O2 get nasty with their new data plans

Mobile web users. O2 want your money, and they want it NOW!

On the June 24 O2 are to bring in a new set of data plans for their mobile users and they’re going to make a lot of iPhone users very unhappy.

O2 are obviously tired of being castigated for their slow data connectivity, and have decided that the only answer is to make their heavy users pay for the new data backbone that’ll need to support all those shiny new iPhone 4 and iPad users.

According to O2 the plans for data pricing which come in on the 24 June – doesn’t something launch on that day? – give customers “a more transparent pricing model tied to usage”. Yes well they would say that woudn’t they?

CEO Ronan Dunne said: “We know that customers are looking for clarity in pricing as too many offers have clauses and catches which are not easy to understand. With the wide range of Internet based services now available on mobile devices we’re providing customers with generous clear data bundles that give customers freedom. This enables us to provide a better overall experience for the vast majority of customers and to better manage demand.”

According to O2 the new plans are all based on current usage patterns, and “97% of O2 smartphone customers would not need to buy additional data allowances, as the lowest bundle (500MB) provides at least 2.5 times the average O2 customer’s current use.”

This just seems a little wrong to us, they very carefully use the words “smartphone users” eg this also includes BlackBerry devices which may be classed as smartphones, but actually are little more than email devices, and endless other smartphone devices that really never get used in any way to view websites. Additionally their rundown of what a typical email and website looks like are a lot different to ours.

ypical data usage (examples only)

500MB 750MB 1GB
Email no attachment 500,000 750,000 1 million
Email with attachment 1,000 1,500 2,000
Basic web page 5,000 7,500 10,000
Rich web page 1,500 2,250 3,000
Music track download low quality) 500 75 100
Music track download (high quality) 12 19 25
YouTube video (4.5 mins) 60 90 120

From this the average email is 1k and the average email attachment is 500K, a basic web page is 100K and a rich web page is 333K, and a low-quality music track is 1Mb. They obviously haven’t looked at most peoples in-trays – Our average email is around 20-25k, the basic web page is around 300k and the average front page of a newspaper web site eg like the Daily Mail site (of which this story will be splashed all over tomorrow) is around 1.5-1.8Mb. And I’m not sure  when they last downloaded a music track, but we haven’t downloaded anything less than a 3-4Mb in years.

Three UK must be incredibly happy about this, not only does it come at the same time as they’re announcing a new improved data-ready backbone but they’re also gearing up to launch the first Apple device on their network. Plus they have no plans to raise charges or go for limited data pricing. This should also make mobile web site consultants like ourselves happy as there’s now going to be an extra incentive for businesses to create mobile sites that won’t give users bill shock.

All the new iPhone tariffs can be found http://shop.o2.co.uk/new-iphone/. But to save you the hassle here they are.

Pay Monthly smartphone tariff table

Tariff details
UK Minutes 100 300 600 900 1200 Unlimited
UK texts Unlimited
UK picture messaging (MMS) 20p
Visual Voicemail Inclusive
UK data 500MB 500MB 500MB 750MB 750MB 1GB
UK Wi-Fi Unlimited UK Wi-Fi
International Traveller Service Yes Yes Yes Yes
simplicity for iPhone tariffs
12m simplicity £15 £20 £25 £30 £45
30d simplicity £20 £25 £30 £35 £50
Pay Monthly tariffs
24m £25 £30 £35 £40 £45 £60
18m £30 £35 £40 £45 £50 £65
Optional monthly Bolt Ons – from October 2010
UK data + 500MB Launching October, 500MB additional data for £5
UK data + 1GB Launching October, 1GB additional data for £10

Unlimited data on all smartphone tariffs is a promotion until 1 October 2010. Excessive usage policy and terms apply, see o2.co.uk.

UPDATE – Just did a size check on the O2 front page http://www.o2.co.uk/ and it’s 534K The O2 iPhone 4 page http://shop.o2.co.uk/new-iphone/index.html is 454K  and the front page of the BBC news is 497K

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