Three makes 0800 calls free for SIM-only customers but ends unlimited tethering

Three makes 0800 calls free for SIM-only customers but ends unlimited tetheringGood news for Three SIM-only customers: the network is no longer charging for calls made to 0800 numbers, implementing a new Ofcom directive a year ahead of it becoming mandatory.

Sadly, though, there's bad news too: Three is scrapping unlimited tethering on its SIM-only plans, effectively killing off the much-loved One Plan as we knew it.

From now on, SIM-only plans will see personal hotspot allowances capped at 4GB, while contract users – who saw their own tethering allowances cut to 2GB in March – will see their quota double to 4GB at some point next year.

Calls to 0800, 0808 and 0500 numbers will be entirely free of charge, and will fall outside of users' voice minutes allowance regardless of how often you use them. Calls to other 08 numbers, such as to 084 and 087 calls, will cost 5p per minute.

Three is also introducing spending tools to help SIM-only customers manage their data and minutes better to avoid exceeding their allowance. Data allowances range from 500MB up to all-you-can-eat, with personal hotspot use supported on all plans (but limited to 4GB where applicable).

The network says it is making it easier for customers to change plans to one with a greater allowance if they find they're using more data than expected.

Via Engadget

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9 comments

matt101101 / MOD  Jul. 15, 2014 at 17:34

I'm tempted to say this is a good thing. The same people who are crying about losing unlimited tethering are likely to be the same people who use a cheap Three One Plan instead of a real broadband connection and use hundreds, if not thousands, of GB per month, especially with Three's free 4G. This clogs Three's network for everyone else who just wants decent data speeds on their phone when they're out and about, without constantly worrying about data caps.

I understand that Three's mobile data may be faster than the broadband some people can get in their area, but using internet designed for a mobile phone as your house's main internet connection is a pretty blatant abuse of the system.

If Three were doing this for no good reason, it'd be a d*ck move, but it's relatively well known, among people who concern themselves with such things, that Three's network is massively overloaded in places, so hopefully this helps to alleviate some of that overload.

threeheadoffice  Jul. 16, 2014 at 08:31

dude u talk crap .

Stelph  Jul. 16, 2014 at 08:37

Agree, it's good that they're being open about it as well rather than just offering unlimited and then throttling, that's just annoying.
4GB still stands favourably against a budget broadband connection, and if you need more than that then perhaps you need to rethink how you're accessing the internet (ie get a proper broadband connection)

matt101101 / MOD  Jul. 16, 2014 at 11:08

dude u talk crap .
A lovely, well constructed counter argument there. You've raised several points regarding issues which I failed to address, in a clear, concise and effective manner.

Oh, sorry...you just unintelligently trolled. Well done.

matt101101 / MOD  Jul. 16, 2014 at 11:15

Agree, it's good that they're being open about it as well rather than just offering unlimited and then throttling, that's just annoying.
4GB still stands favourably against a budget broadband connection, and if you need more than that then perhaps you need to rethink how you're accessing the internet (ie get a proper broadband connection)

Yes, I'd rather know my data limits than be seemingly randomly throttled. As you say, that's just annoying for the user.

4GB is plenty of tethering data for emails, browsing etc, but a low enough cap to stop selfish people using terabytes of data each month streaming video from Netflix etc. If you want to do that, use a real broadband connection. If you can't get a decent broadband connection, maybe you should have researched the area in which you live more carefully. Mobile data plans were never intended to be a long term replacement for a fixed broadband connection.

This new system Three have introduced is definitely fairer for everyone and will hopefully improve their service for the non-selfish, non-abusive users of their network.

No doubt there'll be plenty of tech websites which b*tch and moan about it though, forgetting that they're the kind of people who abused the system so much that Three had to do this.

loofer  Jul. 16, 2014 at 12:12

Gutted, was hoping to sign up to SIM Only One Plan later this year.
I don't think free 0800 vs 4GB limited tethering is a fair trade-off.
Of course it's up to them what they do but it would have been nice if they dropped the price back down to the original £15pm they had last year to reflect this change.

10GB limit would have made the pill easier to swallow. It's unliley I would even use 4GB but it's just that freedom knowing you have 10GB if you need it and really are out and about and want to tether.

There's a plethora of people who are on the original £15pm tariff with unlimited tethering. I assume once there contract ends, providing they don't 'upgrade' or sign a new contract, the keep the same tariff and price can only increase by RPI if anything? effectively a rolling contract.

matt101101 / MOD  Jul. 16, 2014 at 13:07

There's a plethora of people who are on the original £15pm tariff with unlimited tethering. I assume once there contract ends, providing they don't 'upgrade' or sign a new contract, the keep the same tariff and price can only increase by RPI if anything? effectively a rolling contract.
Once the contract comes to an end, Three can choose not to renew it on the same terms, which they probably will do. Once your agreed contract period is over, the network are under no obligation to continue the contract on the same terms. Obviously the customer is equally entitled to leave, whether the terms change or not, but I can't see Three honouring existing unlimited tethering contracts for an indefinite period of time once the minimum contract term is up.

Obviously there's nothing Three can do for the moment regarding people who already have unlimited tethering, but I'd be surprised if they were allowed to keep it beyond the minimum term for their contract.

Stelph  Jul. 17, 2014 at 12:01


10GB have made the pill easier to swallow. It's unliley I would even use 4GB but it's just that freedom knowing you have 10GB if you need it and really are out and about and want to tether.


Good lord, 10GB? what is it that you are proposing to do on your tethered mobile?Remember that they haven't cut the unlimited internet access on your mobile phone, so you can still strem video etc to your hearts content on your phone, its just the amount you can use when you connect your phone to your laptop which IMO shouldn't be too much of a frequent activity with normal use (just a couple of times usually when a mobile browser just isnt enough or you really do need access to the internet for a PC programme) . If you really are needing more than 4GB then really you should be seriously considering getting a data package that includes a wifi service when out and about or better broadband at home

loofer  Jul. 17, 2014 at 16:08

This is it, I don't expect I do. I currently don't do any tethering. Use my iPad at home and even that is primarily browsing.

But a contract with tethering would give me a bit more freedom to take the iPad with me and when browse/watch iPlayer etc without worrying about the limit.

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