Archive for the 'Not Unlimited' Category

3UK improve their SIM only product

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

3 logo

INQ1 Silver £15 per Month, Free 3 to 3 calls at 3M

3UK last week improved their 3UK SIM only offer; if you select the £15 per month option (remember the 3UK SIM Only contracts are rolling 1 month contracts), then you will now get “unlimited” 1GB of Internet Access thrown in as part of the deal.

On top of that, 3UK also provide “unlimited” 3000 texts, Free Skype (via their Skype Free Calls Forever promotion), 300 cross-network minutes to landlines and mobiles, and “unlimited” 2000 3UK3UK minutes, along with Windows Live Messenger and free voicemail.

The 3UK SIM Only deal now looks even better value for money, although you do need an unlocked 3G capable handset to use it on 3UK.


Nokia E72 now on sale

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Nokia E72 Black

Vodafone have now launched the Nokia E72, with stocks due into stores in the next few days.  It will be available for free on the following 18 months contracts:

  • £35 per month for 600 minutes, “unlimited” 3000 texts, “unlimited” 3000 minutes of landline calls (each call lasting less than 60 minutes), “unlimited” 500MB internet access
  • £40 per month for 900 minutes, “unlimited” 3000 texts, “unlimited” 3000 minutes of landline calls (each call lasting less than 60 minutes), “unlimited” 500MB internet access
  • £45 per month for 1200 minutes, “unlimited” 3000 texts, “unlimited” 3000 miuites of landline calls (each call lasting less than 60 minutes), “unlimited” 500MB internet access

For those wanting a updated Nokia Symbian device with QWERTY and a 5 megapixel camera, then this may well be the phone for you.  For those after a touchscreen Symbian device, the most recent options are obviously the Nokia N97 Mini and the Sony Ericsson Satio.

For those worried about that 500MB data limit, there are options with Vodafone to purchase higher data rates; eg for £15 per month, you can get 3GB, but are limited in some uses (file sharing, VOIP), or for £25 per month, you can get 5GB without limit. Alternatively, if you go over the 500MB limit, for the rest of the month you’ll be transferred to the £1 per day until the 1st of the next month (for 15MB per day, and then they’ll charge you £2 per MB).  Interestingly, on some Vodafone pages they clearly and simply state the limit, and don’t use the word “unlimited” at all (mainly those designed for existing customers), whereas the pages aimed at new customers are littered with the term…


Clarification on 3UK Spotify usage

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Spotify on Hero

We’ve spoken with 3UK, and we now have a better understanding of how the Spotify Premium service will operate on the HTC Hero that we covered last week.  Firstly, if you are streaming the music direct from Spotify over the 3G connection, then yes that data will come out of the Internet Access usage, which is capped at 1GB per month, although we do understand there’s a little leeway on this exact figure, so 3UK shouldn’t cut you off for exceeded it a little (they will if you exceed it a lot though!).  Although 3UK did tell me what that actual limit is, the T&Cs and the promoted set the limit as 1GB, and that’s the number you need to keep within as much as you can.

However, one of the advantages of having a Spotify Premium account and the Spotify Android client is the ability to access music in other ways.  Firstly, it will also work over Wi-Fi and home / work broadband connections, allowing you the ability to listen to music in those places as well as home.  Secondly, the client support offline playlists, which will allow you to preselect music and then have access to it without needing to be streaming all that music whilst out and about.  Personally, I normally preselect playlists when I want to listen to music on whatever device I’m using, so I can understand the advantage that as well as having access to a massive music library, many of those tracks that I want to listen to regularly can be already downloaded.

Having said that, it’s being advertised as “unlimited” Internet access, and unlimited Spotify, which isn’t quite true.  3UK have stated that if you just used the Internet Access for Spotify you would still get roughly 1.5 hours per day of streamed music for the whole month without running out of data usage, and that would easily cover the work commute for many people even without the use of offline playlists.  Of course, every track already downloaded will save some data usage (and will help deal with those little network blackspots such as road and rail tunnels or underground trains), so many people may well end up using a lot less than this in reality.  Given, that in essence you “pay” (if only a portion of your internet access limit) every time you listen to a streamed song, why not download those you want to listen to regularly and save a little?

