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T-Mobile Launches £2 Per Day Mobile Broadband 184

Posted by timothy
from the is-voip-alright? dept.
Mark.J writes "ISPreview reports that T-Mobile UK has launched an interesting range of new off-the-shelf Mobile Broadband products that do not require customers to sign-up under a long-term contract. The pay-as-you-go (PAYG) style products cost from only £2 per day for 'unlimited' access (3GB Fair Usage Policy applies). To access T-Mobile pre-pay Mobile Broadband, customers simply need to purchase a USB (Modem) Stick 110, which includes a memory card, for just £49.99 and plug it into a laptop to access their favourite websites. Credit can be topped up direct from the laptop and customers are able to select whichever package suits them at the time." For American readers, that's about $3.66 right now -- plus shipping yourself to the UK.
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T-Mobile Launches £2 Per Day Mobile Broadband

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  • Assuming you check your webmail once a day on your phone, the daily rate will run you 60lbs a month.

    The only package that really makes any sense is the 30 day plan:

    30 Day
    For customers that will use mobile broadband regularly but do not want to commit to a year-long contract, Mobile Broadband 30 Day is the option. Mobile Broadband for thirty days offers unlimited broadband access for only £20.

    Still, you're living in the UK, so it's not all wine and roses.

    • by Computershack (1143409) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:22AM (#25091459)

      Still, you're living in the UK, so it's not all wine and roses.

      Could be worse. I could be living in the USA where the next 300 years taxes my family will be paying will go straight into the pockets of the fat cat investment banks.

    • This sounds more like an aircard deal, not for broadband on the phone. I pay $70/month now for my (s-l-o-w) verizon aircard, if T-mobile brought this deal to the US I'd sure try it.
      • I meant the monthly rate, of course. Much better deal.
      • It'd be awesome if they did bring this or a similar deal to the US, but if you think your Verizon card's slow . . . well . . . most of T-Mobile's network in the U.S. isn't 3g yet, so you'll get GPRS and Edge most of the time.
    • by mr_matticus (928346) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:28AM (#25091493)

      Yes, but it's absolutely fantastic if you travel frequently to the UK for short stints. Paying £7 for a week's worth of fairly generous 3G data access, or £2/day, or any other tiers they may have is a great option for those of us where this is the case. This is especially true of corporate accounts that have disabled international data roaming in the downturn, leaving overseas cell and data usage to a tedious reimbursement system (designed to drive people mad before actually cutting any checks/cheques).

      At £2 a day, it can come out of the per diem and no one will miss it enough to file for reimbursement.

      For vacation travelers, they've got Internet access without being nickel-and-dimed with usage charges based on kB.

      I'm not aware of anything competitive with this in the US, or in most European countries, for that matter--usually I've just seen monthly unlimited plans (for cheap enough prices that it's worth paying, even if you're just there for a week, but still).

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Seriously, the daily rate sounds good. I find that I don't really need broadband access to my mobile every single day. This way, I can pay (a lot) for what I use.

        I wouldn't mind hourly metering, to be honest. Not at home, mind you, but on the road, sure.

        • With hourly metering, you get into the zone uselessness--the administrative costs go up, the transaction costs skyrocket, and the price can't possibly get much better than £2. Anything below 50p/hour is not realistically conceivable and it just doesn't make sense, since there's no real savings to speak of.

          Where there is hourly access, it's been my experience that the cost is usually a few Euros/pounds/$5US and up. Partly profiteering, admittedly, so they could lower prices to compete with T-Mobile.

    • by jipn4 (1367823)

      This is a good deal for travelers and occasional users; the alternatives are roaming or WiFi hotspots, both of which are much more expensive. If you use it more frequently than a few times a month, you can get much cheaper subscriptions.

      I'd love to have this deal available in the US. Right now, I need a monthly subscription even though most of the time I just use WiFi at work and at home.

