I’ve been thinking of getting a Mobile Broadband USB stick. Mobile broadband and data limits have been a hot topic for a long time so I thought I’d do some digging. I’ve only done some quick research but it’s definitely worth checking out each network carefully and, in particular, noting down how much you get charged if you go over that “Fair Usage Allowance”.
T-Mobile don’t appear to show “limits” but state that when you hit your 500MB or 1GB “allowance” you’ll “not be able to download”. You can browse pages as much as you want, but you won’t be able to download large files or watch video until next month, avoiding any shocks. We found information about this in their fair-use policy.
Orange again have a range of data deals and, according to their dongles page, charge 5.1p per MB when you go over.
Vodafone offer several deals including a Mobile Broadband 1GB, Mobile Broadband 3GB and Mobile Broadband 5GB. These are subject to the following limits..
a. Mobile Broadband 1GB – 1GB of data a month (UK only)
b. Mobile Broadband 3GB – 3GB of data a month (UK only)
c. Mobile Broadband 5GB – 5GB of data a month (UK only)
If you exceed these limits an out-of-bundle charge of £15 per GB will apply. Details here.
o2 offer 1GB and 3GB packages with a charge of 2.4p per MB over your limit. Details here.
We also noticed providers like TalkTalk offering 1GB packages with a charge of 10p per MB over the limit.
How does this affect you ? Well, let’s say that you take this tempting offer from TalkTalk and pay just £10 per month. What happens if you leave your laptop on and it decides to download a virus update, or a Windows update? What if you creep over that threshold even if you’re being careful? Well, watch out. At 10p per MB over the limit it works out like so..
10p x 1MB = 10p
10p x 10MB = £1
10p x 100MB = £10
10p x 1024MB = £102.40 extra !!!!
In effect, if you buy a dongle from TalkTalk and use 2GB you could end up paying your £10 per month plus £102.40 for “overage charges”. Ouch.