Dec
15
2010

3 Mobile scraps mobile data caps, backs all-you-can-eat tariffs

Believing that customers require as much data as they need to take advantage and get the most of their modern smartphones and other devices, mobile operator Three has taken the bold step of scrapping its mobile data caps completely.

Demand for data is increasing rapidly in recent months, as more people are using their handsets to connect to the web as well as make voice calls, and take advantage of internet-enabled apps. Some Mobile operators, including Three, feared that some users were consuming so much data it was putting unacceptable strain on networks. Struggling to keep up with demand, many mobile phone network operators started putting caps on how much data people could use within a set time, based on their current plans.

Three’s bold move is the first time a network has allowed people to use data unrestricted, and if successful, experts say it could force other operators to rethink data limits. But it could also put intense strain on Three’s network.“We were typically seeing people using around 400 to 500 megs at the moment but there was a large number who regularly go over the 1 gigabyte limit, enough to warrant us doing this,” said a spokesman for Three.

Three has changed it’s One Plan to allow its customers to take advantage of the cap removal. Now, One Plan tariff users can get 2,000 any-network voice minutes, 5,000 Three-to-Three minutes, 5,000 texts and any amount of data for £25 a month. Whether or not similar moves will be done for other tariffs is not yet known.

“It is a bold move by Three and goes against the prevailing tide set by other networks who are trying to rein in data usage,” said Ben Wood, an analyst with research firm CCS Insight. “This is great news for prolific mobile data users but Three will need to be careful it does not end up attracting all the extreme users who have proved a real headache to rival networks with their excessive data usage.”

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