      • This is a good deal for travelers and occasional users; the alternatives are roaming or WiFi hotspots, both of which are much more expensive.

        Really? i suppose it depends where you are, in london i see countless free wifi, and if that fails theres always unsecured or WEP about.

    • ...but if you're checking your email every day you won't be going for the GBP 2 per day option, you'll go for the GBP 20 per month option. I can see the 2 quid a day option being useful for frequent business trips; use regular land-line ADSL for regular use, and buy 6 quid's worth of mobile broadband for that trip to London.

      ...and 20 quid a month for 3GB? I'm paying about that ($50 NZ) for 1GB (that's 1GB per month). Damn Vodafone NZ.

      • by commanderfoxtrot (115784) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:03AM (#25091651) Homepage

        Orange have had a better deal for years.

        £5 per month for offpeak internet, then £1 per day if you use it onpeak.

        My broadband was out of action for two weeks, so for £10 additional cost, I was able to work over my phone. (Normal Nokia N70, via bluetooth). 3G is more than fast enough.

        No limits: I did 3GB in a fortnight.

        • O2 have a better plan, 10GBP a month flat rate for mobile internet on pay and go.
        • The other T-Mobile plan is something ludicrous per KB (0.73p, I think) but with a £1/day cap. You can optionally buy 5 days for £2.50, so if you use it for more than three days it's worth it. The AUP for this is only 40MB/day, but that's enough for IM, email, a little bit of browsing and using Google Maps mobile. I switched to this when I realised how infrequently I was using the data on my contract.
        • by Stevecrox (962208)
          But then your stuck with Orange, I'd rather pay more with someone else then hve to deal with Orange.
    • your missing the point, it's fair to say most people who want broadband have it at home it's fairly cheap too.

      Occasionally you want broadband elsewhere and this is quite a good deal but T-mobile tends to limit service in terms of ports and content. for example youtube is blocked by default till you demonstrate you are over 18. as are other social networking sites (but not slashdot).

      Some might think its to stop users using too much bandwidth but its to protect the children.

      To be honest 3 offer better rates a

    • by PReDiToR (687141)
      Call me daft, but doesn't Orange PAYG still have the "pay £1 for 24 hours (max, ends at midnight) unlimited access @ 384kbps?

      I have been using that for years. It actually did say "unlimited".
    • by RMH101 (636144)
      it's nothing new. vodafone payg is capped at 1 ukp per day, o2 do a 20 ukp/month unlimited plan; just get the sim and put in your 3g modem
    • Assuming you check your webmail once a day on your phone, the daily rate will run you 60lbs a month.

      The only package that really makes any sense is the 30 day plan:

      30 Day For customers that will use mobile broadband regularly but do not want to commit to a year-long contract, Mobile Broadband 30 Day is the option. Mobile Broadband for thirty days offers unlimited broadband access for only £20.

      Still, you're living in the UK, so it's not all wine and roses.

      This is a rip off... O2 offer "unlimited" data and wifi for 10GBP a month on Pay and Go ("excessive usage" limit applies. 3 Mobile do mobile broadband at 10GBP for 1 Gig of transfer a month. 2GBP a day seems insane to me.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "Assuming you check your webmail once a day on your phone, the daily rate will run you 60lbs a month"

      Sounds like a good weight loss program

    • by caluml (551744)
      Not sure if anyone has already mentioned this (I suspect so), but 1 lb is 1 pound in weight, and £1 is 1 GBP. You can use £ for the symbol if you don't have a UK keyboard. Oh, and no, you can't use the hash (#) symbol for either (at least in the UK). We don't even use it to mean "number", as in #1. In fact, stupid bloody symbol. Just means "comment in PHP" to me.
  • by IAmAI (961807) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:24AM (#25091475)
    I think it's aimed at occasional users. I like the idea that I can pay a couple of quid and use when I'm travelling occasionally. However, what puts me off is the outrageously expensive USB stick you need to get [t-mobile.co.uk]. It claims to be a 'memory stick' as a well as a modem but it is really a microSD card adapter and it does not appear to come with a card. I would not pay more £20 for such a device.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tony Hoyle (11698)

      For an HSPDA modem that's not bad. The price is dropping fast but £20? I bet the chips in there cost that. It comes free if you get a contract.

