Archive

Tag Archives: mobile broadband

Shows other networks how it’s done

Three has this morning announced that it’s ditching ‘out of bundle data charges’ by replacing it’s entire tariff range with new data friendly options. Read the full release from Three’s blog below.

It was December 2010 when we first announced the launch of all-you-can-eat data. Without doubt one of the most significant milestones in Three’s history here in the UK. It was initially a ground-breaking feature of The One Plan, then Pay As You Go last year. Smartphone customers already with Three could even add it to their plans for just 3 extra a month.

We’ve come a long way since December 2010, and today we’ve added another chapter to our data story with a brand new family of smartphone plans. It’s a change that we believe will bring worry free-internet to even more of you.

First, a bit of background.

The idea of completely unlimited data on your smartphone was revolutionary in the industry when we first introduced it, and to an extent, it still is. It was born out of the insight that for the majority of us, the world of gigabytes and megabytes is a confusing place. How much do I need? What happens if I go over my allowance? Isn’t it really expensive? Will I end up with a massive bill?

We also recognised that the term ‘unlimited’ had started to lose its meaning. The many and varied hidden caps, fair usage policies and out of bundle charges being enforced by operators had started to erode trust, and for a period of time, even we weren’t whiter than white. In theory, if the plan you’re on has an ‘unlimited’ allowance of some kind, you shouldn’t ever go out of bundle, right? Sadly, that’s not always been the case.

So we launched all-you-can-eat data, and along with the promise that we’d never let you hit a limit or go out of bundle simply by using data on your smartphone, we pledged that we’d remove all reference to unlimited allowances where we didn’t really mean it, including when it came to voice and text. Our aim was to offer transparency on our plans, so you could be confident that you knew exactly what you were paying for.

Unsurprisingly, completely uninhibited, unrestricted data on your smartphone was a concept that went down rather well with you guys. Many of you now opt for The One Plan when you decide to join Three or to upgrade, predominantly because of all-you-can-eat data and the peace of mind it gives.

So today, because we’re a network with data at our heart, we’ve made some changes to put data at the heart of our tariffs, too.

It’s a change that we believe gives the same level of transparency and peace of mind across all our plans when it comes to data, but we haven’t gone for a one size fits all approach.

Allow me to introduce our brand new tariff families. From Thursday you’ll be able to buy, or if you’re nearing the end of your current plan, upgrade to one of our Ultimate Internet Plans or to one of our Essential Internet Plans.

Both are designed to help you do everything you want to with the mobile internet on your smartphone, without the worry of a surprising bill at the end of the month. The One Plan, the original all-you-can-eat data plan which still includes tethering and Three-to-Three minutes as exclusive features, hasn’t gone anywhere, and our SIM Only plans remain the same too. But from Thursday, our Essential Internet and Ultimate Internet Plans will replace all other contract plans that are currently on sale.

Like The One Plan, our new Ultimate Internet Plans offer all-you-can-eat data for those wanting to fully embrace the mobile internet without feeling restricted or worrying about cost. These also come with 5000 texts as standard, and depending on your usage you can choose either 100, 300, 500 or 1000 minutes to any other network.

The Essential Internet Plans on the other hand, are designed for those that want to discover the mobile internet for the first time or are just occasional internet users. It too comes with 5000 texts as standard plus 100, 300 or 500 minutes, but offer 250MB of data with absolutely zero chance of out of bundle data charges.

You’ll receive text alerts if you’re nearing your data limit so that you always remain in complete control. If you do hit your limit, you’ll get another text to let you know and we’ll halt your internet access there and then, so there’s no chance of you going out of bundle.

In that text we’ll give you the option to boost your data allowance by another 250MB for 2, or to all-you-can-eat for 5, both of which last for 30 days. You should be back online again in no time. Or you can simply choose not to use the internet again until the start of your new allowance – it’s your choice.

Existing customers on our older tariffs that aren’t yet eligible for an upgrade can continue to add all-you-can-eat data to their plans for an extra 3 per month. The terms of your contract with us won’t change as a result of our new plans.

As mobile internet usage across the UK soars, the amount of data you get for your money when you choose a new price plan has never been more important. We can guarantee that you’ll never pay more than you expect to for data on any of our new plans.

No surprising data bills, no sneaky out of bundle charges. Just worry-free internet from Three.

Ofcom

Ofcom has announced that bidding is now under way on its 4G spectrum auction.

Seven companies, including the UK’s top four mobile providers, will bid to secure new airwaves suitable for superfast mobile broadband services.

Vodafone, Telefonica O2, Everything Everywhere, 3 owner Hutchinson 3G UK, BT subsidiary Niche Spectrum Ventures, backhaul specialist MLL Telecom and HKT (UK) Company are the confirmed bidders.

The interested parties will compete for 28 lots of spectrum in two separate bands – 800MHz and 2.6GHz. The two bands will amount to 250MHz of additional mobile spectrum, compared to 333MHz currently in use.

“This combination of low and high frequency spectrum creates the potential for 4G mobile broadband services to be widely available across the UK, while offering capacity to cope with significant demand in urban centres,” said Ofcom in a statement.

Spectrum will be sold through a “combinatorial clock” auction in which bidders attempt to acquire a combination of spectrum lots from across both 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands by telling Ofcom what they are willing to pay for specific combinations.

At the start of each round, the governing body sets a price for each lot and the bidder specifies which combinations they are interested in. Price will be increased for the most in-demand lots as the rounds go on until supply meets demand.

A further round of bidding will see unsold lots go under the hammer, with the winner bidder paying the smallest amount they would have needed to bid in order to win.

Ofcom has set a reserve price of 1.36 billion for the spectrum, but the UK government is targeting a windfall of 3.5 billion.

Article: RSS via Digital Spy

Fibre optic too

Everything Everywhere has ditched the name, er, Everything Everywhere to launch a new brand to sit alongside Orange and T-Mobile in its network family.

Called EE, the new service which, from today (11 September), will become the umbrella network for Orange and T-Mobile, promises to be a super fast brand when it launches in a couple of weeks time. Olaf Swantee, the CEO of the newly named company, also confirmed at a press conference in London that there will be a range of 4G-enabled devices from launch.

In a first for a mobile operator in the UK, EE will not only be offering 4G in the UK, but also a fixed line fibre optic broadband service for customers in the home. The company claims that the broadband network will cover 11 million households by the end of the year.

Swantee also said that current Orange and T-Mobile customers will be able to either stay on their current offering, or upgrade to the faster network to benefit from the new services.

The 4G network will be launching today for live testing in four major UK cities; London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol. A full consumer launch is planned for before Christmas, covering 16 cities across the country.

“London will be the first major European city to be covered by 4G,” said Swantee. “We plan to have 4G services available to 20 million in the UK. The EE network will cover 70 per cent by 2013, 90 per cent of UK by 2014.”

Brands and smartphones planned to work on the EE network include the Nokia Lumia 920, Samsung Galaxy S III and, yes, the iPhone 5 – as Pocket-lint exclusively told you a couple of weeks ago. Certain HTC and Huawei handsets and mobile dongles (in the case of the latter) are also expected to be compatible.