Vodafone has today taken the opportunity the opportunity to remind customers that they don’t understand the word “competition”.
They’ve made a very risky move of informing customers that as of 1st February 2011, a £15 top up will no longer grant them a 3GB allowance. Instead, for the same price, it will give them 2GB.
Vodafone claim that the reason for this change is the belief that 90% of their customers use less than 2GB in a month. They notify customers that if you want the same allowance, you’ll have to top up a bit more regularly.
Three (UK) currently offer 3GB allowance for £15 and currently have no intentions to remove this – so Vodafone may lose out to Three, who undoubtedly have better 3G coverage and faster speeds.
Customers have expressed their outrage and there are claims that several people are writing to trading standards. I happen to think it’ll be a risky move – and may cost them large amounts of customers.
Despite loving mobile broadband, I have to say that the cost of maintaining it is still very high. Even with 3’s very competitive rates, it is still very expensive. At £10 per single GB, that’s a very high rate. Of course, you can get multiple GBs at cheaper rates, but you still have the annoying 30 day limit with most networks. If you don’t use the data within 30 days, you loose it.
Mobile broadband has been around a fair old while now. It took off when networks starting giving birth to 3.5G services (or HSDPA) which offered speeds that were comparable to home broadband speeds. The USB dongle brought easy connectivity to the mobile networks, whilst in more recent months the Mi-Fi dongle has made mobile internet much more convenient.
I really do think it’s about time mobile networks started offering cheaper data rates for mobile broadband. The cost of providing bandwidth is falling and networks should start passing these savings onto customers.
I’m just not sure!
I’ve recently been considering the concept of Hutchinson 3G’s (3 in the UK) mobile wireless broadband service – dubbed “Mi-Fi”. It has really interested me because of it’s convenience. You simply slip in the SIM card and off it goes. It works as a portable wi-fi router, and can connect up to 5 devices at any given time.
On the pay as you go plan (which I’d prefer), you get the device for £49.99, together with all the kit and caboodle you will need to go with. You then pay for bandwidth separately and is priced as follows:
- £10 for 1GB
- £15 for 3GB
- £25 for 7GB
Pretty expensive in my opinion – but that’s mobile broadband for you.
I think it would be really handy for me as I spend a lot of time in cars, on trains and in public places so it would be pretty convenient for me. I just need to justify whether the cost balances out the convenience.
If anyone has Mi-Fi, could they post a comment to let me know how they get on with it? It’d be nice to know what people think of it.
Three (3) UK, which reports it has the best 3G network coverage in the UK, has recently announced that from Monday it will be shaping the amount of traffic on its mobile broadband service.
It comes after reports that mobile internet is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. Three is obviously becoming concerned that the sharp rise in mobile broadband subscribers has meant that more and more people are putting strain on the relatively small amount of mobile broadband bandwidth available.
Three have said that it won’t affect you if you don’t use large amounts of bandwidth on the network and that the scheme is mainly being used to highlight very heavy users.
So, if you know you use large amounts of bandwidth on your mobile broadband, enjoy it for the last time. You’ve got 36 hours to knock yourself out! After that, you’re doomed to inevitable future of traffic shaping on mobile broadband!