Let’s also not forget that Orange’s T&Cs forbid accessing streaming music or video at all (although they have stated “popular streaming sites will not be banned for iPhone users”, but will of course still come out of their smaller 750MB 3G data limit per month); at least 3UK have an open policy towards their internet pipe in the first place, else a deal like this with Spotify would never exist.

Although I would like to see 3UK raise this Internet Access limit higher, it seems they are offering a compromise between too much and too little; although whether all networks will need to reconsider their limits over the next year will be interesting to see as more music streaming promotions such as Spotify are offered to mobile users.


3UK now selling HTC Hero with Spotify

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Spotify on Hero

3UK have now launched the HTC Hero, on one of two price plans.  As we predicted, both come with Internet Access included as a matter of course, which is a good start, and the details are as follows:

  • You can buy the phone for free on a 24-month contract, which will cost £35 per month, and give you 750 cross-network minutes, “unlimited” 2000 3UK3UK minutes, “unlimited” 3000 texts, and “unlimited” 1GB Internet data.
  • You can pay £97.86 upfront, and get the phone on a 24-month contract, which will cost £35 per month, and give you the same 750 cross-network minutes, “unlimited” 2000 3UK3UK minutes, “unlimited” 3000 texts, “unlimited” 1GB Internet data, but will also give you 24 months of Spotify Premium service (worth £240).

It seems obvious which makes more sense for music lovers 🙂

However, as always, the small print is the issue; we’re still waiting to hear from 3UK whether the Spotify Premium service comes out of the 1GB per month Internet access, or whether, like Skype on 3, it is exempt from counting towards that quota.  If it’s included, it’s still a fantastic deal, but will be more useful to provide Wi-Fi access to Spotify, and for use with their offline playlist support than for actually streaming the music constantly over the 3UK network.

We should also point out that as it’s the Internet Texter tariff, voicemail access is not free (10p per minute, although it appears to use up inclusive minutes first).

If you want more information on the HTC Hero, head over to the 3Store website now.


T-Mobile free internet for life, except it’s not…

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

T-Mobile Pulse

T-Mobile have just announced that as from now, if a Pay As You Go (PAYG) user tops up with £10 of credit per month, as well as getting “unlimited” texts for life (or until they change the T&Cs again), users will now also get “unlimited” internet access.  This has been launched with statements like “customers only need to top up £10 a month to use the internet as much as they like, and it doesn’t eat in to their credit” and “enjoy unlimited free access to the mobile internet for life”.

Unfortunately, you then get the small print, hidden away, without asterisks, without warning, which says:

“A fair usage policy of 40 MB per day will apply to the unlimited internet offer. To get unlimited free internet and texts for life, customers need to join T-Mobile by 31st January 2010. In order to keep receiving free texts and internet for life, customers need to top up just £10 each month.”

So, that’s very different then.  You only get 40MB per day, and you need to join T-Mobile within the next couple of months (fair enough), and they have re-iterated the requirement to regularly topup (again, fair enough).  However, here at UK Gadgeteer we are not happy about the actual service on offer…

Is this 40MB even more limited? T-Mobile state it’s only for accessing “the mobile internet”, so is accessing using applications ok? Is streaming music or video okay? They also quote it’s suitable for the new T-Mobile Pulse (an Android device, shown above) including “pre-loaded Google services”; I wonder as the Pulse has Google’s YouTube support pre-loaded, what would happen if a user went over the limit watching YouTube videos, which would seem in line with the marketing material…

The key point here is that although we fully support the provision of internet access automatically with PAYG TopUps (3UK give you 150Mb with every TopUp that lasts upto 90 days), at least others (such as 3UK) are honest about the limit and don’t hide it in the small print; if unlimited means 40Mb per day, then just be man enough to say that; after all 40MB a day is still a lot of data, but not enough to allow someone to “use the internet as much as they like”…

Ironically, in the two Press Releases we’ve seen talking about the “unlimited” texts, neither mentioned a fair use limit of any sort about the texts, so maybe, just maybe, that actually is truly unlimited (please don’t rely upon a lack of limit in a press release before using this service!)


