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  • FIRST POST
    • ZhugeEX
    • By ZhugeEX 22nd Mar 13, 10:53 PM
    • 1,154Posts
    • 461Thanks
    ZhugeEX
    GUIDE: What does UNLIMITED really mean?
    • #1
    • 22nd Mar 13, 10:53 PM
    GUIDE: What does UNLIMITED really mean? 22nd Mar 13 at 10:53 PM
    I have made this thread for those people who are looking for a new contract and want to know exactly what the fair use policy is for those that claim unlimited minutes/texts/data. Obviously the fair use policies won't really matter as not many people will need an unlimited supply of mins/texts/data, but for those that do (esp data) then here is a list by network-

    These fair use policies are for pay monthly customers unless otherwise stated.

    Unlimited Text Messages-

    3,000 - Orange, Virgin, Vectone, Talk Mobile, Talk Talk (O2/Voda/Three/T-Mobile/Orange PAYG)
    5,000 - Tesco (as advertised)
    12,000- O2 / Vodafone (excessive use policy)
    Other - T-Mobile (Cannot text more than 200 DIFFERENT numbers in one month)
    Other - EE (Cannot text more than 300 DIFFERENT numbers in one month)
    AYCE- Three, truly unlimited with no fair use policy as of yet.

    O2, Vodafone, EE, T-Mobile may contact you if you repeatedly use an excessive amount of text messages. I believe T-Mobile contact you if you continually use more than 5000 texts per month as well.

    Unlimited Minutes

    2,000 - Talk Talk
    3,000 - Virgin, Vectone, Tesco, Talk Mobile
    4,000 - Orange
    Other - T-Mobile (Cannot call more than 200 DIFFERENT numbers in one month)
    Other - EE (Cannot call more than 300 DIFFERENT numbers in one month)
    UNL - O2, Vodafone (undisclosed excessive use policy)
    AYCE- Three, truly unlimited with no fair use policy as of yet.

    If you use excessive amounts of minutes on o2 & Vodafone you may be contacted and asked to lower your usage, this actually applies for a number of networks. O2 and Vodafone are rumoured to have a fair use policy of around 5,000 minutes and customers have been contacted for using over 5,000 minutes in the past. It is also worth noting that Vodafone have a fair use policy of 3000 minutes on their unlimited landline/vodafone calls.

    Unlimited Internet

    Lyca-
    5GB fair use policy then capped to 2G speeds after
    No Tethering
    Includes 4G

    Giff Gaff-
    Unlimited use on phone however speed may be slowed down/you may be banned for using too much.
    10GB seems to be the limit when Giff Gaff contact you / slow down speeds.
    No Tethering
    3G data Only

    Virgin-
    3.5GB Data Cap (speeds slowed to 384kbps once exceeded)
    No tethering
    3G Data only

    T-Mobile-
    No fair use policy however speeds are capped at 4Mbps down and 1Mbps up
    No Tethering
    Network traffic controls apply.
    3G Data Only

    Three (One Plan)
    -No fair use policy
    -Tethering on SIM Only capped at 4GB.
    -Tethering on Contract Handset capped at 2GB
    -Includes unlimited access to 4G on the phone
    -Traffic management can apply at peak times for p2p etc...

    Vectone-
    Fair use of 3GB per month
    No Tethering
    Once 3GB is exceeded you will pay a standard rate of 10p per megabyte
    AVOID!


    Can i tether with my phone?

    Three-
    Contract handset tariffs with AYCE data are subject to 2GB cap.
    Tethering on SIM Only capped at 4GB.
    5 add on for 1GB extra tethering

    Vodafone
    Tethering included in tariffs
    10 add-on = Extra 2gb of tethering data

    EE
    Tethering included in all tariffs, comes out of data allowance.

    TMobile
    No tethering on old discontinued full monty Plan
    Tethering allowed on other plans with unlimited data.
    Tethering not allowed on any unlimited SIM Only plans.


    Orange

    Tethering allowed on all recent tariffs, but...
    - Panther tariff - comes out of your data allowance, once you've used that up, 1/d tethering charge and 1/d internet charge. It's unclear how much you are allowed to use
    - Dolphin, Canary or Racoon (post Sept 2011) - not included but can be used at 1/d, and an extra 1/d if you go over your data allowance.
    - Pre Sept 2011 tariffs - Not allowed.

    O2
    Tethering included in all tariffs, comes out of data allowance.

    Virgin
    Tethering not allowed on any plan, no add on.

