6/10/2010 1:32:00 PM
O2 to scrap unlimited data from iPhone 4 launch date
O2 will scrap unlimited data for new and upgrading customers from 24 June.
The operator said that based on current usage patterns, 97% of O2 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.
From 1 July, the network will send texts to customers informing them of their data usage and when they have reached their limit, O2 head of consumer mobile Jonathan Earle told Mobile.
He added that customers would be informed of the new tariffs at the point of sale and on the website.
The 24 June launch date coincides with the release of the iPhone 4. Earle said: ‘[US network] AT&T has taken out unlimited and analysts are saying it is unsustainable. The iPhone is an element of this. We have 2 million iPhone customers but we have seen data use double over four months. It’s unsustainable usage.’
Earle added: ‘This won’t make a difference to the vast majority of customers as most of them use under 500Mb. Explaining it in terms of megabytes and gigabytes won’t work. Instead we will say how many emails customers can send and we will text them when they get to their thresholds.’
CCS Insight Ben Wood said: ‘This move was inevitable. O2 is following recent moves by US operator AT&T in introducing caps for data usage. No operator can afford to have 3% of their smartphone users consuming 36% of data resources.
’It's going to be interesting to see how O2's competitors react to this. Now 3 has the iPhone maybe it will choose to compete with an unlimited offer for its users.’
O2 CEO Ronan Dunne said: ‘We know that customers are looking for clarity in pricing as too many offers have clauses and catches which are not easy to understand. With the wide range of internet based services now available on mobile devices, we’re providing customers with generous clear data bundles that give customers freedom. This enables us to provide a better overall experience for the vast majority of customers and to better manage demand.’
New and upgrading customers will continue to receive unlimited data as a promotion until 1 October. From that date, they will be able to buy additional data Bolt Ons, which include 500MB for £5 or 1GB for £10.
Existing customers will continue under their present terms, unlimited data usage with an excessive use policy.
Dunne added: ‘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.’