      There are laptops with HSPDA built in coming out and if you have one of those you won't even need to pay that.

  • Because any self respecting nerd would use the Internet more than 10 days out of a month
    • But any self respecting nerd also has wired internet at home. This is great if you need mobile internet now and then due to traveling, but would rather use your home line at home because of greater speeds (3G usually lands you 2-4 Mbit/s, at least here in Denmark), or greater flexibility (e.g. getting your net from ethernet instead of USB)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tony Hoyle (11698)

        Exactly. I have one (on a better deal IMO) and use it only when on holiday.. it plugs into the eeepc just fine.

        Compared to hotel internet/wifi it's dirt cheap.. I don't need it when at home though.

  • by IAmAI (961807) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:26AM (#25091485)
    I'd want to use the USB model with my Eee PC which has the standard Xandros OS installed. I wonder if it will work?
    • by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:28AM (#25091735) Homepage

      Probably. These dongles pretty much all pretend to be serial modems and you just need to do some mucking around with AT commands and run pppd.

      Some of them need some hackery (eg. the one I have needs a kick to switch from storage mode to serial mode) but you won't be the first to try it so there will be a HOWTO somewhere.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Hal_Porter (817932)

        Probably. These dongles pretty much all pretend to be serial modems and you just need to do some mucking around with AT commands and run pppd.

        Some of them need some hackery (eg. the one I have needs a kick to switch from storage mode to serial mode) but you won't be the first to try it so there will be a HOWTO somewhere.

        Not necessarily. I've worked on one of these dongles and on Windows it's mostly used as an NDIS device. Now the one I worked on uses the USB CDC Ethernet class and USB CDC Serial Ports - either it could act like a modem using the serial port or it could connect as an Ethernet device. The ethernet mode is preferred because you don't have the overhead of PPP headers, but it would still work as a dialup device using just the serial port. Now on Linux it will work by default in dialup mode, and with a bit of fi

    • Don't know about T Mobile, but three.co.uk have a 49 quid modem with PAYG and it works fine on Ubuntu (little bit of googling will reveal all).

      I think the three deal is better anyway...

    • Yes, Xandros Linux on the Eee PC has an (Asus branded) application that interfaces with most Huawei dongles. I had it working for a week - works better than on Windows XP with the Huawei-bundled software, believe it or not.

  • by pembo13 (770295) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:39AM (#25091541) Homepage
    What definition of broadband is being used here?
    • by thermian (1267986) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:54AM (#25091605)

      What definition of broadband is being used here?

      I'd take a stab at 'Outrageously priced broadband' myself. It sounds ok for business people who may need access to the tubes at various times whilst on the move. Until this the only way to get mobile broadband via a dongle was to get either a monthly subscription or a pay as you go in which you bought blocks of Gb then had 30 days to use it or lose it. Neither appeals to me.

      I may get this and keep it in my laptop bag to use if I find myself in need of internets access but unable to find any, but never for routine use.

      • Or you could just get a SIM card for your phone, load up the data package and add it to the prepaid SIM, and tether. I imagine you can find an appropriate 3G phone for less than £50, if you don't want to take out your voice service SIM.
  • Vodafone in Spain (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jackd (64557) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:43AM (#25091559)

    Using a similar service from Vodafone here in Spain, where I'm staying for a couple of months. 59 Euros per month, unlimited usage, no contract. Just showed my drivers license, and purchased the Vodafone USB HSDPA/3G modem stick and they activated my subscription in the store. Works amazingly well, able to reach download speeds of 1.5 mbit, and coverage almost anywhere.

