Orange Set to Get Rid of Unlimited Data, Too?


orange-logoIt’s like AT&T spread a very infectious bug across the entire mobile world. Another carrier is set to follow AT&T and O2 UK in scrapping the concept of “unlimited data,” if MobileToday is to be believed.

They tried to contact Orange for confirmation, but were unsuccessful. If this ends up being true, then we’re going to have to start asking “who’s going to change up their data plans tomorrow,” especially if it turns out to have a positive effect on both carriers and consumers. Are recent movements to shutdown a world of unlimited data frightening you? Or will you welcome it for the sake of decreasing your monthly bill?

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. These guys are being up front.

    Three still sell themselves as unlimited, even though they dropped their limit from 1Gb to 500Mb a month or so ago.

  2. Unlimited data is never unlimited – it’s always been capped. Read the small print – it says fair usage applied. It’s the same with home broadband.

  3. The article is right; if enough people go along and don’t complain, more carriers will be looking at this, it’s the status qoe. Personally, I’m hoping to upgrade soon on my carrier before they do something similar

  4. talk about moneygrab

  5. I’m personally liking it. As AT&T stated, 98% of smartphone users are using under 2 GB of data. A lot of articles have been saying that this may be fine now but people are constantly using more data. Well theres a solution for that. 4G. Once 4G comes out, most carriers are going to be offering truly unlimited data with that, and I believe Verizon said that by the end of 2013, they intend to have their entire 3G area carpeted with 4G and I’m expecting most other carriers will follow suit. So capped data plans for 3G will be fine and once technology has changed where everyone is using over 2 GB, then 4G will have arisen and they will be allowed to.

  6. Quote:FisherP wrote on June 11, 2010
    “Unlimited data is never unlimited – it’s always been capped. Read the small print – it says fair usage applied. It’s the same with home broadband.”

    Actually that’s not true for all. GiffGaff does not have a fair use policy.

  7. The 1st reality is unlimited never was unlimited in the 1st place, but usually 500MB/1GB of “fair use”.

    The 2nd reality is ALL users I know of struggle to break even 100MB a month, never mind 500.

    This said heavy users will probably already have had their hands slapped under fair use, leaving only those who occasionally slip over the fair use limit. This can’t be a large percentage at all.

    If anything it will curb some heavy users usage and so make the network better for the majority, even if fractionally so.

    Personally it won’t make any difference. I already have a 500MB cap that I never use more than 20% of, usually more like 10%, this won’t affect my bill in the slightest.

  8. it has never been unlimited,so what are they talking about.
    They should still stop deceiving themselves.

  9. didn’t orange UK merge with t-mo UK?

    wonder how that’s goin’ to work out?

  10. I don’t care as long as Tmo keeps unlimited data.

  11. @Aaron – Verizon’s CEO has already stated their intention to drop unlimited data plans when their 4G network is available. I haven’t seen any speculation on what the pricing structure will be, but I don’t think you can expect unlimited data to suddenly re-appear with 4G.

  12. Kevin and others: If most carriers change, expect TMobile to change as well. As tech geeks bitch and moan about the changes, saying “I’m switching to ___ because they know how to treat a customer!” they will start to get VERY lopsided with heavy data users. Then, instead of counting on most people to be under 1GB a month, they will get a much higher average, and be forced to drop the unlimited plans or jack up prices.

    The fantasy world of unlimited bandwidth is over. Besides, we needed a better reason to have carriers let us do what we want with our bandwidth. Anything from VoIP to BT is potentially open to us now.

  13. @Aaron: There will be no unlimited plan on Verizon 4G, according to Verizon. Sorry, tiered is here to stay.

  14. I manage fine on 500mb with Orange but I must admit, I never stream over 3G because of the limit.

  15. @mikeeeee Orange and t-mobile did not merge in the UK (and never will)

    Unlimited plans in the UK have always had caps like FisherP says, it won’t really make much difference here.

