Orange will follow O2 and also cancel unlimited data tariffs this summer.
Mobile News understands Orange is to pull unlimited data tariffs from its portfolio in the next months, for all new and upgrading customers. Data caps will be imposed on customers to better manage data traffic across its network, and to prevent the kinds of bottleknecks that have arised from the surge in smartphone sales.
Everything Everywhere vice president of loyalty Guillaume van Gaver (pictured) told Mobile News in March, ahead of completion of the joint venture with T-Mobile in the UK, unlimited data tariffs were ultimately unsustainable, and that Orange would like other UK operators seeks to manage data traffic.
He said at the time “The UK industry has had its challenges because of the level of subsidy and the length of contracts. It was unsustainable to go forward with 12-month deals. That has changed now, with 24-month contracts – so £25 per month over that terms has reduced the heat on us.
“Unlimited data packages are not ultimately sustainable. Fair usage policies will be applied, because everyone has to recognise the
challenge of carrying video.”
Asked if service premiums will be attached to guarantee network signal and bandwidth for heavy data usage, van Gaver said: “Yes, I believe so. That specific example applies more for corporate customers, not consumers, and not probably this year. We are still learning how to optimise bandwidth. We will look at how to turn down speed, and to offer bolt-ons to enable signficant usage beyond standard data
O2 will scrap unlimited data for new and upgrading mobile customers from June 24, when the iPhone 4 goes on sale in the UK.
O2 UK chief executive Ronan Dunne told Mobile News last month:
“The industry is very keen for customers to try mobile data and to experience it. But to build, we must invest in spectrum, technology and traffic management; and manage customers’ expectations and this idea of unlimited data.
“I don’t think network operators in any part of the world are close to delivering in terms of traffic management. It is only a fledgling technology now. We all have to get better at ‘quality of service’ and segregate different user activity.”