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3 breaks ranks with unlimited mobile data


By Stewart Mitchell

Posted on 15 Dec 2010 at 10:56

Mobile operator 3 claims it intends to buck the trend of restricting data downloads with the introduction of what it calls “a truly unlimited data” package.

According to 3, customers signing up to its One Plan will be allowed unrestricted data downloads, rather than the previous 1GB per month allowance.

The announcement is significant because it comes at a time when most mobile companies are moving away from all-you-can-eat models, claiming consumer demand makes unlimited packages unviable.

“Because we are a totally 3G network, it was made for broadband, which is why we can do this while other networks are introducing caps and limits,” a spokesperson for 3 told PC Pro. “The change is aimed at giving customers peace of mind when it comes to data.”

Three told us that the new offer did not include a Fair Usage Policy, and would be available to all new customers as well as those already on the plan, which starts at £25.

The offer is not yet appearing on the 3 website, but the company said the site would be updated later today to reflect the changes.

The changes to the tariff follow a £400 million project to upgrade 3’s network, but only apply to smartphones on the One Plan contract. 3G dongle users will continue to face data caps.

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User comments

There will always be fair usage policy

Whatever they say, some sort of fair usage will always exist!!

By mobilegnet on 15 Dec 2010

Unlimited actually means Unlimited?!

If this is the case then I'm definitely switching.

Spoke to Vodafone to try and get a better a deal on my mobile data plan and they kept referring that my plan has already 'unlimited' internet. Of course I got her to admit their version of unlimited actually means 500mb.

I hope this is not the case for 3.

By vikarmo on 15 Dec 2010

That's my next supplier sorted then :)

By Deano on 15 Dec 2010

The problem is...

to get the unlimited usage you have to go with Three. I would rather not have a mobile phone than sign another contract with them.

By PeteMelbourne on 15 Dec 2010

Admiral Ackbar mode on...

Or is it?

I think I just giggled and thought that after all, I might consider getting a smartphone.

By Josefov on 15 Dec 2010

GiffGaff have been unlimited for ages...

By Jayseeyou on 15 Dec 2010


After 28th of February 2011-

"mobile Internet will be charged at 50p a day (if you use less than 2.5MB/day you'll pay less than 50p and if you go over 30MB you'll be charged extra at 20p/MB)"

Might be the same sort of unlimited set up as 3 are considering?

By greemble on 15 Dec 2010

Unlimited data *where you can use it*

3's network coverage is still poor in many places. I'm on their network and I struggle to get a signal in much of Derbyshire. Recently I couldn't get a signal outside a 3 store in Manchester!

Their tariffs are cheaper but you get what you pay for.

By rupert_giles on 15 Dec 2010

hahahahahahahaha! How can it be unlimited when there's no proper coverage. After 3 months I finally managed to cancel my contract. I travel quite a lot and I didn't just have a bad signal at home in Bolton but no signal most of the time when I was in Manchester, Leeds, Skelmerdale, Keighley, Croydon, London, Edinburgh etc.... How does this company even make money?!?! Forget phone calls or texts nevermind the internet. Before I handed my phone back I had downloaded a grand total of 7mb in data. Now on Vodafone I regularly hit 300-400mb.

You might as well use carier pigeons to relay information.

By anthonysjones on 15 Dec 2010

Customer Service

Oh and there customer service is a joke!!!

One more thing, if you are brainless enough to buy a phone from these muppets buy it through the internet as you have more consumer rights than buying from a high street store, and believe me every bit helps in your war to cancel your contract ... which you will want to do 5 minutes after you put the SIM in.

By anthonysjones on 15 Dec 2010

Giffgaff have had this for over a year!

Unlimited, no fair use policy (unless you count the restriction that it is for mobile devices not tethered laptops/pcs) from £10 per month.

Great customer service(community forum provided so 24hr and superfast)

On the O2 network so probably more coverage than 3 ( i've no stats to back that up!)

By Kutassy on 16 Dec 2010

giffgaff also can have very low running costs

I've been with giffgaff since May. To date I have topped up to a total of £20. My current balance stands at £17.36, I have an Android phone and I have no concerns about data usage, not that I am a high data user in any case. Nonetheless, to have voice, data and text services for the equivalent of about £7 per year is pretty darned good if you ask me.

Come the 1st of March, if I have to start paying £10 each month to maintain truly unlimited interent, along with voice and texts then so be it. So far it's been a very cheap ride and it should continue to be so into the future.

Referral bonuses will also sweeten the pill and contribute to reduced costs in the future.

You can join giffgaff and benefit from £5 credit to your account by clicking this link....

By tdodd1 on 16 Dec 2010

It sounds like you had a seriously defective handset, or you're simply anti-3. And it could definitely be the latter with statements like "if you are brainless enough to buy a phone from these muppets". That doesn't sound very objective.

I live in Edinburgh and there are hardly any locations I don't get a signal (apart from in basement pubs in the new town, and the likes). Whenever I travel (including rural areas) the service has been fine, can't say I've had the problems you describe.

By paulgspence on 16 Dec 2010

Matt Williams

See my blog about the price rise Three just imposed on my mobile broadband account:

Until I got a letter from them I was unaware their contract gives them the right to raise the price they charge and there is nothing I can do about it, except vote with my feet when my minimum period expires.

I know it isn't much, but by contrast I received a letter from TalkTalk saying that when VAT goes up the cost of my contract with them will remain unchanged.

By revsorg on 16 Dec 2010

Link issues AGAIN team

just received the newsletter, arrived here by following this link

judge rules on unsecured

Does anyone TEST the newsletter before it is emailed out? I can guarantee that every newsletter I get has at least one incorrect embedded link, often to the only story I'm interested in. G R R H

By alan_lj on 16 Dec 2010

Incorrect link

I echo alan_lj.
Incorrect links have become irritatingly common.

By hugheagle on 17 Dec 2010

The correct link

By hugheagle on 17 Dec 2010

THREE - Great in Warwick

I use both a 3 Mobile & Dongle.
I sometimes have the occasional problems but a call to three gets me a months rental refunded. Other than that, since the mast was put on top of a hill, I have had no problems. Mobile dongle is half price because I have a phone contract & I regularly download between 10GB to 12GB on the 15GB package.
As to the phone 500 minute to Mobile 01/02/03, 5000 minutes to another 3 phone, Unlimited texts (4000) Unlimited Internet 1GB (never gone above 150mb) all for £25 (24 month contract - HTC Desire.
I am an happy bunny.

By bigluap on 17 Dec 2010

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