    At work and at home I automatically connect to wifi so it’s only really when I’m out and about that I use data, which never usually amounts to more than about 200Mb a month …

  16. Lets not bullshit ourselves, none of them are really UNLIMITED. But if they are going to start being hard asses and putting limits on things that obvisouly have no technical reason to be limited, purely for the sake of being able to charge people… that sucks. I’ve purchased enough bandwidth (wired) to know that bandwidth for gigabytes is really cheap. Granted, wireless is more expensive and coverage is more expensive… but basing it on bandwidth is just a metric they *can* measure, so they do. They see numbers and automatically think they need to manage it. No, they don’t. It’s just a sham.

  17. I bought a desire approx 1 month ago from Orange and when arranging a plan they said they had a 500mb plan and an umlimited plan.
    I asked “what does unlimited mean”? and the instant reply was “750mb”
    They made no attempt to mislead and its written all over theior website – so this story is actually a non-story

  18. It kinda bytes that these unlimited plans will be going away and replaced with more expensive ones. I will be over 1gb by the end of the month because of streaming music, e-mail, web browsing, and adding/updating applications. As applications get bigger so will the data usage. ATT seems to have always found extra ways to charge users since the iOS first came out. VZW and Sprint have been kinder by not hiding extra fees, but even they have been raising the cost of their plans. If one wishes to have 4g with the new HTC EVO it will cost them an extra 10 bucks/mo. If they want to use the Sprint Mobile HotSpot app, that’s another 30/mo. They’re starting to look like AT&T.

  19. @Chris,

    Well you guys are the “exception”. I use @400Meg a month for sure, always. One month I was at 1.3GB, I have no idea how it was that high, but I think it was from our trip to Georgia when I used Google Navigation a whole lot.


  20. Aaron… You like dishing out extra $ for the same services you had before??? You believe EVERYTHING you read? This is NOT good for the customer, FACT is the Carrier is not going to do it for you in any sense of BENEVOLENCE to you. It is designed to address two things. ONE: To curtain the data stream on it’s networks rather than throttle them to create room for users rather then increasing their infrastructure as they had promised. TWO: to generate an INCREASE in revenue! SO exactly how does either one of those items BENEFIT their customers??? It doesn’t. With the Smartphones and all the coming APP and DATA intensive capabilities, this will be a boon to AT&T from the few customers that remain. But hey, those same customers never complained about the $30 iPhone bump either, lol, so enjoy your bling! SPRINT! HOLD YOUR GROUND!!! lol, you’re gonna have a windfall of customers coming your way soon. :) Just my $.02

  21. it smells like there is an arrangement between the biggest phone carriers…not fair for the customer

  22. @cool Agreed.

    I wouldnt mind if this were a cap say of 4GB or 5GB but AT&T cap is too low.

    When more and more smartphones are coming out, people are going to want to use them as smartphones without having to always think “I wonder if I have enough data left to do that?”.

    This capping is only going to prevent innovation. For example, Google navigation is so awesome, but it needs to use data a LOT.

    Actually a fine idea would be to lower the price for average users (under 300megs) and just add increases for users that go above that, so say for example by the time you get to 5Gig you basically pay the same as you do now…


  23. Heh, come on Kyle.

    To the tool who took what AT&T fed him and regurgitated it here, “98% of our users use less than 200mb”, you may want to actually think about how those numbers are arrived at. Only 20% of AT&T’s customers are on the iPhone, the most media capable device on the carrier’s network. I can promise you that of the 2% who use more than 200mb, 100% of them are on the iPhone. Why? Because shitty little flip phones and BlackBerries aren’t designed to be able to take on most of the web and media.
    That being said, the iPhone4 was just introduced; streaming Netflix, hd camera,Facetime videoconferencing…do you think any of those will increase the average data usage? Those services that are being sold as part of the phone that will drastically increase the likelihood that someone will bump into or go over their monthly allotment.
    Smartphones are one of the fastest growing tech segments, if not the fastest. More and more people want what these devices offer and aren’t settling for a $5 plastic clamshell piece of junk from Samsung. People that commented that neither they, nor anyone else they know would have a problem with this data limitation aren’t thinking about what their data usage will look like going forward, or that it will only increase as things like videoconferencing, uploading pictures and videos from your HD camera on your phone, Netflix, etc. become standard.

