Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Cellular Network Data

It's almost a month since I upgraded my O2 pay monthly mobile from an iPhone 3GS to an iPhone 4. It's been nice to get started on the newer phone, learning how to work it and the extra things it can do - including my first FaceTime conversation!

This post, though, is more concerned with the change in O2's cellular charging policy. When the iPhone first came out, there was unlimited data available. It meant you could endlessly surf the internet, check emails, use maps, and all the rest across the 3G and cellular data networks (as long as your battery continued!). Not long after I got my iPhone, I noticed that O2 were changing the contract, and a separate subscription was required for pay monthly data usage - £6 per 500MB or £10 for 1GB. It was in place straight away for new customers, but would only be forced on current customers when their contract finished or an upgrade was completed.

I have to admit, I was worried by these new charges. I would tend to use the mobile web quite a bit, finding it useful to have email on the go, as well as using apps like Lookaly to find restaurant recommendations, Google maps, Facebook, Twitter and all the rest. Would I be caught out by the extra charges? Were O2 going to make a lot more money off me through the new contract when I upgraded?

After the first month, I can safely say they won't be using me to fund their retirement plan. While I may have been slightly cautious on the mobile web, at the end of my first month, it looks a bit like this:

Less than one-fifth of the network data allowance used! It certainly seems that perhaps 500MB is a reasonable allowance and one that I won't be topping any time soon, given that I've been using my phone to navigate to some rural churches as well as updating Facebook and Twitter when I've had opportunity.

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