Orange provide iPhone tariff details, with a sting in the tail

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

iPhone 3GS

Yet again, we’re very unhappy with the liberal use of the word “unlimited”, so let’s start with the sting in the tail; Orange are not providing unlimited tariffs with the iPhone; however, some of their plans are interesting, and worthy of a mention.  As a long term Orange user, it will be interesting to see what the offers are for existing customers, but with Orange’s past performance, you can guess that they won’t be as “good” as these…

So, the new iPhone 3GS will be available from 10th November, and will be free on contracts over £45 per month for 24-month contracts, whereas the iPhone 3G will be free on £30 per month for 24-month contracts.  Orange, however, have stated that “all plans” with come with “unlimited” 750MB per month UK data, and there is free “unlimited” 750MB per month data access to BT OpenZone Wi-Fi too.

For PAYG, the iPhone 3G (note not 3GS) will be £333 if you TopUp with £50 on purchase (so that’s £383 with £50 credit), and you will automatically get 250MB of UK data per month plus 12 months “unlimited” 750MB per month of BT OpenZone Wi-Fi access.

If you want to tether your iPhone (to allow you to access the net on your laptop / other device via the iPhone), plans are available that “start” at £5 per month (so I guess we can expect this to have a data limit, which increases with the tariff).

Orange have also launched a new high end “Traveller” tariff for £125 per month, which gives inclusive (note the lack of the word unlimited) call and data allowance.

Head off to here to see the full details; for example, a 32GB iPhone 3GS on a £30 per month 18-month contract will cost you £274 upfront!


3UK confirm HTC Hero coming to 3 next month

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Spotify on Hero

Although we announced it last week, 3UK have this morning confirmed that the HTC Hero is their Android device that is coming to 3UK next month in time for Christmas, and the deal 3UK have put together for this phone is even better than we first thought…

Firstly, price: £99 upfront, and then an 24-month contract of £35 per month gives you the following:

  • “Unlimited” web browsing (as we mentioned a few weeks back)
  • “Unlimited” 3UK3UK calls
  • “Unlimited” texts
  • 750 cross-network minutes to other mobile networks
  • Free SkypeSkype calls

and this is the most interesting…

  • “Unlimited” Spotify Premium for mobile AND PC for those 24 months (worth £240)

Now, that last one was a big surprise, and frankly, we are impressed.  According to the press release, you could spend all day and night with the hone connected to 3UK for web browsing and streaming music, and it would be allowed.  However, I feel that those “pesky” T&Cs will limit the actual amount you can use, and we’ll be looking to provide the exact limits when they are confirmed.

By providing Spotify Premium, that means no adverts between music tracks, and also support for offline playlists, allowing you to still listen to music when outside of 3UK‘s coverage (or when on underground trains); Spotify Premium also gives you exclusive access to pre-release music and concert ticket lotteries.

For those not willing to sign up to a 24 month contract, we’ll bring you the other tariffs it is available on as and when 3UK provide that information, but with that Spotify Premium subscription built in, this actually looks an interesting offer.

We believe the limits are 2GB of Internet browsing, 3000 minutes of 3UK3UK calls, and 3000 texts, although we don’t know what limits will be applied to Spotify.


Update on using 3UK to access Twitter

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

3 logo

INQ1 Silver £15 per Month, Free 3 to 3 calls at 3M

I wrote a guide on how to use 3UK, Skype and to send messages to Twitter (and other Social Networking sites) from a 3UK phone back in May (read it here).  Well, we should provide a few updates to that article now…

Firstly, when we wrote that article, you needed a 3UK-supplied phone running the Skype on 3 application, and as we have mentioned recently, you can now use a non-3UK supplied phone, as long as you still use the 3UK specific Skype on 3 application.  With the Free Skype Calls Forever promotion, you can even use this app even if your credit has run out!

Well, also support Windows Live Messenger, and 3 now offer this for free too, so you can set this up in the same way, and then be able to choose your method of providing alerts to your favourite social networks.

