Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The party's now private: Three UK ends all-you-can-eat uncapped data for new contracts.

Well, I suppose the party had to end sometime. Three UK are not offering unlimited - excuse me, all-inclusive  - uncapped mobile data any more.

I went to their service for two reasons: Better overall coverage in the places I generally frequent, and All-You-Can-eat data, which was not capped in any way shape or form, so as to cut my comms costs in half, as per this blant entry.

Well, it's too late for you if you haven't jumped on that band wagon. They've quietly changed the bundles they offer. Now, if you want to tether your machine to your phone, there will be a 2Gb cap on the monthly amount of data that it consumes. As they say in their brochure on the topic:

Your data allowance can be used as a personal hotspot (we used to call this tethering) – if  you choose a plan with all-you-can-eat data, you can use up to 2GB of this allowance each month as a personal hotspot.

Note that they make no difference between the types of Wi-Fi or hard-wired tethering - excuse me, personal hotspot - or how they will determine this is occurring; presumably some form of monitoring software that you can't remove will be installed before you receive your new phone, as I cannot figure out, without some form of packet sniffing (where the content of what you are viewing is monitored in real time) occurring. As for sim-only contracts, who knows how they'll determine if you're tethered to a PC or not.

So, the party just turned private. If you're in, you've got it. If not, you missed out: You cannot get the One Plan-style uncapped contracts any more.

But here's the thing. If you're on one of the new sim-only contracts, and instead of putting the SIM card in a phone, you opt to leave it in a 3G or 4G-capable tablet or notebook, how the heck will they know it's not a phone? And will they cap you at 2Gigs?

I sure hope they got this thought all the way through, because somewhere down the road, they may well pee off someone with a law degree and a Bar certification, and as a result could easily wind up defending themselves for breach of contract.

It'll be interesting to see how this progresses.

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