    Giffgaff
    Only allowed on limited plans e.g 1GB.
    No tethering on Unlimited plans

    Talk Mobile
    No tethering allowed

    Tesco
    Can tether on Android & iPhone


    Please note that these fair use policies ONLY APPLY ON THE LATEST TARIFFS. If you are on an old legacy tariff you may have a lower or higher fair use policy.

    This list is up to date as of 31/05/14
    Last edited by ZhugeEX; 03-01-2015 at 4:12 PM.
Page 1
    • jenniewb
    • By jenniewb 23rd Mar 13, 2:43 AM
    • 12,596 Posts
    • 11,773 Thanks
    jenniewb
    • #2
    • 23rd Mar 13, 2:43 AM
    • #2
    • 23rd Mar 13, 2:43 AM
    It would be great if this could be a sticky...?
  • archived user
    • #3
    • 23rd Mar 13, 9:38 AM
    • #3
    • 23rd Mar 13, 9:38 AM
    Useful thread
    • ZhugeEX
    • By ZhugeEX 23rd Mar 13, 6:02 PM
    • 1,154 Posts
    • 461 Thanks
    ZhugeEX
    • #4
    • 23rd Mar 13, 6:02 PM
    • #4
    • 23rd Mar 13, 6:02 PM
    Cheers. How can this be made a sticky? is it even that useful for that?

    Anyway, do you guys think there are any other topics out there that i can cover that confuse customers and could use a little clearing up?
    • robbies_gal
    • By robbies_gal 23rd Mar 13, 6:21 PM
    • 7,676 Posts
    • 151,779 Thanks
    robbies_gal
    • #5
    • 23rd Mar 13, 6:21 PM
    • #5
    • 23rd Mar 13, 6:21 PM
    i think one of the bg's has to do thanks for the guide
    What goes around-comes around
    • ZhugeEX
    • By ZhugeEX 23rd Mar 13, 8:27 PM
    • 1,154 Posts
    • 461 Thanks
    ZhugeEX
    • #6
    • 23rd Mar 13, 8:27 PM
    • #6
    • 23rd Mar 13, 8:27 PM
    What does bg stand for?
    • robbies_gal
    • By robbies_gal 23rd Mar 13, 9:55 PM
    • 7,676 Posts
    • 151,779 Thanks
    robbies_gal
    • #7
    • 23rd Mar 13, 9:55 PM
    • #7
    • 23rd Mar 13, 9:55 PM
    sorry board guide-theyre names are usually listed at the bottom
    What goes around-comes around
    • ZhugeEX
    • By ZhugeEX 24th Mar 13, 10:58 AM
    • 1,154 Posts
    • 461 Thanks
    ZhugeEX
    • #8
    • 24th Mar 13, 10:58 AM
    • #8
    • 24th Mar 13, 10:58 AM
    sorry board guide-theyre names are usually listed at the bottom
    Originally posted by robbies_gal
    Ah cheers. Sorry, should have guessed that haha
    • robbies_gal
    • By robbies_gal 24th Mar 13, 12:30 PM
    • 7,676 Posts
    • 151,779 Thanks
    robbies_gal
    • #9
    • 24th Mar 13, 12:30 PM
    • #9
    • 24th Mar 13, 12:30 PM
    no worries-maybe if u pm them they might make it a sticky
    What goes around-comes around
    • ZhugeEX
    • By ZhugeEX 24th Mar 13, 2:40 PM
    • 1,154 Posts
    • 461 Thanks
    ZhugeEX
    Cheers. I'll see what they say.
  • MattLFC
    Fantastic post, should certainly be made a sticky!!

    To be entirely fair to Three, they never list minutes or texts as "unlimited"; they're the only company out there who seems to regard "unlimited" allowances as just that, unlimited, aka limitless...

    So for instance, their highest plan, aka "The One Plan", is sold as 2000 xnet minutes, 5000 3-3 minutes, 5000 text messages, unlimited data and tethering. The two unlimited data (and tethering) feature is truly unlimited with no FUP as stated by the OP.

    I think this is the way all networks should go; if they want to call something unlimited, it should be limitless, with no FUP; if they have a FUP of 3000 minutes for instance, then simply do as Three do, and label it "3000 minutes" instead of unlimited lol. Any company prepared to lie to, or deceive their customer from day one, is, IMHO, not a company I'd want to do business with.

