O2 introduces new smartphone tariff, goodbye unlimited data

10 June 2010

If you care, and some of you do, O2 have just announced they're to scrap unlimited data tariffs when the iPhone 4 arrives. Unlike the smoke and mirrors of Vodafone, they're being very candid about their new charges, even if they do both suck and blow. And it's not just iPhone; O2 are labelling these as 'smartphone tariffs':

Bitterwallet - O2 introduce new tariffs

While texts are unlimited across all tariffs, the amount of data available is staggered in order for the network to manage its inventory (and if any network needs to get its act together concerning data coverage, it's O2) - to get 1GB of data a month, you need to take out a £60, two year tariff. Hello? One footnote to this - according to O2, new and upgrading customers will continue to receive unlimited data as a promotion until 1 October.

At least their maths concerning what 500MB can be used to download looks a little more realistic - unlike the complete bullshit Vodafone was pushing out to justify the enforcement of its FUP. Still there's a suspicious odour in the air when you read the official blurb:

Based on current usage patterns, 97% of O2 smartphone customers would not need to buy additional data allowances, as the lowest bundle (500MB) provides at least 2.5 times the average O2 customer’s current use.

Really? Well if that's the case, why charge take the eyes of customers by charging £60 for 1GB of data, when you believe the average customer's usage is less than 200MB?

