How much does the Orange unlimited iPhone package give you?

The furore over the Orange terms and conditions for the iPhone may be dying down now that the mobile operator has said it'll happily turn a blind eye to customers using streaming services like Spotify and YouTube, but there still remains the issue over this 750MB per month data limit. This is what Orange has described as "unlimited" mobile internet access and we've got no particular issue with the company stretching the definitions of the word, any more than we have with all the others that do it. The real question is though, just what will 750MB get you?

Fortunately, Orange has a mobile broadband data calculator on its own site, so we had a play to find out how far our notional budget will stretch. As it turns out, not very far.

Attempt 1 - The Power User

 

Emails
20/day

Attachments
5/day

IM
1 hour/day

Browsing
2 hours/day

Music
1 song/day

Video streaming
30 minutes/day

Total
5.01GB

Verdict
Bust



First of all, we tried a few stats of the kind we would expect most gadget fiends and Pocket-lint regulars would stick to. A couple of hours of browsing a day while on the way to work or using up a little dead time, plus just one song download and lets say a half hour episode of your favourite TV show and, unfortunately, we're already well off the scale. Time to calm it down a bit.

 

Attempt 2 - The Heavy User

 

Emails
20/day

Attachments
5/day

IM
30 minutes/day

Browsing
1 hour/day

Music
1 song/day

Video streaming
10 minutes/day

Total
2GB

Verdict
Bust



This time just a few emails with attachments, only 30 minutes on IM, half the browsing we were doing before, the same one song a day and just a couple of 5 minute YouTube clips every 24 hours and we're already three times over the limit. Back to the drawing board.

 

Attempt 3 - Medium Use

 

Emails
15/day

Attachments
3/day

IM
15 minutes/day

Browsing
30 minutes/day

Music
1 song/week

Video streaming
4 minutes/day

Total
817MB

Verdict
Bust



This time we only just went over. Let's cut the IM down to a minimum. We can use phone calls, email and text for that kind of thing. Again, just half an hour of browsing now, just the one YouTube clip and only one download per week seems to be about what Orange is telling us we should be using. It's not a lot and maybe that video streaming could be substituted for a little more music streaming but you're still living on the data edge somewhat.

 

Attempt 4 - Light User

 

Emails
10/day

Attachments
1/day

IM
5 minutes/day

Browsing
10 minutes/day

Music
1 song/week

Video streaming
4 minutes/day

Total
632MB

Verdict
Inside



To take it down to its bare essentials with only 10 minutes of browsing per day and we find ourselves comfortably inside, but that doesn't exactly look like the kind of freedom we'd expected on an unlimited package no matter how "unlimited" it is.

 

Attempt 5 - The Streamer

 

Emails
0

Attachments
0

IM
0

Browsing
0

Music
0

Video streaming
5 minutes/day

Total
686MB

Verdict
Inside



Finally, let's say, instead, that we forgo all other pleasures apart from streaming video. Emails are for wimps, IM for losers, browsing should be done on a computer and downloading is so 2002. With that in mind we can bathe in the luxury of 5 whole minutes of video streaming each day without going over the 750MB per month barrier, and that's it.

 

Attempt 6 - The no media option

 

Emails
50/day

Attachments
10/day

IM
1 hour/day

Browsing
1 hour/day

Music
0

Video streaming
0

Total
745MB

Verdict
Inside



Of course, if you really want to, you can save all your credits and ditch streaming and downloads altogether which is essentially what the original terms and conditions might have you do, and for good reason it seems. Suddenly, you get up to an hour's IM and browsing per day with as many emails and attachments as you can shake a stick at. Now that is what you might call unlimited.

So, there's a few fairly obvious conclusions we can take from this:

1) 750MB per month doesn't really get you that far
2) Video streaming will get you into trouble on this package
3) Although O2 simply presents users with the company's rather nebulous fair usage policy, it could well work out at more. Fortunately, both operators apply a warning system if you go over the limits rather than charging you the excess but it's probably not worth being a persistent offender.

 



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