    What I found particularly interesting, was how much bandwidth you use with just "minimal" use, ie. having it plugged in all day while working for emails, using Web sites and various company Web apps. So far, in 20 days this month, I've used 1.2 GB of data. A lot more than I would have guessed. .. and nope, no movie or music downloads.

    • Having a house out there, in the middle of nowehere without even a landline, this is just the sort of thing I've been waiting for. Can you tell me the name of the service and what the price of the modem stick is? Thanks
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sowth (748135)

      So far, in 20 days this month, I've used 1.2 GB of data. A lot more than I would have guessed.

      This is because nearly all websites waste tonnes of bandwidth with "Web 2.0" Ajax / Javascript crap. I am stuck on dialup, and it takes forever to load just about anything these days. Even if it is just a page with a few lines of text. Today's "web programmers" suxxors!

  • Expensive (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:44AM (#25091561)

    Here in finland you get usb 3G modem and unlimited traffic @ 384kbps for 9,80euros /month

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by rml1997 (929311)
      You can get a similar deal here for around 10/15 pounds a month from most operators. The difference here is you are paying for a single day's usage.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by GigaplexNZ (1233886)

        You can get a similar deal here for around 10/15 pounds a month from most operators. The difference here is you are paying for a single day's usage.

        Where exactly is "here"?

        • by Dogtanian (588974)

          You can get a similar deal here for around 10/15 pounds a month from most operators. The difference here is you are paying for a single day's usage.

          Where exactly is "here"?

          Most likely the UK, since they're one of the few countries to have a currency called the "pound" and I know that you can get mobile broadband access here for £10 (1GB cap), £15 (3GB) or £25 (7GB) a month.

    • Isn't that with a contract? It needs to be compared like-for-like. A cheap service that doesn't fit the need would cost more over time. If you're talking about a contract, then that serves a different use than without contract.

      The price without contract and pay by the day is absolutely ideal for someone that only needs service occasionally. I'd love to pay that amount when my main internet service is down. It doesn't happen as much as one day a month, but when it's down, I need to get internet service

  • Vodafone Egypt (Score:3, Interesting)

    by johndmartiniii (1213700) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:49AM (#25091579) Homepage
    We've had something like this in Egypt for a while now, probably in response to the limited availability of broadband internet through DSL at one time. Vodafone Egypt does a 3G service for mobile devices and you can buy both USB and PC card adapters. The problem is similar though, the hardware is prohibitively expensive--equivalent to 500USD--and the service isn't really intended to be used regularly. It costs 1LE per MB tranfser (about 0.20USD) or you can buy a plan which includes up to 5 GB transfer per month for about 500LE (100USD). Kind of on the expensive side in the end. There are several other providers here now doing similar things, but their prices are almost exactly the same across the board.
  • Prove to the client that the Internet is not down. Please lets upgrade the blinking blue box.
  • "If you use more than your fair use policy amount, we won't charge you any more, but we may restrict how you can use your plan, depending on how often you go over your amount and by how much"

    Is anyone on /. going to sign up to something so vague?

  • 3gb a day is more than enough for me, if that was about half the cost and 2/3 the bandwidth it'd seriously be worth considering to replace my standard ADSL internet connection.

  • by splodus (655932) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:59AM (#25091637)

    I can put up with all the 'only £1.99 a day!' and 'from just £49.99' style marketing speak. It's jarring, but at least it's not dishonest.

    However I am absolutely sick of hearing 'Unlimited usage! (fair use policy applies equal to 3Gb of data in any 28 day period subject to change)

    I'm happy to pay for a 3Gb per month limit. I'd be delighted with an unlimited usage package. But I am fed up with providers advertising 'unlimited', when it is is clearly, unequivocally, NOT unlimited!

    I'd urge any UK readers that agree to generate a gentle trickle of complaints to the Advertising Standards Agency [asa.org.uk] and the Office of Communications [ofcom.org.uk].

