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The end of the One Plan from Three


Alanji
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There's enough to satify everyone's need but not to satisfy everyone's greed.

 

Obvious to me even if not to you.

 

I use data without worrying about it, including Skype and it pisses me off that Three are having to curtail this because people behave in an utterly selfish way.

 

What would be nice is if they charged a reasonable amount per GB (like 50p) with a connection charge, this way I can use as much as I want if wanted to.

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So what, I wonder, is the situation if you have recently taken it out, so have much of your year's contract still to run?

 

Have I signed something somewhere that says they can arbitrarily switch me to something less, but they will not free me from my contract if I am then unhappy with what they give me instead?

 

Not impossible, I suppose!

 

Think you'll be able to terminate without penalty.

 

But they'll do their damn hardest to get you onto another contract instead, so best shop around to find the best alternative and then demand an even better deal. Even if they offer it up front, play hardball to get the best discount you can. ninja.gif

 

Not entirely surprised this has happened, they were a bit generous to offer totally unlimited data in the first place! Their coverage maps show holes for 3G-HSDPA (not basic 3G) in the centres of major towns due to saturation I guess.

 

cheers, Pete.

~smpt~

Edited by smileypete
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Well I'm on the one plan, 24 month contract started in Feb this year & not had any message as yet. If they want to take away the all you can eat with tethering before Feb 2016 then as far as I'm concerned they will have broken the contract & I will go elsewhere, I'd rather not though as up to press it's been a good deal.

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What would be nice is if they charged a reasonable amount per GB (like 50p) with a connection charge, this way I can use as much as I want if wanted to.

 

indeed, but the going rate is around £5 a GB not 50p so it's more likely to be £s not pence for an hour's TV on the boat pretty soon.

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Ditto. To add, as I started my contract in July I am paying the increased monthy amount of twenty pounds. Maybe that covers the shortfall of the tethering. I'm on sim only.

 

I contacted then a couple of weeks ago saying the signal was cr,Sh,not very good.

Mysteriously I was introduced to an APP that allows a stronger signal somehow or other.

 

I will investigate and return with more details.

 

Martyn

Martyn,

 

You may already be aware but, if your signal is poor at home, they can provide a 'free' 3 signal box which plugs into your router. I say 'free' because I had to move from a monthly contract to an annual one to qualify and the prices had gone up so it cost me a fiver more. It solved my whole family's problems though.

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indeed, but the going rate is around £5 a GB not 50p so it's more likely to be £s not pence for an hour's TV on the boat pretty soon.

 

As I said a reasonable amount, I'm guessing most on The One plan use over 20Gb a month, if it's £15 connection and 50p per Gb this is £25, use 100Gb and it's £65. It's then not unreasonable prices, most will reduce their usage, but big consumers still have a reasonable option.

I'm on a sim only 12 month one plan which is due to expire in mid December. I'll be interested to see what they offer me. I'm not a heavy user, 5 to 10GB a month so they may be happy to keep me.

 

If you don't tether then there's tons of other tariffs including other networks that will suit. If you do tether then a separate PAYG mobile data option may be better?

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There's enough to satify everyone's need but not to satisfy everyone's greed.

 

Obvious to me even if not to you.

 

I use data without worrying about it, including Skype and it pisses me off that Three are having to curtail this because people behave in an utterly selfish way.

I understand the issue, it's 'obvious' to me as it's obvious to you. However I still don't think you can call people greedy or selfish when they fully avail themselves of a facility provided by their telecoms provider.

 

The fault lies with the way the provider markets unlimited tariffs not the customer.

 

Unlimited means unlimited it doesn't mean 'it's only unlimited if you don't actually want unlimited'.

Edited by The Dog House
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There's plenty of phone contracts out there with unlimited data included, however this is unlimited mobile data ie stuff downloaded/viewed/used on the phone itself. Tethering means there's the potential for (HD) videos, web browsing is much richer (due to the size of the screen) and much quicker to read/view its content so ends up consuming more, etc etc. AFAIK Three were one of the few mobile providers to even allow tethering and the only one to have an unlimited tethering option. So it was no surprise that a small proportion of users would use/abuse this (of course, if its advertised as unlimited, then you can't really argue with people using eg 20+GB/month or (much) more since there's many legitimate uses of this).

