back to article Three punters' data use doubles

Mobile customers now consume double the amount of data than they did last year, says Three. The operator's contract customers now use an average of 1.1GB a month, compared to the 450MB they gobbled up this time last year. The culprits of high data use are unsurprisingly top-end smartphone users, who swallow roughly 1.5GB a …


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  1. Nish

    If only Orange would notice....

    Still give a paltry 750MB to me, I use that taking a dump.

    1. Code Monkey

      Re: If only Orange would notice....

      Hopefully not uploading a video log to YouTube

      1. Andy 115

        Re: If only Orange would notice....

        More suspect DOWNLOADING a slightly different type of log...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Not a surprise

    The reality for many in the UK is that HSPA and especially HSUPA offer much faster speeds than fixed broadband.

    Three should be given a medal for offering a fast unlimited service at a very reasonable cost.

    1. Ben Naylor

      Re: Not a surprise

      errr, no.

      Three is fast "when it works", but it does have a tendency to drop regularly.

      My Sky fixed BB is 16mbit at worst, and is "instant" and always on.

      There is no comparison whatsoever with mobile "bb" and fixed line "bb".

      1. Andy Johnson

        Re: Not a surprise

        Lucky you to live near an exchange. My ADSL broadband is 3Mbit on a good day. I never had an issue with Three data either, it's definitely better than the quality of service on Vodafone.

        1. Ben Naylor

          Re: Not a surprise

          and Three will never get near 3mbit on mobile BB. :)

          1. Oddbin

            Re: Not a surprise

            3.26 right now on my 3 phone tethered vs 2.7 on my Sky BB. In Edinburgh city center its closer to 6 via my phone. And unless BDUK gets their finger out I live in an economically unviable area for BT to roll out FTTC. Even thought I am, by the road, less than 500m from the nearest FTTC cabinet and inside of 4km by road from the exchange.

          2. PeterI

            Re: Not a surprise

            Beg to differ. On a good day I've gotten 6-7Mbps down and 2Mbps up downloaded Portal 2 that way when I was onsite using a Nexus S in tethering mode

        2. Ben Naylor

          Re: Not a surprise

          and we weren't comparing Three to Voda, we were comparing Mobile BB to fixed line BB. :)

          if you happen to live in the sticks, that's something you have to accept, or get together with your local community and get Fibre installed if it's that bad. My parents did that and they now have unlimited Fibre to the HOUSE, yes to the HOUSE.

          Check out Rutland Telecom :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a surprise

      I agree 100%

      I recently had the joys of moving from a fibre optic connection to a property with an ADSL connection. I was told we could expect a theoretical maximum speed of 8meg which I knew it would be nowhere near having previously worked for a big ADSL provider. Sure enough the connection is steady at about 4meg.

      Speedtest when going through Three Network 3G? 9 meg constant download

  3. CraigW

    Mmmm, data

    On my old Hero I used around 250Mb a month, mostly because the device was too slow to hit anything hard.

    Now I have a Galaxy S3 and use around 500Mb a week, purely because everything works well.

    Now if only Three would admit that the still need the 2g piggyback in some places, I could get data in the office and try and break 1Gb a week :)

  4. Andrew James

    Why are we taking the figures with a pinch of salt, just because people use more because they have no constraints? Thats ridiculous. People are using more because there are no constraints, yes. But unless you've got something that suggests people are actively selecting not to switch to Wifi when they get home, i dont see how this stands up.

    Thats like Vauxhall doing a 1 years free petrol offer and you saying you will ignore the higher mileage on vauxhall cars compared to ford or renault because of this. "Ah yes, they've done 120% more miles on average than the same type of car sold a year ago, but thats just because of the free petrol you see, so it doesnt matter".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Never found the need to switch from 3G to wifi myself, apart from to get round the 3 networks porn blocker.

      1. Andrew James

        I'm on a T-Mobile "unlimited data" deal, with a fair usage cap... which i usually hit by the middle of month. No access to wifi at work. Have to swap to wifi when i get home or i'd hit the fair use limit in about a week.

      2. Ben Naylor

        pr0n on Three

        You can get around that by phoning them up and asking them to unblock said access, if you really feel the need to have a "quick shuffle" on the train. :)

        1. Andrew James

          Re: pr0n on Three

          Or behind the bus stop. Or at the back of the bus. Or between parked cars outside Asda ... you know, whatever. Each to their own.

          1. Ben Naylor

            Re: pr0n on Three

            The post is required, and must contain letters.


        2. Bonce

          Re: pr0n on Three

          Alan Partridge voice: "Can you make porn come on my mobile?"

      3. Andy Johnson

        You can turn that off :)

      4. peterm3

        new keyboard please

        It's all wet now

      5. Uplink

        I never thought about calling 3 straight up to ask them to unblock my porn... I just set up a squid proxy on my OVH RPS instead and encrypted my connection :) And I did that only when their porn blocker blocked a non-porn site (unless anything NSFW is porn... now is it?) It's in case you're wondering.

  5. Bodestone

    Switch to wifi

    I always switch to wi-fi at home or the office even though I never come near my data cap (2 gig sim only on 3)

    Partly this is habit. Mainly though I hate having to put in a PIN all the time to unlock the phone (required with ICS if you have credentials on the phone) and Unlock with Wifi removed the need when you are hooked up to your selected stations.