    Quite how the ASA and Ofcom allow this shady practice is beyond me; well we do know, money (bungs) speaks louder than words, but that just makes it doubly not right. Having said that though, it's good to see that the main networks have gradually stopped the "unlimited" but subject to FUP malarky with regards data. In the past 14 months I've been using Three, it's been really nice to not have to even think about data consumption! AYCE data is an absolute godsend.
    • ZhugeEX
    • By ZhugeEX 25th Mar 13, 9:44 AM
    • 1,154 Posts
    • 461 Thanks
    ZhugeEX
    Fantastic post, should certainly be made a sticky!!

    To be entirely fair to Three, they never list minutes or texts as "unlimited"; they're the only company out there who seems to regard "unlimited" allowances as just that, unlimited, aka limitless...

    So for instance, their highest plan, aka "The One Plan", is sold as 2000 xnet minutes, 5000 3-3 minutes, 5000 text messages, unlimited data and tethering. The two unlimited data (and tethering) feature is truly unlimited with no FUP as stated by the OP.

    I think this is the way all networks should go; if they want to call something unlimited, it should be limitless, with no FUP; if they have a FUP of 3000 minutes for instance, then simply do as Three do, and label it "3000 minutes" instead of unlimited lol. Any company prepared to lie to, or deceive their customer from day one, is, IMHO, not a company I'd want to do business with.

    Quite how the ASA and Ofcom allow this shady practice is beyond me; well we do know, money (bungs) speaks louder than words, but that just makes it doubly not right. Having said that though, it's good to see that the main networks have gradually stopped the "unlimited" but subject to FUP malarky with regards data. In the past 14 months I've been using Three, it's been really nice to not have to even think about data consumption! AYCE data is an absolute godsend.
    Originally posted by MattLFC
    Very true, at least unlimited data doesn't mean 500mb fair use policy then ridiculous charges for going over like it did with Vodafone. The reason Virgin can get away with their 3.5GB data cap is because they don't charge you for going over the limit, they just slow your speeds down to 384kbps which makes the connection almost unusable. That way No one can complain that it's not actually unlimited.

    And i do agree what you say about Three. If the ASA can stop people advertising unlimited data with a fair use policy they should really stop unlimited texts and minutes. EE/T-Mobile/Vodafone don't actually state their excessive use policy so to be honest they could decide to change the number at any time. And they can contact you at any time and ask you to use less mins.

    Three are the best now, they used to advertise unlimited as 1GB/2GB before but now they specifically state that you get 2000 mins/5000 texts and AYCE data with tethering. And at the price it's at it's a very very good deal. Especially since Three will launch 4G at no extra cost and on all tariffs. Like i said, Three are the only network in the UK now to have actual unlimited data with no fair use or speed caps, and they're the only network to include unlimited tethering.

    People still have the negative view of Three being a crap network in their mind. But in the past few years they've grown and are now miles better than O2 and Vodafone and on par with EE. Their network is now the best in the UK with 80% DC-HSPA+ coverage. I'm in an area with DC-HSPA+ and i've seen over 25mbps download speed on 3G. That's faster than 4G in some cases. The fastest i've ever seen on O2 or Vodafone is 5mbps, so Three can be up to 5x faster on 3G, and they haven't even launched 4G yet!
    • hunters
    • By hunters 25th Mar 13, 11:10 AM
    • 771 Posts
    • 2,220 Thanks
    hunters
    No tesco?

    O2 don't charge on my contract for data just slow it down
    • ZhugeEX
    • By ZhugeEX 25th Mar 13, 11:12 AM
    • 1,154 Posts
    • 461 Thanks
    ZhugeEX
    No tesco?

    O2 don't charge on my contract for data just slow it down
    Originally posted by hunters
    Thanks, tesco was there but i seem to have deleted it when i was editing the post earlier.
  • Gemma_
    Giffgaff don't have the 1gb/hour 3gb a day limit

    On the unlimited plans its unlimited with no tethering as long as its from a mobile device.
    • ZhugeEX
    • By ZhugeEX 25th Mar 13, 9:12 PM
    • 1,154 Posts
    • 461 Thanks
    ZhugeEX
    Giffgaff don't have the 1gb/hour 3gb a day limit

    On the unlimited plans its unlimited with no tethering as long as its from a mobile device.
    Originally posted by Gemma_
    You are right in a way, Giff Gaff have automatic tethering detection as well where they will block you for tethering. So tethering is not allowed at all. They will cut you off if you tether.

