Vodafone has come under attack via its official message-board forums after it was revealed that the mobile phone network is planning to charge users for going over 3G data limits.

Currently Vodafone offers mobile packages that include 500MB of 3G data, or 1GB of data for the iPhone or Nexus One. Up until now, users who went over and above their data limits went unpunished.

From June though, Vodafone intends to charge for additional data. Customers will be sent a text message if they near their limit and will be warned that they face further charges if they do go above it. The cost will be £5 for an additional 500MB.

However, a Vodafone spokesman exclusively told Pocket-lint that "it is the most ludicrously small fraction of customers that ever approach the top end of their bundle". He also stated that the text messages were designed to help customers keep an eye on what they were spending. 

For 500MB Vodafone says you can read and reply to 10,000 emails, download 24 Google Maps and read 8000 stories on BBC News.

Remember that this 500MB limit only affects your 3G data, and not stuff that you've downloaded over Wi-Fi. So if you're planning on loading your handset up with music and video from the Web, simply do it at home.

Update: The plot thickens. Although the charges are not meant to come into force until June, Pocket-lint received the following text message yesterday.

vodafone responds in data charging row image 2

However, we've now received another one, apologising for the error. So it seems the charges will start in June after all.

vodafone responds in data charging row image 3

If anybody else has had the same, please contact us below.