 

I suspect that Three's infrastucture simply can't cope with the massive data demand placed upon it. My experience with The One Plan was brief - I did a bunch of speed tests and research after I signed up for the contract and soon realised that it does slow down at peak times. In fact, even their data SIM contracts slow down at peak times (in my area) - due to congestion, I suspect. I'm now on an 02 business contract which gives me 8GB/month for (I think) around £25.

 

As far as canals goes, Three does have better coverage in rural areas than other providers (in general), and the congestion issue is not so marked.

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I'm now on an 02 business contract which gives me 8GB/month for (I think) around £25.

 

As far as canals goes, Three does have better coverage in rural areas than other providers (in general), and the congestion issue is not so marked.

 

EE does a 4G sim-only data sim for £20 a month, 12 month contract or rolling monthly. 15G data allowance included, and you can add extra if you need it. I don't have 4G hardware, but 3G coverage is excellent.

 

MP.

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Just hide the fact that you are tethering from them. Google will tell you how.

 

I'm not convinced a lot of the guides etc on Google are worth the bother. Yes, you can change various settings so the connection appears to be from the mobile phone not a computer, but at the end of the day when web browsing, the server has a conversation with the user's browser and one of the pieces of info passed from browser to server is the screen size to render the web page at. Its a relatively trivial task (and I believe is routinely done) to intercept this info so the network operator knows if the data stream is going to a computer or a mobile device (and screen resolution is the principal piece of info which decides which it is).

 

Whether its possible to successfully circumvent the technique for downloads, ie if you used the mobile to download films then transferred them to a computer/other device to watch, I'm not sure if they regularly look into the packets for this.

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So an 'all-you-can-eat' buffet means you continue until your sick? Fighting other customers to eat all of it simply because you want to 'avail yourself of the facility'.

In my world that's called greed. What's it called on yours?

and that is the problem with the marketing as I said.

 

Three marketed it as exactly that. 'All you can eat'

 

However up to that point your analogy fails because overuse of you allowance is hardly likely going to result in you being physically sick or into a fight with other Three users.

 

Oh just noticed your OP is your first post, welcome to the forum:)

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EE does a 4G sim-only data sim for £20 a month, 12 month contract or rolling monthly. 15G data allowance included, and you can add extra if you need it. I don't have 4G hardware, but 3G coverage is excellent.

 

MP.

 

Thanks, that's a handy bit of info. I originally only compared the personal (not business) tariffs, after realising that Three's network had issues so was unusable for certain tasks on eg Sunday afternoons. When I went into the shop, they offered the business 8GB/month tariff which was with a tablet but took out the tablet purchase part, thus ending up with a data SIM only contract. They were happy to just sign me up to a business contract. Are there any restrictions on who can sign up for an EE business contract?

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I'm not convinced a lot of the guides etc on Google are worth the bother. Yes, you can change various settings so the connection appears to be from the mobile phone not a computer, but at the end of the day when web browsing, the server has a conversation with the user's browser and one of the pieces of info passed from browser to server is the screen size to render the web page at. Its a relatively trivial task (and I believe is routinely done) to intercept this info so the network operator knows if the data stream is going to a computer or a mobile device (and screen resolution is the principal piece of info which decides which it is).

 

Whether its possible to successfully circumvent the technique for downloads, ie if you used the mobile to download films then transferred them to a computer/other device to watch, I'm not sure if they regularly look into the packets for this.

Then don't let them intercept your traffic, make sure it's encrypted. You should be doing this anyway if you value your privacy.

 

I use the 3 PAYG bundle "all in one 15" For £15 you get 300 minutes 3000 texts and unlimited data. I use about 60 gig per month while tethering.

So an 'all-you-can-eat' buffet means you continue until your sick? Fighting other customers to eat all of it simply because you want to 'avail yourself of the facility'.

 

In my world that's called greed. What's it called on yours?

All you can eat buffet means you can eat until you don't want to eat any more. All you can eat data means you can use as much data as you want. If it isn't unlimited then don't sell it as unlimited. There is nothing greedy about it at all.

