When's Fair Usage Ever Fair?

O2’s iPhone exclusivity finally ends on November 10th when Orange start shipping the Apple devices to eager customers.  Today they published details of the tariff – and Twitter is all-a-fluster with Orange’s use of the term “Fair Usage”.  You see, all the Pay Monthly plans come with “unlimited” mobile internet.  But the small print at the bottom says that a “Fair Usage” policy of 750MB/month applies to mobile internet browsing and WiFi.

750MB a month doesn’t seem particularly unlimited. Let’s make a comparison.  Standard mobile internet packages for your PC – those things that come with a USB dongle – usually start at 1GB.  No one calls those packages “unlimited”, especially as they’re at the bottom rung of the ladder.  

For example, Orange’s own dongle offering starts at 500MB per month (on a 12 month contract) and goes up to 10GB a month – with stops at 1GB and 3GB along the way. They can’t all be unlimited, can they?

In real terms, 750MB a month might be enough for checking emails and logging in to Twitter in the morning – but start flicking through your friend’s photos on Facebook or log in to Funny or Die, and see how long it lasts.  

O2 has what it calls an “excessive usage” policy in place on its unlimited iPhone plans – with no top end defined.

But don’t let all that detract you from the real news:  Yay, iPhones!  And, overall, it does look like Orange’s offering is slightly cheaper than O2’s…


via @conorfromorange on Twitter:

“…for our new iPhone offers we are using a fair usage policy of 750MB for Mobile data, & 750MB for free Wi-Fi access with our Wi-Fi partner”

So that’s actually two lots of 750MB, depending on how you access the ‘net.