updated 09:02 am EDT, Tue March 18, 2014
UK carrier alters price plan tiers, makes 0800 calls free
British carrier Three is no longer going to offer unlimited tethering on its plans, as part of a wider update of its contracts. The mobile phone network will be limiting the amount of data available for use by customers in tethering or using a phone as a mobile hotspot, offering an allowance of 2GB and charging for excess usage, even if the customer is paying for a contract with an unlimited amount of 3G and 4G smartphone data.
A Three spokesperson told The Next Web the changes announced today will be applying to new customers only, and not to existing subscribers, though it believes people will transition over to the new contracts when they upgrade their smartphones.
The new price plans will also move the focus marginally away from the unlimited data the company is known for. Plans offering 500MB, 1GB, 2GB, and All-you-can-eat data will be offered with a variety of minutes options, ranging between 50 minutes and unlimited, with all plans offering unlimited text messages. While the unlimited data plans will be available, they will be highly-priced, with the example of the iPhone 5s priced at £44 ($73) per month with an up-front charge of £29 ($48).
At the same time, Three will be updating the way it treats calls typically classed as free or low-charge. Calls to "freephone" numbers starting 0800 will be free, while calls to numbers starting 084 and 087 will cost 5 pence (8 cents) per minute.