    I don't agree with the petrol analogy though. If Vauxhaul offered unlimited tank refills then people would tend to drive further than if they had to start forking out for their own petrol after the first tank each month. It goes without saying.

    If 3 were not as cheap on their buffet deals then their overall usage may not have increased as much.

  6. Andy Johnson

    Poor choice for customers

    How can companies still have plans with 500MB of data ?! The standard offering should be 1GB and we should be able to tether that. It's our data that we've paid for who are they to decide what we use it for !.

    Well done Three for not differentiating between mobile use and tethered use.

    UK mobile providers need to wake up to the fact that people want data on the move, and we want lots of it and we want it fast. O2 discovered this when they got the iPhone exclusive and ended up doing lots of remedial work upgrading data pipes and installing new cells. All the other providers are now starting to suffer the same slow data.

    I've used data on the move during a journey for the last 12 months, and three was consistantly better than Vodafone at keeping a signal and providing me with faster data. If only they would have sold me one of their homesignal boxes so I could have a good service at home I'd still be with them...

  7. VWDan

    No surprise here!

    At the risk of sounding like a Three ambassador (Which I'm really not), getting their One Plan which allows tethering was the best purchase I've made in a while. I do a lot of travelling around the UK, and therefore find myself sitting around waiting a lot and also in hotels. I rarely bother with hotel Wi-Fi now, and watching iPlayer on the train is just awesome!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm a happy customer

    I'm in Ireland and don't have dsl/wifi/satellite/etc, my Three ready-to-go is my only web access. I top up by 20 euros in one go a month and get unlimited web for that along with whatever calls and txts, which frankly I don't care about as I barely use voice any more. So far this month I must be up to well over 20 gigs downloaded, all from my mobile. They were fecking terrible several years back but have vastly improved since. Any other providers that I know of here are utterly pathetic in comparison.

  9. Dropper
    Thumb Up

    well duh..

    Smart phones can view HD video.. porn is available as HD video.. data usage increases 3X.. seems like a natural progression..

  10. Uplink

    Broadband only

    Right now I'm not a broadband customer at all (not wired, not 3G). Well... not in this country. I don't need it. But when I will, I won't be getting any wired services unless they drop the line rental requirement. I'll just get on Three's One Plan. I'm already a Three 3Pay customer, and love them (the 150 MB free allowance does me for now). I don't need a landline either. If I were to go with a copper chain, I still wouldn't need a landline. I don't need TV either. I'm basically the worst customer in the books of BT and Sky. But I get punished for that, as I still need to pay line rental. Virgin, if you go on their fiber rather than the BT reselling side of the business, charge you extra for the "privilege" of taking just broadband from them (with a 13.9/month phone line, broadband is 14.5/month; don't want a phone? it's 22.5/month for you mister).

    I declare myself a Three fanboi, and I don't see myself switching at the rate the competition is going.

  11. MrXavia
    Thumb Up

    Well I am with three, and when I am out & about I can easily suck down 1-2Gb a DAY on my mobile, when I am at home, I a femtocell, to get a signal, so WIFI is the best option.

    Three is fast, reliable, and unrestricted, i was on Vodafone, with a paltry 750mb/month, and terrible speeds...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Used my phone on the 3 Europass using a VPN into UK. Streamed Sky and iPlayer very nicely thank you :)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But it's not 3s network...

    You do realise that 3 did a deal with T-mobile (now EverythingEverywhere) for access to their 3G network some years ago before the boom in data volumes. Apparently that contract did not define data volumes, hence 3 can push unlimited data at no real cost to themselves. Great business model for 3 and their customers, but a very poor decision for whoever in T-mobile signed that contract...

    In fact, that's probably why EverythingEverywhere is in such a rush to roll out LTE. They can try and reduce their exposure to unlimited 3G 3 customers , whilst tempting paying customers from the other operators onto LTE.

    Anonymous for obvious reasons...

  14. Lizard

    Loving 3

    I moved from O2 to 3 6 months ago, and would never go back;

    using iPhone and tethered tablet for TVCatchup and streaming downloaded TV shows from my home PC via AirVideo.

    I easily use 5-6GB a month, and get a great speed too, 4-MB down, 1-MB up.

    I will sometimes stick with 3G even in places where there is free WIFI, usually because my 3G is faster.

    I just wish I could get my iPhone to automatically switch between WIFI and 3g depending on which was currently faster as oppose to having to turn off WIFI manually when it gets a bit laggy.

    when i was with O2 on their "unlimited" plan, i got my data cut off at 1GB 2 weeks into the month because of their "fair-usage" policy.

    I recommend 3 to everyone now;

  15. cs94njw

    Recently upgraded from my HTC Desire to the Samsung S3.

    Saw the article somewhere about that Zombie game now being free (Dead .. something?), so thought I would take a look....

    118 MB download!! Don't get me wrong, gimme the pretty graphics and functionality. Gimme gimme gimme!

    But... that would have been the entire phone memory of my HTC Desire (ish). And I pity the fools who've downloaded the BBC Olympics app for their phones... I hope they're all with 3.

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