Here’s some good news for consumers on mobile data plans. Vodafone confirm to me that the artificial barrier between phone data and tethering data has now been removed on my account. I have an on-going monthly arrangement which includes 300 minutes, 3,000 texts, wifi access from BT OpenZone premium hotspots and 1GB of data. This costs £20.42 a month, although the latest plans cost a little more and offer less data. You should check.
Up to the last few weeks the data could be used only on the phone and not on other devices, through tethering or mobile hotspot. I had been paying £10 every month for a 1.5 GB tethering option. Now everything is combined and I have a total of 2.5 GB to use as I desire. Since I seldom go beyond 250 MB data usage on the iPhone, I now have over 2 GB to use elsewhere.
Next step in the emancipation of the data user is a combined iPhone and iPad arrangement. Currently I pay an additional £15 a month for 3GB of data on my iPad. Some networks have already taken the step of offering a two-SIM arrangement on one account and it’s strongly rumoured that Vodafone will join the club soon. This will the best of all worlds for the consumer who can then choose a data plan to include iPhone, iPad and tethering at one price. Currently I’m paying a total of £45 per month with a 2.5GB data allowance on the iPhone and 3 GB on the iPad. I really don’t need that much data and could probably manage with less than 3GB if it could be spread between the two devices and including tethering.
After years of being taken for a ride on data charges, the poor customer is about to get some good news.