Three blocks up to 4,000 mobile SIMs from tablets and mobile broadband dongles

Three blocks up to 4,000 mobile SIMs from tablets and mobile broadband donglesWe’ve often said that data SIMs for tablets and mobile broadband devices are a rip-off, and I can sense a rant coming on with this story here.

UK network Three has moved to block up to 4,000 customers who use their mobile SIM in an “unauthorised device”, be it a tablet or mobile broadband dongle. Sigh.

The move was made earlier this week, and ultimately means affected customers will see a “block” page if attempting to use their phone SIM in a non-phone. The SIM will work, however, when put back in the phone, so the block won’t affect authorised service.

All of which raises the question: why? Three points us in the direction of its terms and conditions, specifically this section:

'5.3 Each SIM may only be used in Devices: (a) which are enabled for Three Services and are authorised by us for Connection to the Three network. Any attempt to use the SIM in other Devices may result in serious damage to the Device and may prevent you from being able to use it, including the making of emergency calls. In these instances, we are not responsible for any such damage or usage problems; and (b) which are in the Device category it was provided to you for, for example, you must not use a SIM for a phone in a Tablet or Dongle.'

Ok, but again: why? Essentially, Three wants you to invest in a separate SIM plan for your tablet or mobile broadband dongle, even though you’re using the same technology to make the connection. If you’re paying for 1GB mobile data per month, what difference does it make to Three if some of that 1GB is consumed by a non-phone?

Well, it doesn’t make any difference, really. It’s all so Three can make more bucks from its data SIMs. Imagine having to fill up a separate fuel tank for motorway driving, and you’re somewhere in the right ballpark.

Have you been affected by Three’s blocked SIM shenanigans? Or maybe you think Three is perfectly entitled to lay down the law? In any case, feel free to sound off below.

Read more about: 3 Mobile

Add a comment

babylon  Feb. 7, 2015 at 22:12

I'm just coming to the end of my Three contract, And Three has always known and blocked me when I tried using my phone as a HotSpot, Has it been different when using your sim directly into another device.

randomusername2  Feb. 8, 2015 at 10:55

Why would a phone SIM damage a tablet/dongle? Is it because of the device form factor - in which case the argument holds - or is it some fundamental difference in the SIM itself? Either way, I would imagine Three could overcome the issue if they really wanted to...

Radko  Feb. 21, 2015 at 03:06

It just happened to me these days. I am so annoyed. I was using my SIM on my Galaxy Tab S. The card is blocked but I still can make calls from the tablet. Only the internet is blocked. Instead of making few more bucks with pushing me to buy different SIM, now the result for them is that they will lose me as a client. I have two contracts with them and I was their client for more than 3 years. When my contracts finish... Good bye Three mobile. They are more than enough other carriers to choose from.


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