    If you use an excessive amount of data in a short amount 1GB per hour or 3GB per day then you will be contacted by Giff Gaff and asked to reduce usage. If you continue to use the unlimited data illegitimately then you will be cut off. Therefore it is not truly unlimited data like Three or T-Mobiles offering.

    Trust me, i do my research before posting a guide like this.

    T&C 3.10: You may not use your sim card in such a way that adversely impacts the service to other giffgaff customers
    .....
    We think that any usage over 1GB/hour may be indicative of illegitimate usage

    (Another indicator is) using a significant amount of data for a long period of time (i.e. we’d expect someone to sleep at some stage within a 24 hour period).
    ......
    If the member continues their suspected-illegitimate usage, we will suspend their data services. (after contact first)
    ......
    If a member feels that their usage was legitimate and that the conclusions of our investigations were incorrect, they are invited to follow the usual appeals procedure. We will then conduct a further review into the case. We do realise that mistakes can be made and want to assure you all that we take every appeal very seriously and conduct a full review.
    ......
    Giffgaff use 1GB/hour and 3GB/day as simply indicative of illegitimate use (after testing what was reasonable for high legitimate use on various devices). Using over these amounts can trigger further investigations. Your data may be suspended during the investigation period. unless this usage is prevented, illegitimate usage consumes an unfair amount of network resources.
    by Giff Gaff

    Basically Giff Gaff is unlimited for most people. But if you're a high data user then it's likely you may be contacted for illegitimate use of the network. You may even be cut off. Therefore in my first post i have differentiated between Three/T-Mobile and Giff Gaff by saying there are certain limits.

    There are still some (although some what limited) reports of people being contacted for using too much data despite not tethering. This thread was made for people who want to know exactly what unlimited means. For example on Three people have used over 500GB in one month before. If you use that on Giff Gaff you will be cut off. No questions asked. Therefore Giff Gaff is not as unlimited as other networks. But it is more unlimited than networks like Vectone or Virgin.

    Like i said, this thread is to give heavy users an idea of exactly what they need to watch out for.

    The good thing about Giff Gaff is that they are combating heavy users in the least intrusive way possible by optimising video streaming (iPlayer/youtube) to use less data on their network and thus reduce the chance of someone using more than 3GB in one day.
    Last edited by ZhugeEX; 25-03-2013 at 9:37 PM.
  • Gemma_

    If you use an excessive amount of data in a short amount 1GB per hour or 3GB per day then you will be contacted by Giff Gaff and asked to reduce usage. If you continue to use the unlimited data illegitimately then you will be cut off. Therefore it is not truly unlimited data like Three or T-Mobiles offering.

    Trust me, i do my research before posting a guide like this.
    Originally posted by ZhugeEX
    Well sadly you are wrong. The reports on the forums at giffgaff are people are being contacted at 25/30gb a day as they packet sniff
    • ZhugeEX
    • By ZhugeEX 30th Mar 13, 6:58 PM
    • 1,154 Posts
    • 461 Thanks
    ZhugeEX
    Well sadly you are wrong. The reports on the forums at giffgaff are people are being contacted at 25/30gb a day as they packet sniff
    Originally posted by Gemma_
    I'm not wrong, but i've decided to remove the "3GB per day" from my OP after contacting giff gaff and them confirming that they no longer use that but still use 1GB per hour to identify high users on the network.
    • Bingolingo
    • By Bingolingo 17th Apr 13, 7:19 PM
    • 220 Posts
    • 78 Thanks
    Bingolingo
    T-Mobile's been given a slap on the wrist. Full Monty "unlimited" data is no longer to be advertised as so.

    http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2013/04/asa-no-t-mobile-your-unlimited-data-isnt-actually-unlimited/

    Serves them right.
    • ZhugeEX
    • By ZhugeEX 17th Apr 13, 7:39 PM
    • 1,154 Posts
    • 461 Thanks
    ZhugeEX
    T-Mobile's been given a slap on the wrist. Full Monty "unlimited" data is no longer to be advertised as so.

    http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2013/04/asa-no-t-mobile-your-unlimited-data-isnt-actually-unlimited/

    Serves them right.
    Originally posted by Bingolingo
    It's unfortunate tbh. I remember last year when T-Mobile released the full monty, a true competitor to Three's one plan. Looked like the old days of fair usage/caps were gone. And then they blocked tethering, introduced a speed cap and traffic management policy. So i think the ASA are right here.

    So if anyone wants truly unlimited data and tethering then the only option is Three with their 3G/4G one plan. A very attractive offer.
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