TOPICS:   Mobile   Privacy


  • Bob
    "Based on current usage patterns" internet usage is unlikely to increase in 2 years so only 3% of 02 smartphone customers will need to buy extra data.
  • Steve
    So if im reading this right.. As a customer paying for the unlimited data bolton (non iphone contract) @ £7.50 / month. I shouldnt see any change?
  • Ballu
    shut the FUP
  • M4RKM
    what? no 18 month contracts.. bye bye o2...
  • Hassan
  • TH1882FC
    Has anyone else noticed: o2: Based on current usage patterns, 97% of O2 smartphone customers would not need to buy additional data allowances, as the lowest bundle (500MB) provides at least 2.5 times the average O2 customer’s current use. Vodafone: As the vast majority of our mobile internet subscribers (more than 97 percent) never reach the limit they will not be receiving the text alerts at all. The minority of our customers (less then 3 percent) who do come close will receive a text telling them they are approaching their data allowance and advising them to monitor their usage going forward. At this point customers will not be charged anything more. What a coincidence...........
  • Klingelton
    did i not say earlier about o2's data plans changing when they were trying to tempt people to take new iphone 4 for "free"... Did i not say! Thank you for confirming my suspicions!
  • ridge
    @ M4RKM yes there is 18 month contracts BW didnt put them up for some reason
  • MrRobin
    I was concerned when i first saw this but looking at my iphone I have now it says the data I've downloaded is much less than 500MB / month so perhaps it's much less of a problem than I thought. I still don't like to be restricted tho. And whilst I'm having a rant, I hate the way they're advertising 'unlimited wi-fi' well ofcourse it bloody is, the wi-fi has nothing to do with you, O2. Actually, come to think of it, if you really did cane the Wi-fi and then your ISP said hold it down, son, could you quote look look you said unlimited, there's no fair use clause on the wi-fi iphone section...
  • M4RKM
    Now, I will wait patiently and see who has the best tariff for my money.. there are 18 month tariffs, and they look reasonable, i sometimes hammer my phone a bit, and in 3 months and 1 week, i've used 2gb data... minimum 750mb for me then... unlimited texts? who the hell texts these days.. i must send about 50 a month... charge me for them, give me fair data.. do I dare go with three? http://www.three.co.uk/Phones/iPhone
  • Robert
    Does the increase also affect the 'SIM Only – Simplicity' tariffs?
  • Smith
    So I'm on a £20/month Simplicity deal. Can I cancel my contract? Will my Internet be crippled?
  • Ed
    @MrRobin: The "Wi-Fi" refers to The Cloud and Openzone Wi-Fi that comes as part of the contract, rather than your own personal Wi-Fi. (Orange also provides unlimited access to OpenZone but impose a 750MB/mo Fair Usage Limit on their unlimited plan.)
  • Klingelton
    i don't like the way they market the wifi as "unlimited" as some packages are not "unlimted" and have a hard cap of 4gb or thereabouts. It's not for o2 to state whether it's unlimited!
  • Richard
    What do you guys do on your iPhones? I just checked mine and over 8 months I've used an average of about 210mb a month. I use the internet loads on it but tbh, most of the time i'm in wifi areas.
  • Gunn
    This isnt going to help the mobile market and mobile service companies grow in the next few years, what have o2 do being doing with all our cash, how about investing in better networks!
  • tfeb
    @Bob: Actually data traffic on the o2 network has increased by 20 times in the last 18 months, and continues to double every four months. There alot of sound eveidence to also suggest that the vast majority of ppl wont hit more than 500mb. But there are a number of customers who do really take the pi@@ with there data useage and that effects all users. I do agree though that these new tariffs might not be as good as last years re data but i get why the are doing it. Plus in O2's defence they are also spending a million pound a day to upgrade the network because they know its not good enough at the moment. And believe it or not they have been genuinly surprised by how much data usage incread in the last 18 month. I know!
  • Paul C.
    Can someone explain this bit at the bottom of the table http://shop.o2.co.uk/new-iphone/tariffs.html 'Unlimited data on all smartphone tariffs is a promotion until 1 October 2010. Excessive usage policy and terms apply, see o2.co.uk.' Does that mean new tariffs are eligible for unlimited data if you sign up before then? Or does this mean all UNLIMITED data comes to an end on that date?! Very confusing.
  • Mike
    It means that if you apply before the 1st October you get unlimited data. But for all new contracts after then (or renewals) you will move to restricted data plans.
  • Keir
    Does this mean I can cancel my contract early, without paying cancellation fees? Thanks guys!
  • Paul C.
    @ Mike. Thanks. It would appear then that upgrading now would be beneficial rather than wait to get stung by data charges.
  • Bill B.
    If you hold any iphone now within contrqact or have have continued to pay for it beyond your minimum term you can stay on the Unlimited Data - HOWEVER If you take the new iPhone4 you must take a new contract which is the 500MB/month contract. The only way around this to guarantee your current unlimited data long term is to buy the iPhone4 on PAYG and continue with your exisiting contract (Expensive Option) There is an alternative of buying the iPhone4 on PAYG and buying a 12 month iphone simplicity sim (before October) which will lock in the unlimied data for another 12 months - but then they will knock you back to 500mb at month 13 Anyone currently with a simplicity iphone sim on a 30 day will get 30 days notice and they will be knocked down to 500MB Anyone currently with a simplicity iphone sim on a 12 month will be knocked down to 500MB at the end of their 12 months.
  • donttouchthehair
    "But there are a number of customers who do really take the pi@@ with there data useage and that effects all users." That would be o2's fault for saying unlimited data useage in the first place then!
  • Bill B.
