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UK mobile data pricing - clear as mud?

by Josie Sephton | 1月 14, 2011

If you want clarity around mobile data pricing, it seems that the UK is not the place to be at the moment. Following the general path that many operators seem to be following as of late, T-Mobile confirmed that, as of 1 February 2011, it was going to limit all customers to a monthly data allowance of 500MB. For many, this meant a very sizeable reduction of 50%, down from 1 GB. For Android handset owners, who are currently allocated a rather more substantial 3 GB per month, the picture was even bleaker.

Before the news even had chance to filter through the industry proper, however, T-Mobile issued a second announcement that the change would apply to new and upgrading customers only, and that existing customers would see no change to their data cap. In addition, changes to data usage policy would not apply to corporate contracts.

Perhaps the hurried retraction was in response to customer backlash, some of whom will have selected T-Mobile precisely because of its high data allowance compared to certain competitors. Or perhaps the company was reminded by Ofcom that any communications provider must give its customers at least one month's notice of any change of this nature, and that customers could terminate contracts without any penalty if a change was not acceptable to them. Whatever the reason, it does seem that T-Mobile has not stepped quite so boldly down the road as some of the other players in the UK mobile market - for now at least.

While this demonstrates just how important clear and consistent messaging is around an area that is difficult to decipher at the best of times, the underlying trend illustrates how operators are trying to deal with the phenomenal growth in data across their networks - but that's a whole new can of worms.

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