    • I was just about to post something similar. I can't believe this tactic has been allowed to continue.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by splodus (655932)

      Before anyone claims that T mobile say no such thing;

      September Offers [t-mobile.co.uk]

      It says "UNLIMITED* internet access with no run-on rates"

      Further down there's a link "* Subject to fair use"

      Following the link lists 15 different tariffs with their various terms and conditions. There's quite a lot of small print there...

      • by Dogtanian (588974) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @11:10AM (#25093189) Homepage

        Before anyone claims that T mobile say no such thing; It says "UNLIMITED* internet access with no run-on rates". Further down there's a link "* Subject to fair use"

        So in essence they're claiming that it's unlimited then using the small-print to claim it's unlimited via an indirect and vague reference to a "fair use" policy.

        Small-print should be used to clarify things and make clear the boring details, not to allow companies to outright lie and then weasel out of it without even having the "explanation" on the same page.

        Anticipating a possible response to this post, anyone (including the telcos) who claims that the "unlimited" means "unlimited connection time" or some similar BS is being disingenuous. The companies *know* and are operating on the assumption that people will take "unlimited" to mean "unlimited downloading", if only because clearly that *is* what people have already shown they believe such claims to mean. IANAL, but I assume that this is how the advertisement would be judged legally and/or by the advertising standards bodies.

        (This isn't to say that the offer of 3GB for a regular fee of £15/month is bad value by mobile standards- but the advert *is* intentionally misleading, like it or not).

    • by djsmiley (752149)

      I'm betting they would define unlimited as it supports all protocols and allows access to all sites, as apposed to accessing the internet via an iPhone, which doesn't (appently - according to various sources, dont have one myself) allow _ALL_ websites to work?

      Oh, and as geeks we read "Unlimited bandwidth" when all it actually says is "Unlimited!". They prey on our presumptions, but then again we shouldn't be so happy to believe.

      • No, they say unlimited. They don't say unlimited sites, or unlimited protocols, they simply state, without any qualification, unlimited. If you mean that only certain things are unlimited, then you need to spell them out. That's just the way the English langauge works. There are limits. Their statement is false. They are liars.
      • by jimicus (737525)

        I'm betting they would define unlimited as it supports all protocols and allows access to all sites, as apposed to accessing the internet via an iPhone, which doesn't (appently - according to various sources, dont have one myself) allow _ALL_ websites to work?

        I don't know about T-Mobile but I do know that I support a bunch of people who travel all over the world and basically, as soon as you leave the comfort of your own broadband connection, all bets regarding what works are off.

        I've seen hotels and mobile telcos blocking ports, using VPN "helpers" which don't help at all, blocking VPN use outright - even if the service they're providing is aimed squarely at businesses - all sorts of silly things. I'm just waiting for the day that the hotel's "internet" connec

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lattyware (934246)
      Interestingly, Sky actually don't do this, if you check their pages, it says Unlimeted* - and it actually has *No Fair Usage Policy Applies at the bototm of the page. That said, you have to be within their network to get that deal. (I, for one, am not.) That said, they are about the only ISP that doesn't. It's criminal.
    • by ribuck (943217)
      The "unlimited" is a lie, that's for sure. But T-Mobile is the only UK operator who won't charge you more if you exceed your cap.

      It's no fun to pay £10 for your first gigabyte, only to find that you've been charged £1000 for the second gigabyte (e.g. with Three mobile broadband).
    • by BarneyL (578636)
      Advertising standards won't do a thing.
      T-mobile UK are presently running an advertising campaign stating "no one gives more minutes for £30". It has been pointed out that other providers gives more minutes for less than £30 but the adverts have been allowed to continue.
      If they can get away with that then I'm sure they can continue to get away with their somewhat limited definition of the word unlimited.
    • The ASA won't touch it unless you can point to adverts claiming unlimited, not including statements made on their website (which are explicitly beyond the ASA's remit). The correct place to complain is the Office of Fair Trading (as I was told when I complained to the ASA about this issue about a year ago).
    • by fermion (181285)
      In the states most the cell cos are a bit more honest about this. They generally put a 5 GB cap for the month, and that costs about 33 pounds, which seems to be more than an equivalent contract service would cost in the UK. It is also possible to get the dongle for free.