    My situation / My email to O2 My current iPhone 3G 18 month contract at £35/month gives me 600mins/500txts/Unlimited Data/International Traveller Service/1MMS=4txts/1 International txt=4txts I have been an O2 customer for 5 years and have an average monthly bill of £50 I want to purchase an iPhone4 16GB from you (probably £199) and commit to another £35/mnth contract with you - if I do that you will then ??? move me to the following (based on your new tariffs today) £35/month will give me 300mins/Unlimited txts/500MB Data/ NO International Traveller Service/NO 1MMS=4txts/NO 1 International txt=4txts So in summary (after buying the new phone, commiting to o2 for a further 18months) I lose 300mins I gain Unlimited texts (but have never used the 500) I lose unlimited Data I lose International Traveller Service I lose 1MMS=4txts I lose 1 International txt=4txts Please confirm and advise why I should remain with O2 ??
  • grex9101
    ^^^ WHAT? You seriously expect an answer to that? LOL
  • grex9101
    and why am I getting moderated? It's not like I post WTF IS DIS REAL on every article or go on about foxes.
  • Mike
    @Paul Coia Apologies, I made a mistake and realised as I was posting. If you ugrade/buy before June 24th then you will remain on the Unlimited option until you upgrade your account (if ever)! The 1st October is an offer for new customers after the 24th June, as in you wont be charged for going over the limit until the 1st October. But after 1st October you will be charged for going over the limit if you are on a contract that was taken out after 24th June. @Bill - The only other option is to take out a new contract out or upgrade before the 24th June and then sell your iphone 3GS (or other phone if you can get more for it) and use this money towards purchasing an iphone 4g on PAYG.
  • Flying S.
    A conversation with the live chat robots: Chris: Hi there. My name's Chris I am an O2 advisor, may I take your name please? You: Hi, I was looking at the press release today about the data tariff changes. Can you confirm that if I bought a tariff today with unlimited data I would continue to have that for the length of my contract? Chris: Yes that's correct. You: So the change would only affect me if I bought a tariff after the 24th June? Chris: That's right. You: Can you tell me what o2 deem to be 'excessive usage' as I cannot find any details in the T&C's. Also do you know if there are any plans to review this in the near future? You: I just don't want to take out a 2 yr contract and then get a sting in a couple months. Already had that from Voda Chris: There's no real limit, but we do have a 'fair usage' policy of 20GB per month. Even if you exceeded this you wouldn't be cut off - we would contact you to see if a commercial contract may be more suited to you. You: 20GB? Really? Chris: That's correct. You: Seems like a lot compared to every other company I've looked into Chris: Yes we pride ourselves on our fair usage policies. You: So much so that they are now getting removed from all tariff's? Chris: It is mainly due to the introduction of the new iPhone. Chris: Is there anything else I can do? You: No, you've been most helpfull. Many thanks.
  • Jase
    So...when do Orange fall? Or have they already?
  • Carl B.
    UK’s Tele Coms not keeping pace with demand I appreciate that O2 is at least being honest informing its customers. Yet this does not get away from the fact that the telecommunications Companies in the UK are not keeping pace with the huge increased demand for legitimate downloaded products. Meanwhile the OFT Office of Fair Trading should halt the miss selling of Broadband by many ISP's falsely stating unlimited usage when in fact they are not. Businesses are being affected by the restrictions placed on ‘Legitimate Downloads’ of both music and Movies due to low Gig caps. All this at time when new products, which keep markets flowing, are being seriously affected. The UK Government meanwhile is seeking to criminalize all Net users to gain revenue by the introduction of new Laws. See here for details: http://tinyurl.com/35phmvt Signed Carl Barron Chairman of agpcuk
  • echo
    I've been with o2 since cellnet in 1992! Looks like I'll be switching providers for iPhone4 along with many others. These tariffs are a joke. I probably don't use 1gb, but I also don't want to feel limited in any way if the rare occasion of streaming something comes up. And wtf is it with charging for mms all of a sudden?
  • dunfyboy
  • Fatal E.
    Charging for MMS is bullshit when data is included in your plan. It's the same on T-mobile. 'strokes fully unlimited internet'.
  • Rich
    They have changed the layout of the site and some of the wording, the main body is still there, it still says new and upgrading customers will get the unlimited package until October but the made sure to add this underneath 'All O2 customers will continue to receive unlimited Wi-Fi through The Cloud and BT Openzone hotspots. Existing customers will continue under their present terms, unlimited data usage with an Excessive Use Policy. Ronan Dunne concluded “By doing this, we are laying the foundation for a sustainable data experience for all customers and the huge possibilities that technology will create over the coming years.” ' They made it clear that customer who had there contract before the change will continue to get their "unlimited" data allowance but that will be the last of it. So they're not doing the pig headed "you're all getting it now" this that Vodafone did but they are making it that 500mb will be the same for everyone sooner or later. So the flying Scotsman was incorrectly informed, he won't get to keep the "unlimited" thing unless he took out a contract with it in there before they announced it's going. I think they will loose a lot of customers because of this because even though I use the wi-fi a lot on the phone I don't like being restricted in what I can and can't do. One last thing (to borrow a well used term) anyone noticed that as soon as Apple announced that the iPad and iPhone will be able to make data calls using Skype and Fring ect... that all the mobile firms suddenly stuck on data limits...
  • Rich
    @Carl Barron. I thought I'd never see a Geocity site again then I clicked on your name and saw your site...
  • Ross H.
    Looks like orange are going to do this as well: http://www.reghardware.com/2010/06/11/orange_data_plans/
  • Orange B.
