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Acceptable limit for unlimited data?


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Old 10-06-2013, 14:55
asm
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Since the ASA decided that 'unlimited' actually means exactly the same as 'limited' we have all come to accept that unlimited plans always come with an FUP, but how low can the FUP limit be before it is no longer considered unlimited? I ask because I noticed yesterday that one virtual network operator is advertising 800 minutes + unlimited texts + unlimited data for 20 (PAYG). But the small print hidden away on another page says the FUP allows 3000 texts and 1GB data per month, which means that this 'unlimited' plan actually allows less data than some limited plans, which makes the 'unlimited' description even more meaningless.
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Old 10-06-2013, 14:58
mogzyboy
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Well, unlimited should mean exactly that. The phone operators shouldn't be allowed to advertise it as such if there is a cap on the amount of usage.

It's like going to an AYCE buffet and being told you can't have any more after your fifth plate full.

The ASA have fudged it. They had an opportunity to nail them on something like this, but they failed. What is the point of the ASA if they can't do their job properly?
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Old 10-06-2013, 15:00
jabbamk1
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Since the ASA decided that 'unlimited' actually means exactly the same as 'limited' we have all come to accept that unlimited plans always come with an FUP, but how low can the FUP limit be before it is no longer considered unlimited? I ask because I noticed yesterday that one virtual network operator is advertising 800 minutes + unlimited texts + unlimited data for 20 (PAYG). But the small print hidden away on another page says the FUP allows 3000 texts and 1GB data per month, which means that this 'unlimited' plan actually allows less data than some limited plans, which makes the 'unlimited' description even more meaningless.
Which network was this?
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Old 10-06-2013, 15:06
asm
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http://www2.nowmobile.co.uk/nowmobil...e_talktext.jsp
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Old 10-06-2013, 15:08
asm
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Currently being advertised on a poster in some 99P Stores. The FUP is here:
http://www2.nowmobile.co.uk/nowmobile/pdf/Offers.pdf
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Old 10-06-2013, 15:10
jabbamk1
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Yep, quite misleading.

Although at least they put "fair use policy applies" in writing unlike some other MVNO's/Networks *Cough* Virgin Mobile *Cough*

There are too many ways around this now and the ASA need to clamp down. Virgin get around it by restricting your speed when you exceed the fair use policy. So they can get away with calling it unlimited.

T-Mobile cap speeds at all times and have a strict P2P throttling hours yet they still get away with calling it unlimited.

Three is the only one along with Giff Gaff who give truly unlimited data and explain everything you need to know on the main page.
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Old 10-06-2013, 15:43
Chris1973
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Virgin get around it by restricting your speed when you exceed the fair use policy. So they can get away with calling it unlimited.
Virgin limit download speed to 384kbs after you use around 3.5gb of Data. I'm still not sure how this can be determined as being unlimited in the fairest sense, when there is only a certain amount of data you can possibly download, even if you were to download continuously for a 30 day period when network limited to 384kbs compared to somebody downloading for the same period on a truely uncapped 2, 4 or 6mbs connection.

If a mast / area is congested and can only supply each connected subscriber with 384kb/s then fair enough, but physically limiting a connection speed isn't fair game IMO. If you are on an unlimited package you should be able to download at the maximum speed available to you at that time, rather than having the maximum download speed determined by some FUP

So technically, they are physically limiting the amount of data you can possibly consume for the remainder of the period once the 3.5gb has been used and the network cap of 384kbs kicks in.

One good thing about the FUP on some T-Mobile Sims, is that once you go over the FUP its only downloading and streaming which is prevented, you can still browse the internet at the highest possible speed available to you.

With Virgin, even browsing is throttled if you exceed the FUP, and 384kbs is far too limited, thats significantly slower than the first 512k ADSL connection I had 13 years ago.
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Old 10-06-2013, 16:26
jabbamk1
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Virgin limit download speed to 384kbs after you use around 3.5gb of Data. I'm still not sure how this can be determined as being unlimited in the fairest sense, when there is only a certain amount of data you can possibly download, even if you were to download continuously for a 30 day period when network limited to 384kbs compared to somebody downloading for the same period on a truely uncapped 2, 4 or 6mbs connection.

If a mast / area is congested and can only supply each connected subscriber with 384kb/s then fair enough, but physically limiting a connection speed isn't fair game IMO. If you are on an unlimited package you should be able to download at the maximum speed available to you at that time, rather than having the maximum download speed determined by some FUP

So technically, they are physically limiting the amount of data you can possibly consume for the remainder of the period once the 3.5gb has been used and the network cap of 384kbs kicks in.

