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Three’s average data allowance slips behind EE in the UK

by Phill Maling | May 29, 2020

Three trail-blazed unlimited 4G smartphone plans in the UK back in 2014, being the only operator to offer this level of data. But 6 years on they have slipped to second place against EE for average data allowance. In Q1 2014 3’s data allowances ranged from a modest 250MB up to 2GB before leaping to unlimited data. In contrast EE’s plans ranged from 500MB-50GB, O2 offered 0MB-20GB and Vodafone’s range was 50MB-13GB.

PriceTRAX pricing data and plan details have been used to track the average data allowance evolution for smartphone bundled contracts in the UK.



In 2019 5G plans were introduced and the 4 operators shifted towards unlimited data. At this point EE’s average data allowance overtook 3’s. In Q1 2020 EE’s data allowances ranged from 500MB-120GB and they differentiated between 4G & 5G plans, whereas 3’s were 1GB-100GB and unlimited data (no data speed differentiation). O2’s plans provided 500MB-120GB plus unlimited data and Vodafone offered 1GB-24GB and Unlimited Lite, Unlimited and Unlimited Max plans (with and without Entertainment packages).

Traditionally data allowance has been one of the main differentiators for mobile operator contracts, but the landscape is changing as we move towards “unlimited everything”. Pricing and price monitoring will become a much bigger issue as data allowances plateau.

To see how Strategy Analytics’ PriceTRAX database can support pricing decisions, and how our web UI and dashboard solutions might help you, click here

Or email:

Phill Maling: pmaling@strategyanalytics.com or Stuart Robinson: srobinson@strategyanalytics.com

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