      OTOH, for this type of service I am not sure if 3GB is not nearly unlimited. One would have to be downloading nearly 100KB every minutes of every day to reach that limit.

  • by Manip (656104) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:21AM (#25091711)

    If you actually check T-Mobile's site instead of reading the article you'll find no use of the word "unlimited" anywhere on the pages.

    In fact next to each plan it lists "3GB fair use amount - without any run-on rates."

    In fact the only reference I can find to "unlimited" broadband is on ISP Review.

    • So I doubt it's technically possible to download 3GB in a single day, but for doing so over the air, that seems like an extremely good price to pay.

      though I'd rather pay that per-byte price on any amount I download:-)

      • by jonbryce (703250)

        It's 3GB per month, and it is very easy to download that amount. It is about 5 hours of BBC iPlayer.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by splodus (655932)

      I was looking at this one;

      September Offers [t-mobile.co.uk]

      It says "UNLIMITED* internet access with no run-on rates"

      Further down there's a link "* Subject to fair use"

      Following the link lists 15 different tariffs with their various terms and conditions. It's not immediately obvious which applies to the one you were just looking at.

      Which site were you looking at? Was it the UK one?

      • by splodus (655932)

        Ah I think I see - if you go through the special offers route you seem to see the 'Unlimited' word bandied around

        If you go through the various option screens you see 'fair use policy applies'

        When you get to the order page itself it says '3Gb fair use amount - "

        So I guess T mobile deserve credit for at least making it a lot clearer at the order stage than most.

        But I still think 'Unlimited!' needs to be removed from *all* advertising because it's just not true!

  • For American readers, that's about $3.66 right now -- plus shipping yourself to the UK.

    CLEARLY worth the price, considering the benefits of leaving the US. ;)

    • by Bazman (4849)

      Hey! Our banks are f**king up as much as your banks! Besides, after the next set of elections you might have Obama and we'll have David Cameron...

       

  • The UK is lagging behind on wired broadband infrastructure, but its phone infrastructure is pretty decent. At some point could the country go truly wireless?
  • Funnily enough I was sitting in a busy part of North London yesterday with 4 bars of 3G connection, trying to browse two sites, BBC news [bbc.co.uk] and Slashdot [slashdot.org]. The performance was terrible - extremely slow page loading, total drop-outs and random disconnects from the server. In no way can this be compared to ADSL/broadband.

    Rich.

    • by quenda (644621)
      Its supposed to be 1-2Mbps, which is HSDPA. I read /. frequently over this, and it works fine. Either you were using a non-HSDPA phone/modem, or the network was congested.
    • Depends a lot on how many people are using it. On the train along the south coast of Wales and while visiting my mother in the middle of nowhere, North Devon, I get 50KB/s downloads and around 200ms ping times with T-Mobile on UMTS.
    • by caluml (551744)
      The 4 bars is just signal strength, not capacity. You share the cell-tower bandwidth with all the other data users that are "attached" to it. I seem to remember that a 3G cell is 384k, although they can bung a few on each tower. Don't forget the pipes from the tower back to the Telco's HQ/Internet connections either.
  • This sounds like a very cool service.

  • This story is just an advertisement. The Three service is perfectly adequate. So I imagine is the Vodafone service. I get 3G or at a minimum Edge in most of the places I want to use a computer, and I suggest you just check the coverage maps before choosing a supplier.

    People who like these things might consider using it with a Toshiba G450 phone. This phone weighs only 2 ounces, has no camera, no LCD (OLED display) but is quad band and allows you to make phone calls while connected to the Internet.

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