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End of unlimited data mobile deals

Mon 28 Jun, 2010 // Firstnumber Team

Following the launch of the new iPhone 4, smartphone providers are calling time on plans that feature unlimited data download.

O2 is the latest in a long line of providers such as Three and Vodafone who have capped data tariffs to 1GB per month.

Industry commentators have speculated that providers are keen to ensure their networks aren't clogged with data transfers, therefore allowing fair usage for all customers.

According to the BBC, a 1GB cap would allow for approximately two to three hundred MP3 song downloads in a month.

Alternatively, users with a 500MB cap could send 1,000 emails including photo attachments.

Talking to the BBC, Ben Wood – a mobile phone analyst at CCS Insight – said that users could quickly get financially stung by the changes:

“It's very difficult for users to keep track of their data usage.

“I pity the poor user who loves to watch videos on YouTube, then smashes through his monthly allowance in no time at all.

“The onus is on the network operators to make sure they have processes in place to regularly update users who are approaching the top of their data bundle.”

Mr Wood went on to comment on discuss the demand for data transfer which – for the average phone user – is relatively low unless downloading large amounts of music or watching TV.

“In the UK O2 revealed the 3% of users on smartphone tariffs accounted for 36% for its smartphone data traffic.

“[Capping tariffs] is a near-term fix, and the bottom line is that network operators are going to have to invest a lot of money in new technology to ensure they can cope with demand from their customers.”

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