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Phones

O2 makes 'unlimited' truly unlimited

It seems bizarre that networks are allowed to use this term even though they impose a fair use policy

A while back I compared O2's iPhone tariff with other operator's tariffs and pointed out that while O2 said it was offering 'unlimited' Internet access, it actually meant 200MB. Fortunately, it seems that O2 realised the error of its ways and has decided to make 'unlimited' truly unlimited, which should please my co-worker Ian Morris very much.

Here's the statement from Sally Cowdry, marketing director at O2 UK:

"When we announced our new iPhone tariffs back in September we broke new ground for O2, introducing unlimited use of mobile data services and The Cloud's public Wi-Fi network. The iPhone offers the best Internet on mobile experience in the market and we want customers to enjoy this without limit or worries about being charged a penny more.

To avoid abuse of this offering, a fair use policy was set in place at an amount that's miles beyond expected average use. This policy was intended to prevent commercial exploitation or using the iPhone as a modem, both of which would put everyone else's experience at risk.

We now appreciate that having set limits as part of the fair use policy conflicted with our objective of encouraging Internet usage on the iPhone. People don't speak in megabites and customer feedback has been that if we say unlimited, it should be unlimited.

We have listened to our customers and will be lifting these limits so that our original intention -- for you to use your iPhone to your heart's content -- is what it's all about with no confusion or distraction."

Interestingly, the American network operator Verizon Wireless was recently taken to court for its use of the word 'unlimited' and had to compensate customers who misunderstood that there were actually restrictions on their services.

We sincerely hope that the UK courts follow suit and make sure that the term 'unlimited' means unlimited when referring to the mobile Internet. It seems bizarre that networks are allowed to use this term even though they impose a fair use policy. In my mind, it completely contradicts the definition of the word.