three, even though it says online you get 1 Gig when you check online account you get 2 Gig of data. Maybe thats what they mean by unlimited.... because even at my most extreme levels of downloading games/browsing/watching catchuptv i've only twice gone over 1Gig usage in a month.

  12. Mage Silver badge

    Three Death Wish?

    Either they have a death wish and want to go bust


    It's a lie


    A 3G/HSPA network doesn't NEED to throttle high users. It has so little per sector capacity it throttles itself.

    You'd be lucky to get much more than 2Mbps average throughput (total of all users) with a heavily used sector with people evenly spaced from mast to cell edge with 21Mbps HSPA.

    So performance will go to hell and you will be unable to Skype or watch YouTube with a half dozen tethered Torrent users on your mast sector.

    A cap on Mobile is often the only way to manage Contention and thus congestion.

  13. davefb


    guess who upgraded his smartphone a month before the 'one' deal came out ?

    bah, 18months left on that one :(... still I don't go over the 500mb anyway, so I dont care :)

  14. Steven Raith

    Unlimited is easy

    ...when 90% of the time your connection speed can be measured in bytes per second, not even kilobytes. It wouldn't be possible to reach any limits, even if you tried.

    Thats with a full strength signal on HSDPA.

    I wouldn't touch Three with a barge pole, frankly, although I'm quite prepared to admit that my experience may be a one off...

    Steven R

    1. Campbeltonian

      I had a similar experience

      I was looking for a SIM-only contract, and I got a PAYG SIM from each of the networks to try them out.

      At home on Three, I consistently got 4 or 5 bars of HSDPA, but struggled to download a meaningful amount of data, and sometimes had problems connecting to the network at all.

      I ended up going for Vodafone, which gave me a good 3G connection at work (a lifesaver when BT knocked the broadband out in the entire region) and a good EDGE connection at home.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    "A truly unlimited data package, at last?" that "comes with a 1GB monthly data allowance."

    Also: "When asked whether downloading 90GB of movies would invoke all sorts of woes for the user, the Three spokeswoman insisted that no, it would not."

    Erm: "The One currently comes with a 1GB monthly data allowance. Beyond that you pay 10p per megabyte."

    So, your average Three spokeswoman doesn't consider a £8,900 bill a woe? I know where I'm applying for my next job.

    In conclusion: how is this different than any other mobile data package?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    £10 for 1Gb? You was robbed

    Until a month or so ago, 3 there doing a £15 for 15Gb data deal. I got one of those and it's brill especially with the mifi they sell.

    Tke your hotspot with you. Simples.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Probably better

    ...than the others. Checked at the stores today, and the girl mentioned this deal is coming out on Friday. So expect a surge of sales for smartphones and she further insisted this time its for real!

    But its only for people signing into a "one" contract 18 months at least. Current contract have to change to the one tarrif to avail this ! No automatic allowances increase for others.

    So take your pick from the rash of advetising blitz that will follow.

    Paris, cos I'll pick her anytime.

  18. Andy Hards
    Thumb Up

    Where 3 lead others will follow!

    Been with 3 since 2005 and have had internet access as an add on since not long after. Now get 2gb a month due to a price plan I've been on for years but even when I went WAY over the 1gb they didn't do anything other than send me warning texts, now I have 2 and go easy on the downloads from my unlimited Ovi Music subscription as when I first got that my 1gb lasted 3 days.

    They were the first to say they were no longer offering unlimited as itwasn't unlimited and no are offering a truly unlimited service. They get my vote.

    Just to clarify though I think it says only on their One Plan and with Smartphones so I guess that limits it a bit. I've never noticed any throttling issues either.

    All the others seem to be following 3's lead. They were the cheapest for a long time, then there was little to hoose btw them all but again 3 has moved the goal posts.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, but...

    Bin with 3 for a while, service is OK if you don't mind all the call centers speaking with a heavy Indian accent and insisting You must have requested they process the monthy debit twice, and no you can't have the money back etc. etc. A Typical Celco!

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      DD Guarantee

      >> You must have requested they process the monthy debit twice, and no you can't have the money back etc. etc.

      Go to your bank, tell them this was a mistake, and you want the money back ... pronto. It is part of the DD system that if mistakes are make, your bank is required to put your money back in your account.

      Failing that, go to the county court and issue proceedings under the fast track service (aka small claims court). They'll either settle or lose (and owe you costs as well).

      Also, every communications provider is required by law to be a member of an arbitration service - in the case of Three it's Otelo, and their FAQ is at

      AFAICT, it's free to you.

      I'm just waiting for my 8 weeks to be up so I can drag Orange to CISAS (the other of the two services, of whom Orange are a member).

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