Orange introduces flat-rate data

Orange introduces flat-rate data

Summary: Mobile operator's contract customers will be able to sign up for a bundle giving them unlimited data, but VoIP and IM are discouraged

TOPICS: Networking

Orange has introduced flat-rate mobile data bundles for the first time.

As ZDNet UK previously reported in a blog, the operator's contract customers will be able to sign up for a bundle allowing them unlimited surfing for £8 per month. A bundle for evening and weekend browsing is priced at £5 per month. Alternatively, customers can opt for a daily cap of £1 per day.

The bundles make Orange the latest operator to adopt a flat-rate approach to its mobile data pricing. Vodafone, T-Mobile and 3 already offer flat-rate pricing.

The operators do, however, take differing approaches to the types of traffic they allow. 3 is relatively liberal, as is T-Mobile, although T-Mobile demands a premium if customers use VoIP or instant messaging (IM). Vodafone bans the use of VoIP and IM outright, while Orange discourages both — but does not ban them as such.

"Our terms and conditions will state that the bundle should not be used for these services," Orange said on Monday. "We would discourage any customer from using VoIP through the mobile internet due to the quality of service they may experience. We are looking to launch our own high-quality IM service in the next few months which will deliver a far superior customer experience to currently available services."


Topic: Networking

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • flat-rate, unlimited and unrestricted

    true mobile (not that limited WiFi, HotSpot, whatever stuff) access is the first step in moving forward by means of new innovations controlled by uncontrolled market demands (which is the basis of net neutrality). Once that ball starts rolling the sky is the limit. The pie will become big enough to share. Simply because a whole lot of small pieces still make a big pie.

    Anything else is just a milking cow scam. Or fighting over the crumbles of the same old pie as consumers start to look for other pies. In other words, learn how to bake new pies. Or at least learn how to get a (small) piece of the pies someone else baked (e.g., help transport the new pies).
  • Don't fight VoIP

    There seems to be a massive difference between operators. To start with Three offer FREE unlimited IM (Live Messenger Only), while others ban its use.

    Orange have taken a small step in the right direction, introducing a flat-rate data service, however banning certain types of traffic can not continue.

    VoIP has and will continue to change the telecommunications industry, both fixed and mobile. You must work with new technology, not fight it!
  • The Orange Viewpoint

    From the earlier quote about VoIP the Orange spokesman apparently said "we advise against it" - this wording suggests it is the customer's choice, so are they actually banning its use?
    Doubtless many customers are sufficiently well-informed about VoIP and other technologies to make their own decisions.
  • Interesting late news from Orange

    Orange did get back to us on this issue following the publication of our story. As it turns out, "if users want to use VoIP and IM they can do so" (!), but the operator is discouraging them from doing so due to the usual "customer experience" malarkey.

    Nothing, of course, to do with the fact that Orange is (finally) launching its own IM service in a few months' time...
    David Meyer