Three considers offering service to boost data speeds while abroad

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Operator admits to throttling speeds on Feel At Home bundle, but said it could introduce premium bundle to offer faster speeds

Three is looking at adding a premium bundle to its Feel At Home roaming offer that will allow users to access the fastest speeds available on roaming networks.

Feel At Home, which the operator launched last year and lets users access their standard bundle allowances in 18 countries, currently results in restricted data speeds, known as “throttling”.

Speaking at a recent roundtable event about the future of roaming in the EU, Three head of consumer strategy and propositions Oliver Topley admitted that Three could introduce a bundle that will allow faster speeds if there is consumer demand for it.

One of the attendees at the roundtable said they use Feel at Home but found the speeds significantly slower than those experienced on Three while in the UK.

Topley confirmed that Three does throttle speeds, adding: “We position the proposition as a holiday product and we don’t see a lot of people streaming while abroad.

“Consumers are very happy with the proposition based on our feedback, but we will look at how people are using data once the pricing in Europe is sorted out.

“We’ve taken the stance in the UK of offering 4G at no extra cost, but I think the market is there for people who want to have a higher speed and will pay a bit extra. It is something we will definitely consider.”

Numbers doubling

According to figures revealed at the roundtable,where Three was discussing the potential impact new EU regulations on roaming could have on the industry, more than three million customers have used Feel At Home, with average data accessed by those customers more than doubling year-on-year.

Three held the roundtable at The Hospital Club in London to discuss impending EU regulations that saw roaming caps lowered on April 30, ahead of them being completely abolished on June 17 next year.

Although there are still some negotiations to be held around the caps and the potential cost of wholesale agreements with other operators, Topley said he was still confident roaming charges will be abolished even if Britain votes to leave the EU as part of a referendum to be held on June 23.

“Obviously, it is a decision for the British people if we leave the EU, and then it is for the government to sort out the roaming policy,” he added.

“It is our understanding that the arrangements that exist will be in place for a while. It’ll take a number of years to unwind a lot of those ties with the EU so the regulations around roaming will stand for awhile at least.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. The proposition is ‘feel at home’. Nothing could be further from the truth with respect to data speeds. My phones data related performance drops about 80% making it frustrating and ineffective. I am writing to trading standards as this is a case of mis-selling as far as I am concerned. To claim otherwise is just lies.

  2. I’m a Three customer living in Ireland. I work in both the North and the Republic. I have been constantly complaining to Three about throttling data when I use my UK sim in the Republic. Mr Topley surely knows that his entire customer service teams are told to lie to customers about this issue. Every time I complain I am told slow speeds are the fault of local networks (even though I’m on the Three network in the south). Now we have proof this is rubbish. Also I hope Mr Topley is aware that come next June throttling speeds and prioritising network traffic in the EU will become illegal under new EU net neutrality regulations. Also I know loads of people who are very unhappy with this service, saying that people are happy is just more lies. I like lots of things about Three, but you guys need to be more transparent with your customers.

    Nick

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