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Orange UK takes flak over iPhone data policies

updated 09:55 am EST, Tue November 3, 2009

Low data caps, blocked services source of concern

Orange UK is already being criticized for its data policies in regards to the iPhone, the BBC reports. The carrier yesterday announced its intentions to launch the iPhone on November 10th. Mentioned in subscription plans however is a 750MB "fair usage" limit on data, despite other marketing claims that data is unlimited, as at rival iPhone carrier O2.

While Orange clarifies that it has two separate 750MB caps -- one for cellular data, and another for BT Openzone Wi-Fi -- the policy has already drawn intense online criticism, arguing it is deceptive to promote such a low amount of data as unlimited. As a result the company now says it is reviewing its policy, which could result in larger data allowances. It may not have to offer genuinely unlimited service however, as the UK's Advertising Standards Authority ruled earlier this year that a plan must not be genuinely unlimited to be marketed as such.

Orange is also under attack for its terms and conditions, which nominally ban "using your handset as a modem, non-Orange Internet based streaming services, voice or video over the Internet, instant messaging, peer to peer file sharing, [and] non-Orange Internet based video." Such words could theoretically prevent people from running iPhone apps such as AIM, Spotify, Ustream or Facebook, which are normally taken for granted. It is not certain whether the company may enforce its rules, as the terms leave room to treat cases individually.

by MacNN Staff



  1. edinburghmac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Horrible company

    I'm not surprised by Orange enforcing such limitations - I had a Pay-As-You-Go with them before getting my iPhone3G with O2. My contract is up with O2 on 11th Jan 2010 and I'll be looking to see what's the best deal. Hopefully by then Vodafone will also have the iPhone and there may be competition to try and keep my business - whether that is a cheaper upgrade route / more competitive plan / Pay-As-You-Go. I've been fairly happy with O2 (3G coverage could be better, occasional dropped calls) but would consider switching network if the price is right - I'd be seriously tempted to try Vodafone. My previous experience with Orange has not been great, and their attempt to try and fleece iPhone customers when they don't even have exclusivity is just what I'd expect from them - they've always given off the image of a smug and stupid company - what more do you expect from a company that has a bunch of confusing tariff's named after bizarre animals.

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