One good thing about the FUP on some T-Mobile Sims, is that once you go over the FUP its only downloading and streaming which is prevented, you can still browse the internet at the highest possible speed available to you.

With Virgin, even browsing is throttled if you exceed the FUP, and 384kbs is far too limited, thats significantly slower than the first 512k ADSL connection I had 13 years ago.
As of Feb 2013 this does not apply. If you exceed your data limit you'll be charged now.

For people who signed up before Feb 2013 then they can go over the data allowance, but like you said no downloading or streaming. Just browsing. Also speeds have been restricted to something like 1mbps as well i think.
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Old 10-06-2013, 16:41
flagpole
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Well, unlimited should mean exactly that. The phone operators shouldn't be allowed to advertise it as such if there is a cap on the amount of usage.

It's like going to an AYCE buffet and being told you can't have any more after your fifth plate full.

The ASA have fudged it. They had an opportunity to nail them on something like this, but they failed. What is the point of the ASA if they can't do their job properly?
The Unlimited must mean unlimited argument is a well done one.

it is actually counter productive. no mobile network can offer unlimited data. it's just not possible.

so the argument would be that they shouldn't be able to call it unlimited.

the problem is that most people don't know what mobile data limits actually mean. most people wont know whether 5KB, 5MB a month or 5GB or 5TB is enough for them. so by providing them with more information you actually, perversely, reduce their knowledge.

What they want to know is that as an average person they can use as much data as they like and not be charged.

as such in the context of this, if the unlimited data FUP is such that 1% or less are affected by it then that should be fine.
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Old 10-06-2013, 16:47
dephanix02
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Since March last year I've used 147GB so I think it's fair to say Three are 100% committed to being unlimited. That is mainly from ITunes Match.
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Old 10-06-2013, 16:52
jon41
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Unlimited shouldn't have a "fair usage" limit.

The only plan I know that is true unlimited with no restrication at all was the Orange iphone extra 51 plan - it also specifically stated no fair usage limit applies and that also applied to the tethering.
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Old 10-06-2013, 16:54
artnada
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Acceptable limit for unlimited data - isn't that an oxymoron?
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Old 10-06-2013, 17:48
swordman
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Always been a disgrace going back to broadband days unlimited should be that or not be used. Shocking they should be allowed to call it such.
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Old 10-06-2013, 18:03
alan1302
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Always been a disgrace going back to broadband days unlimited should be that or not be used. Shocking they should be allowed to call it such.
What would you call it?

'Almost, but not quite unlimited if you want to sit downloading torrents all day' broadband?
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Old 10-06-2013, 18:05
mogzyboy
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The Unlimited must mean unlimited argument is a well done one.

it is actually counter productive. no mobile network can offer unlimited data. it's just not possible.

so the argument would be that they shouldn't be able to call it unlimited.

the problem is that most people don't know what mobile data limits actually mean. most people wont know whether 5KB, 5MB a month or 5GB or 5TB is enough for them. so by providing them with more information you actually, perversely, reduce their knowledge.

What they want to know is that as an average person they can use as much data as they like and not be charged.

as such in the context of this, if the unlimited data FUP is such that 1% or less are affected by it then that should be fine.
Well, that's like saying Sky/BT can't offer an unlimited package because there is only so much you can get through in one month. Plus, I may get through more than you as my home BB is faster than yours, or vice versa. So, because I can get through more than you, they can't call it unlimited.

To put an FUP on something brnded as 'unlimited' is frankly absurd. If the FUP is 10GB, then advertise it as 10GB, not as 'unlimited'.
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Old 10-06-2013, 18:09
alan1302
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To put an FUP on something brnded as 'unlimited' is frankly absurd. If the FUP is 10GB, then advertise it as 10GB, not as 'unlimited'.
But I am on BTs 'Unlimited' and find it great and not as restrictive as a proper cap.

If there was a limit of say 40GB then I could never go over it without paying.

With it being 'unlimited' I can one month download 120GB and not worry.

Much prefer it how it is.

The only people that will have a problem with it is someone that runs their PC 24/7 downloading which is not the norm and anyone that wants to do that should move to an appropriate service.
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Old 10-06-2013, 19:22
asm
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What they want to know is that as an average person they can use as much data as they like and not be charged.

as such in the context of this, if the unlimited data FUP is such that 1% or less are affected by it then that should be fine.
Are you saying that 99% of people use less than 1GB?
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Old 10-06-2013, 20:32
flagpole
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Are you saying that 99% of people use less than 1GB?
no I'm absolutely not saying that.

