As Orange announced their new iPhone 3GS tariffs and priceplans the other day, most people picked up on what can only be described as a surprise, that Orange wants to limit your data usage to 750mb per month within its fair usage terms and conditions.
Although they advertise with unlimited data usage, there are conditions attached to it in their terms and conditions, stating that there is a 750mb fair usage limit, apparently there to avoid heavy users from limiting the data experience for the vast majority of users. One can argue that this makes sense, but O2 has established the unlimited data plan as the norm in the marketplace, so there is no doubt that there is outrage around Orange trying to limit this for their iPhone customers.
Now the question can be asked if this will actually limit the user experience for Orange iPhone users, as the vast majority will not reach data traffic that surpasses 750mb a month anyway. Personally i use my iPhone quite a lot, but in the last 3 months I have only used about 600mb of data traffic in total. The fair usage limit becomes a problem if you plan to use your iPhone to download a lot of music (200+ tracks) or video material from iTunes over a 3G connection, which in itself can be quite a slow process.
Although the fair usage limit on data from Orange is not something that will affect the majority of users, it will very likely be something that Orange will have to change if it wants to really dig into the iPhone market. Mobile data usage is changing rapidly and we can expect that data usage and downloads over mobile connections will only increase as more and more rich content is made available for the iPhone and other mobile devices.
We are keen to hear your thoughts on the topic of fair usage limits though, so please vote in our poll so we can get the nations opinion on this topic.
As for the other issue raised with the terms and conditions in the Orange iPhone tariffs, limiting access to services like YouTube and Facebook, Orange has already come out and said that they will not be limiting access to any of these services over the iPhone.