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Orange Gets a Flat

News that Orange UK has introduced a “flat-rate” GPRS tariff (see Orange Offers Flat Rate) has again raised the issue of extortionate pricing (see Commentary: Cut Those Crazy GPRS Prices!).

It has also reminded us to check the tiny print at the foot of these offers, especially when Orange is involved (see Unlimited Surfing Claim All Wet).

The new £45 ($73) per month tariff is certainly more competitive than any of the deals in our survey of European GPRS prices plans, conducted last summer.

But, as ever, this offer is not quite as good as it seems. Flat-rate it may be, but it isn't the all-you-can-eat bonanza most of us would like to see (see Wireless Data: How Much Will You Pay?). Instead, the Orange deal includes a fair usage policy that limits each user to 100 megabytes of downloaded data per month.

“Theoretically it’s not unlimited, but realistically and practically it is,” says an Orange spin merchant, who believes 100 megabytes is more than enough for the average corporate user each month.

Well, as long as they don't download any email, eh?

— Gabriel Brown, Research Analyst, Unstrung

Physical_Layer 12/5/2012 | 12:38:33 AM
re: Orange Gets a Flat Guys - I think the fair useage policy is just an initial step to protect the carrier from crazy use. If they start finding that the typical business person needs 200MB because of file attachments, etc - then I think they will either modify the fair useage policy, change the price, or both. BUT, this seems like a great step forward in terms of the customer being able to predict what his/her bill will be. Quite an important issue for enterprise customers.
IPobserver 12/5/2012 | 12:38:32 AM
re: Orange Gets a Flat Agreed. This is definitely a step in the right direction, especially for business users. It's probably the best deal in Europe right now.

The other good thing is that companies can average out their use across all their employees, so one greedy use could burn through 200MB without breaching the fair usage policy as long as his/her colleagues donGÇÖt use their full allocation.
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