• The Limits of Orange's "Unlimited" Data Plan

    Users began grumbling about the 750MB cap on Orange's so-called "unlimited" data plan as soon as it was announced. Close reading of the Terms and Conditions of Orange's service, however, reveals even more restrictions, which poses the question: how many limits can you put on a plan and still call it "unlimited?"

    The word "unlimited" in Orange's rate plan listing is followed by an asterisk, which points to a notification that “Fair Usage policy of 750MB/month applies.” Somewhat misleading, but entirely legal in the United Kingdom, where a court ruled last January that a Blackberry data plan with a 250 MB cap could still be called "unlimited."

    After the rate plan was made public, an alert customer pointed out the following clause in Orange's Terms and Conditions to the BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones:

    Not to be used for other activities (eg using your handset as a modem, non-Orange internet based streaming services, voice or video over the internet, instant messaging, peer to peer file sharing, non-Orange internet based video). Should such use be detected notice may be given and Network protection controls applied to all services which Orange does not believe constitutes mobile browsing.
    Cellan-Jones noted that these restrictions could easily prohibit such common services as Spotify, AudioBoo, Ustream and even Facebook instant messaging. He noted that "users no longer see the iPhone and similar devices as phones but as small computers," which suggested a different model for usage plans.

    In response to an inquiry from Cellan-Jones, an Orange spokesman said the cap would be “reviewed," and reports have indicated that a large volume of email had been received in protest. It was not immediately clear if the data restrictions might also be brought under review.

    image via Orange
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