    [...] largely because their definition was somewhat different to that in the dictionary, then yesterday O2 announced an end to unlimited data, with new smartphone tariffs costing as much as £60 per month for just 1GB of [...]
  • Flying S.
    @Rich Was on the phone to o2 sales (called twice to double check) today and they confirmed this. I specifically asked "If I take out a brand new contract today will I get unlimited data for the whole contract term?" They replied in the affirmative, that if you buy a contract before the 24th that has unlimited data included then they will honour that agreement for the contract term. In other words, buy a contract today and you will be considered an existing customer on the 24th when the new charges become live and thus will not be affected by them.
  • Rich
    @Flying Scotsman This is the start of the email I got from the O2 "experts" 'Good Morning Richard Thanks for getting in touch regarding the 'unlimited' usage allowance. I'll definitely assist you in the best possible manner. I'd would like to inform you that our new iPhone 4 tariff will include up to 1GB of UK data and unlimited Wi-Fi. However, unlimited data on all iPhone 4 tariffs is a promotion until 1 October 2010. This means you'll be able to use your unlimited data service 'till 1 October 2010. I really apologise for any inconvenience that may have been caused due the iPhone 4 tariff information. Moreover, I'd suggest you to wait till iPhone 4 is launched. You can then contact us to upgrade your contract and we'll then help you with tariff will be available to you with iPhone 4.' So that means 1st of October everyone's unlimited service will stop unless you took out a contract before they announced the drop.
  • Flying S.
    @Rich Could the difference be that I was specific in that it was not the iPhone4 but a currently available android phone? Being that the iPhone4 is released on o2 on the 24th, the same day as the new charges come in I would say all the info you have is correct - simply due to it being directly regarding the new iPhone. Quoting from your email: "that our new iPhone 4 tariff will include up to 1GB of UK data" "the iPhone 4 tariff information" "help you with tariff will be available to you with iPhone 4" As you can not get the iPhone4 before the new charges are introduced (obviously a deliberate act) then it stands to reason that you can not purchase an existing tariff. As an applephobic, I would suggest that this information is not relevant to my situation as it'll be an droid phone I purchase - and as such I can buy it and a tariff that is currently available i.e. with unlimited data. Cheers
  • Ten B.
    [...] O2 introduces new smartphone tariff, goodbye unlimited data [...]
  • Jimboon
    I'd advise everyone to call O2 and establish what data you currently use. I just have and was shocked to see figures of around 850Mb per monh - on average...! I'll have to peg that back or go pay £60+ per month! I hammer the phone for mail & internet in line with my work - but this is a personal contract and my employer is very unlikely to foot the bill for me. I just happen to be able to use the iPhone to really help me day to day. In my line of work, on the road a lot, I have to use the data. I get wifi a lot but I never seem to bump in to Cloud & Openzone hotspots that are reliable. Anyone got a link to decent reference points to where I should be able to get good wifi and save myself a few bob?!
  • David
    Just a heads up for anyone who thinks that they don't use over 500Mb in a month. I reset my usage figures today on my 3gs and then listened to radio 1 for 90 minutes on tune in radio app and used over 100Mb. I then tried it on a free radio app for 90 mins and used only 57Mb. Then watched the holland vs Denmark on catch up tv app and used 280Mb. Now when u consider that if you sit in an office and do that twice in a month on the 4gs then your well over your limit!! Scary ain't it and makes me think what's the point in having any smart phone when your constantly going to be worried about a crazy bill and defeats the freedom of the phone in the first place. It will feel like when your on holiday and use the phone a bit to much and dread the bill that u know is coming! Why cap everyone? Why not warn the 3% that take the pi55 and threaten to cap them because accourding to o2 97% of us don't need capping in the first place. Makes me sick!!!
  • Vodafone’s B.
    [...] least Vodafone haven’t opted for the ridiculous 500MB caps that O2 are planning to introduce on iPhone 4 for the lower tariffs, and throwing in a European data allowance for brief dalliances is is a nice [...]
  • O2 B.
    [...] customers got the hump last week when their aforementioned phone overlords decided they’ll be pulling the plug on unlimited data as part of new contracts once the iPhone 4 arrives later in the [...]
  • r
    Makes my £20 simplicity plan with unlimited data, 600 mins & 1200 texts seem like a bargain..
  • Chris
    Hi, Just got off the phone to O2 after a massive row. Just to add to all the above comments as i've today had a warning text of excessive usage (I am on one of the older contracts where youre covered by the excessive usage not fair usage policies). The bloke on the phone informed me after I asked him to then define o2's excessive usage amounts that the amounts were: "what we deem them to be" Surely thats mis advertising as yes I should have read the terms and conditions but if there arent any limits in the T&C's how can you abide by anything. Also why sell the Iphone with Youtube already installed if basically watching youtube videos on a daily basis (not all day but a few and why shouldnt I?) if that could be deemed excessive use? Can I get out of my contract over this????? i'd rather give it back than be told i'm at the mercy of a limit of what a random person deems it to be. Also for the people on here who say the excessive users should learn, I would say most people if they bothered to check theyre own actual usage a month would be classed as excessive under O2's new policies. Lastly, if O2's excessive usage is whatever they deem it to be who's to say next month they may drop it to 500mb. Surely thats not legal?
  • EuroGadGets 4.
    Terrific work! This is the kind of information that should be shared around the net. Disgrace on Google for now not positioning this publish upper! Come on over and consult with my site . Thanks =)

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