I'm saying that it is a reasonable criteria for what unlimited may mean. I have no idea what the 99th percentile is.
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Old 10-06-2013, 20:36
flagpole
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Well, that's like saying Sky/BT can't offer an unlimited package because there is only so much you can get through in one month. Plus, I may get through more than you as my home BB is faster than yours, or vice versa. So, because I can get through more than you, they can't call it unlimited.

To put an FUP on something brnded as 'unlimited' is frankly absurd. If the FUP is 10GB, then advertise it as 10GB, not as 'unlimited'.
No it's not. It's nothing like that.

And i thought I did a reasonable job of explaining why saying 10GB was actually not useful for the majority of consumers. I am obviously mistaken.
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Old 10-06-2013, 20:46
tdenson
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Are you saying that 99% of people use less than 1GB?
It wouldn't surprise me. I consider myself a fairly heavy user of the internet on a phone, but I rarely exceed 1GB. I know for certain my wife uses less than 50MB per month. Really it all comes down to whether you are a user of streaming services, the average person is not.
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Old 10-06-2013, 21:02
Thine Wonk
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It wouldn't surprise me. I consider myself a fairly heavy user of the internet on a phone, but I rarely exceed 1GB. I know for certain my wife uses less than 50MB per month. Really it all comes down to whether you are a user of streaming services, the average person is not.
Explain this then, here's my usage. I actually have an allowance of 2 1/2Gigs, which is brilliant as it's just right for me. I get really good speeds too, which means my downloads and podcasts are fast.

http://oi40.tinypic.com/2mczl2v.jpg
http://oi43.tinypic.com/2qa6yj5.jpg
http://oi43.tinypic.com/dncch0.jpg

The average smartphone customer doesn't use rich video and audio you're saying? they don't use tune-in radio, number 3 most popular app on the Android play store?

They don't use the browser to stream things or use the Youtube app that comes pre-installed on virtually every phone?

Even just email, skype, facebook sync, photo uploads, dropbox and app store downloads and updates uses data.

Your usage seems very light to me, typical of maybe an O2 user or somebody that has had to 'make do' with a 500MB or 750MB allowance and hasn't used half of the function of their smartphone.

As you can see I'm using my phone for all sorts of useful things, Skype 90M, email 60M maps 100M etc
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Old 10-06-2013, 21:19
alan1302
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ThineWonk - are you trying to say that you are an average person?
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Old 10-06-2013, 21:26
Thine Wonk
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ThineWonk - are you trying to say that you are an average person?
I'm trying to say that it's a smartphone, why would tune-in radio be the third most popular app if the average smartphone user didn't stream. Youtube comes installed as standard.

The average 3 network user uses over 1.5GB, that's from Three. I'm challenging tdenson's statement that the average user doesn't stream and uses hardly any data. that may be true with some of the tiny allowances and older / less tech savvy customers, but with Three / EE customers it's definitely not the case.

I'm challenging the statement that you have to stream to use data too, if you look at my screenshots you'll see what my data was used on, and a lot of it wasn't streaming, it was a variety of smartphone apps, many of which are in the top10, email, flipboard, Skype, Youtube, listen, tune-in etc.
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Old 10-06-2013, 21:31
tdenson
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Your usage seems very light to me, typical of maybe an O2 user or somebody that has had to 'make do' with a 500MB or 750MB allowance and hasn't used half of the function of their smartphone.
Shows just how easy it is to jump to wrong conclusions then. I have to "make do" with the Three One plan (truly unlimited) on my HTC One, and 3GB of LTE data on my iPhone 5.

However, I have no desire to watch video on a 4" screen (that's what my TV is for) and audio media I consume (mainly podcasts and audio books) tends to get downloaded when I am at home with wifi.
What I will agree with is that a lot of people don't use half of the function of their smartphone, that is my whole point.
You have to accept that by definition people on this forum are unusual. Most phone users I know (ordinary men/women in the street) have no interest in technology, rarely download apps and mainly use their phone for texting.
It would be interesting to see the stats from the network providers, but of course that is classified information as it would reveal what a killing they are actually making on data because the average user is using so little.
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Old 10-06-2013, 21:35
tdenson
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The average 3 network user uses over 1.5GB, that's from Three.
I can believe that, for the very reason that Three market themselves as the network to go to if you want to use a lot of data.
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