3 Follows The Crowd And Dumps ‘Unlimited Data’


Mobile operator 3 has followed O2 and Vodafone in announcing that it will also ditch unlimited data plans for smartphone users

Mobile operator 3 has followed what seems to be becoming a trend after it too announced that it would be scrapping its “unlimited data” plans for mobile users.

However, the announcement came after the operator announced a generous data plan called “The One Plan”.

“3 believes it’s the simplest, most competitive tariff ever offered in the UK,” said the company in a statement. “It’s a forerunner of the flat-rate mobile plans we believe will underpin the widespread consumer use of smartphones.”

1GB Of Data

3 said that for the vast majority of people, the One Plan will satisfy all the calls, texts and data they need. Priced at £25 per month, users will get a standard monthly allowance of 2,000 any network minutes, as well 5,000 3-to-3 minutes, 5,000 texts and 1GB of data.

3 UK
3 UK

“For individual consumers this plan is about peace of mind,” said 3 Chief Executive, Kevin Russell. “For the industry it’s a game changer.”

Russell has also criticised the way in which phone tariffs are advertised in the past, and had a pop at Orange following the ruling from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Orange had claimed in a press advert that its 3G network “covers more people in the UK than any other operator”.

“As an industry our marketing standards are poor and it has led to cynicism,” Russell told the BBC.

Dumbest Thing

He also said that he regretted using the term “unlimited” to describe data packages, as it was not “the reality of the market place”.

“One of the dumbest things I’ve done is talk about ‘unlimited’ data when it’s not,” he told the BBC.

To be fair to 3, it is not the only operator now clarifying its position over the amount of data that can be downloaded over mobile networks. In early June O2 announced it was scrapping its unlimited data plan. This decision lead to angry O2 users to threaten a protest day in which they would download their usage allowance on 23 June.

Vodafone has also adjust its price plans accordingly.

The news follows signs that the general public is falling out of love with mobile broadband. UK mobile broadband price comparison site, Broadband Expert, said there had been a 57 percent drop in the number of people it has helped sign up for mobile broadband in the last twelve months. Moreover, it said sales have crashed by over 50 percent year-on-year.

The risk of mobile data outages has been well publicised over the last year. Analyst firm Informa warned in October that mobile data traffic is set to increase 25 fold by 2012, and said that mobile operators need to take action in order to cope with imminent data traffic jams.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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