    This is clearly a double-sell. The phone is sold to you as this media capable device that can do all these new and amazing things, but to actually USE those services listed, to be connected, social and able to interact with the media of the Internet, you’re going to need more and more bandwidth going forward. So AT&T then charges you “overage” for exceeding the data tiers which are set at a place that anyone enjoying and utilizing their device in the future will easily do. If you don’t get it at this point you probably never will, however, the case in point is AT&T’s new “tethering” policy. AT&T never allowed tethering on the iPhone before a few weeks ago, even though people had “unlimited data” for $30/month with their iPhone on AT&T. They’re allowing it now, but only if you have one of their new LIMITED plans. If you want to tether, which uses far more bandwidth than regular phone usage, they want-nay require- you to do it on a LIMITED plan. Why wouldn’t they allow people with unlimited plans to use tethering as well? Well, they wouldn’t get to charge you twice for a service.

    AT&T is a corporation, and a particularly greedy one at that. If you don’t see what’s going on here you’re a naif.

    All that being said, I feel sorry for people on AT&T and these other carriers, they just don’t know any better. I’m on Sprint as a carrier and Clear for my internet. Clear is totally unlimited and Sprint doesn’t really care how much data you tether on your phone.

  24. They are doing this because androids new update is going to allow tethering. I think this is ridiculous on behalf of the carriers and I think they are crooks considering they are making a killing off of all of us

  25. Cartman +1.

  26. @Bob..
    that actually makes alot of sense and I really don’t enjoy this path is going down.

  27. @Ben (not me, another Ben)

    Orange and T-Mobile have merged in the UK. They are now owned by a single company, which in turn is owned by France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom. The new company, called ‘Everything Everywhere’, has said that it will retain both brands, but I would imagine that there will be some rationalisation both on the high street and behind the scenes: efficiency savings can obviously be made by combining operations, even if the branding remains discreet.

    As for unlimited data: I was an Orange customer, but I switched to T-Mob (pre-merger) because I wanted an Android phone and Orange’s ‘unlimited’ data was capped at 500Mb. If you went over that limit, Orange – with little experience of smartphones at the time – would charge you per Mb. (They subsequently upped the limit to 750Mb, I notice.) T-Mob, on the other hand, had a 1Gb limit and would not charge you if you went over, unless you were clearly and repeatedly abusing the system in which case they would ask you to upgrade to a 2Gb package. They might, however, start throttling your data if you went over the limit.

    The term ‘unlimited data’ has never meant was it said in UK mobile telephony, so a move away from such a misleading term should be welcomed. From my perspective, however, the way in which a data cap is enforced is more important than whether the carriers are pretending it exists.

  28. The sooner the operators realise that they own a data pipe the better. What I mean by this is : a data network requires greater hardware investment than a simple voice only network.

    We need more operators and more choice. Governments need to encourage new market participants in the interest of the consumer. Otherwise consumers had better get used to regular contract changes and squeezing of provided services.

  29. @ben (the second one)good points well made.

    for me the question to ask ourselves is this: do i need unlimited gigabytes per month?- if people do, then they should move to a tablet/netbook and dongle/free wifi.

    a phone is a phone at the end of the day, and no matter how good they get, they are not designed to replace a pc (practical limitations such as size and battery etc).

    i also have a bit of an issue with the view that you are ‘entitled’ to unlimited data. it kind of smells like view that anything online is free (napster in the 90’s?).

    just my 2 cents. feel free to flame

  30. We’ve always had this in Australia. The amount of data offered in each level has increased over time. I pay $20/month for 6GB, and it was only a few years ago when I thought that was a sweet deal for wired internet/ADSL. Telcos in Australia also offer deals for specific high-use websites, like YouTube and facebook. These sometime aren’t included in the data you pay for. Other sites/video packs are offered for additional fees. I can get unlimited CNN for $4/month, or 10 channels together for $8/month. These sort of packs will probably make their way into the US, as well.

  31. @Cartman – Nice post. But Clear’s “unlimited” service is capped, too. If you’re not using enough data to have noticed, more power to you. But a quick internet search will uncover MANY users who are unhappy with the automated degrading of the service for “heavy” users. Not only that, but there is no standard for said heavy use, so your service could suddenly drop to sub-DSL speeds without warning. Hopefully Sprint will never follow suit (although charging for 4G hotspot tethering with 4G handsets is not a good start).

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