O2 has become the first UK operator to scrap all you can eat data plans, one week after the announcement of the Apple iPhone 4, and less than two weeks before the device becomes available to end users.
Following in the footsteps of US-based AT&T, which announced it is curbing data usage with a price cap last week, O2 is doing one of two things; either jumping on the bandwagon to get more money from consumers of mobile data; or acting defensively to protect its network from the high mobile data usage associated with smartphones, showing O2’s possible fear that its mobile network is not strong enough to handle the amount of data usage set to increase when Apple’s new device launches in the UK.
New and upgrading O2 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.
O2 will ensure customers have the ability to easily monitor their use by sending them regular text messages. All O2 customers will continue to receive unlimited WiFi 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, chief executive officer of Telefónica O2 UK, 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.”
More operators are expected to also stamp out ‘all you can eat’ mobile data tariffs, which will increase the instances of bill shock for surf-happy Apple fans, as well as those using other smartphone devices.