UK mobile operator Three – best known for offering unlimited data to its customers – is introducing new tariffs for customers signing up to the network that will see the amount of data they can use while tethering limited to 2GB, even if the agreement includes ‘unlimited’ data consumption via a smartphone.
The move is unlikely to win Three any fans – it was the only network to continue offering unlimited data tariffs when it switched on its 4G LTE service at the end of last year, even for customers who wanted to use that superfast connectivity to tether to their other devices. Now, that’s not an option for new customers. We’ve asked if the changes will affect existing customers mid-contract and will update if we hear back from Three.
(Update: a Three spokesperson got in touch to let us know that there are no changes for existing customers currently in a contract, but that the company expects most people to eventually transition across to the new tariffs as they upgrade their handsets in future. The company also said that making the distinction between mobile device traffic and tethered traffic is essential to ensure a good level of service for everyone on the network, and to ensure that they can continue to offer unlimited data on smartphones.)
Alongside the new tariffs – which do still include some unlimited options, depending on the device and monthly commitment – the company also announced that the new plans make calling 0800 numbers free and 084 and 087 calls 5p per minute. For an indication of pricing if you do still want an unlimited data plan (limited to 2GB while tethering still), an iPhone 5s will cost around £29 up-front and will then cost £44 per month.
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