Why bother we hear you cry; twitter has an SMS number that you can text directly; why go to all this bother.  Well, it doesn’t matter if you have 1000 “unlimited” texts every month, or 4000 “unlimited” texts a month, the twitter SMS phone number is provided by Manx Telecom (from the Isle of Mann), and although the number is within the UK range of +44, because it’s not provided by one of the UK mobile networks (along with the Channel Isles, the Isle of Mann is not technically part of the UK), some networks, including 3UK, will not include the text as part of your UK text allowance, and may even go further and charge you for sending an international text message.

What other options do you have? Well, for twitter; both Vodafone and O2 now support the sending and receiving of twitter SMS messages directly (with the sending coming out of your inclusive minutes, and the receiving being capped around 500 messages per month).

If you want to try this out on your 3G phone, then you can get a Free 3UK SIM from 3UK.


O2 will have Palm Pre exclusivity

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Palm Pre

Although it’s not due to be announced until next week (Tuesday), and hence we’ve heard nothing official from O2 or Palm, but yesterday the Guardian (and now today the Telegraph) are reporting that O2’s parent company Telefonica have secured pretty much worldwide exclusivity on the GSM version of the Palm Pre, and that includes the UK.  Apparently, both Vodafone and Orange were also in the running for this handset.

It appears it’s likely to be sold on the same tariffs as the iPhone is, although the upfront charge for the Pre is likely to be a little cheaper.  Don’t get too excited yet though; although it’s due to announcement next week, it’s believed the handset will not go on sale until September this year.

What’s interesting is that the iPhone and now the Pre are only available with contracts with full internet access built in, yet none of the UK mobile operators are doing this for any other phone; look at the Nokia N97 for example; with it’s homepage widgets; it’s crying out for internet access, yet 3UK do not have a single tariff available with net access included as part of the deal.  No wonder a greater percentage of iPhone users access the net from their phones than an average Nokia phone; it’s part of the deal, why wouldn’t they?  Better than that, O2 do not state an actual fair use limit on net access (for contract phones; they do for PAYG); as long as you play fair and don’t cause network disruption, then they are happy; even O2’s Customer Services will tell you “it’s unlimited, use it as much as you like from the handset itself” (possibly a reference there to their separate tethering options).


HTC Hero announced, and planned for T-Mobile and Orange

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

HTC Hero

This is the new HTC Hero, similar to the HTC Magic already available on Vodafone, but enhanced by a number of HTC customisations on top of the base Android OS, in a similar way to the TouchFlo interface that HTC add to their Windows Mobile devices.

The spec includes a 3.2″ 320×480 display, 5 megapixel camera, 512MB ROM, 288MB RAM, HSPA, WiFi, GPS, compass and microSD slot.  It features a fairly powerful 1350mAh battery, weighs 135 grams and is 112×56.2×14.4mm, and features a Teflon coating to help keep it clean.

In a similar way to Nokia E-Series devices which feature two theme profiles, the HTC Hero will have a Scenes profile feature to allow you to swap between business and personal modes (although we don’t believe it’s limited to 2 profiles like the Nokia solution).  It looks like it will have the ability to integrate some social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter into the Contacts, and the phone features a dedicated search button that provides “you with a more natural, contextual search experience that enables you to search through Twitter, locate people in your contact list, find emails in your inbox or search in any other area in Hero”.

Best of all, HTC are talking about a July availability date in Europe, and to back that up, Orange UK have already announced they will be selling the HTC Hero, and T-Mobile have stated this is the phone dubbed the G1Touch.

The G1Touch will be available from mid-July and will be free on T-Mobile on a £40 per month contract (no contract term stated by T-Mobile, so that might be 24 months) on a Flext tariff offering £225 of credit to spend each month, and that tariff will also include “unlimited” internet browsing (likely to be 3GB per month).

Orange have stated the HTC Hero will be free for customers to take out the £39.15 per month (24 month contract), which will offer 1200 cross-network / landline minutes, “unlimited” texts, and “inclusive anytime” internet browsing (which means 500MB); which looks to us to be the Dolphin 40 tariff.  It will also be exclusively available in ‘Graphite’ (dark grey) from early July.

It’s nice to see Orange finally starting to offer half-decent internet access deals, and we note that the Dolphin 40 tariff has no “out of bundle” charge for texts, so maybe they actually mean unlimited texts… <later> Oh no, it actually means 3,000 texts, just like the other networks….