Tethering apartheid is about to bite the dust at Vodafone. Up to now the company has insisted on a separate tethering package, even though there could be spare bandwidth in the standard data allowance. In my case, my standard phone contract includes 1GB of data but I seldom use more than 250MB on the phone. Yet I’m forced to pay an extra £10 for a 1GB tethering allowance. On a separate dongle-based data plan I can get 3GB for £15, which is par for the course in the UK. I’d happily take a basic voice and text package with 3GB data added on for £15.
Data is data and a service provider should not bother itself with how that data is used. Competitors have already caved in and offer a combined package that can be consumed by the iPhone or by devices connected via the personal hotspot. One provider, 3, offers as-much-as-you-can-eat no-restrictions data as part of a £25-per-month contract. This is a very good deal and I shall be monitoring Vodafone’s tariffs in detail when they are announced. If they are not good enough, I will have no qualms about defecting to 3.