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I'm not convinced a lot of the guides etc on Google are worth the bother. Yes, you can change various settings so the connection appears to be from the mobile phone not a computer, but at the end of the day when web browsing, the server has a conversation with the user's browser and one of the pieces of info passed from browser to server is the screen size to render the web page at. Its a relatively trivial task (and I believe is routinely done) to intercept this info so the network operator knows if the data stream is going to a computer or a mobile device (and screen resolution is the principal piece of info which decides which it is).

 

Whether its possible to successfully circumvent the technique for downloads, ie if you used the mobile to download films then transferred them to a computer/other device to watch, I'm not sure if they regularly look into the packets for this.

There is a lot of information passed in the http header but screen size is not one of them. The main thing in a simplistic case that is passed that identifies the client is the User-Agent, that has information about the browser its version, and the type and version of the operating system. Of course these things are easy to fake, but anything but the simplest server software is going to make extensive use of the User-Agent if determining how to behave, so messing with that is probably going to stop things working. Anyway using a network commendation involves a lot more than just http traffic, so I can't see that basing detection of tethering on http data works.

 

I am not a tcp/ip expert but I thought that the way that tethering was usually detected was the TTL of the packets.

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Thanks, that's a handy bit of info. I originally only compared the personal (not business) tariffs, after realising that Three's network had issues so was unusable for certain tasks on eg Sunday afternoons. When I into the shop, they offered the business 8GB/month tariff which was with a tablet but took out the tablet purchase part, thus ending up with a data SIM only contract. They were happy to just sign me up to a business contract. Are there any restrictions on who can sign up for an EE business contract?

The contract I have isn't business, as far as I know. It's data-only, and I use it in a dongle. Finding information on the EE site is remarkably difficult, but if you go here: http://shop.ee.co.uk/mobile-tariffs/sim-only-data-plans and click on 4GEE+ then you get the relevant option.

 

MP.

 

I am not a tcp/ip expert but I thought that the way that tethering was usually detected was the TTL of the packets.

 

If you use a VPN, they can't deduce anything about your network traffic, since it's all encrypted. Since smartphones come with VPN clients, the VPN could just as well come from the phone as from a tethered device. Of course to use a VPN you need an endpoint for the VPN, which is the hard part.

 

MP.

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The contract I have isn't business, as far as I know. It's data-only, and I use it in a dongle. Finding information on the EE site is remarkably difficult, but if you go here: http://shop.ee.co.uk/mobile-tariffs/sim-only-data-plans and click on 4GEE+ then you get the relevant option.

 

MP.

 

If you use a VPN, they can't deduce anything about your network traffic, since it's all encrypted. Since smartphones come with VPN clients, the VPN could just as well come from the phone as from a tethered device. Of course to use a VPN you need an endpoint for the VPN, which is the hard part.

 

MP.

I don't see that use of a VPN changes anything in this respect, there is still a tcp/ip connection to the VPN end point. They can't see the content of the data that is going through the VPN, or the actual destination but they don't need to.

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The contract I have isn't business, as far as I know. It's data-only, and I use it in a dongle. Finding information on the EE site is remarkably difficult, but if you go here: http://shop.ee.co.uk/mobile-tariffs/sim-only-data-plans and click on 4GEE+ then you get the relevant option.

 

MP.

 

 

Just had a look (and found it), I actually forgot to look at the EE 4GEE+ packages when I did my comparisons! I wish I did now, it would have saved £5/month. I'm on a 1 month contract with O2 so changing should be fairly painless.

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I don't see that use of a VPN changes anything in this respect, there is still a tcp/ip connection to the VPN end point. They can't see the content of the data that is going through the VPN, or the actual destination but they don't need to.

 

They can see an encrypted TCP connection from the IP of the phone to a VPN end point. There's no way to distinguish between a VPN from the phone (which is allowed under the all you can eat phone data) and a VPN from a tethered device, NATing through the phone IP address. All the deep-packet-inspection ruses people have suggested (HTTP headers, etc) are rendered unusable.

 

MP.

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Just had a look (and found it), I actually forgot to look at the EE 4GEE+ packages when I did my comparisons! I wish I did now, it would have saved £5/month. I'm on a 1 month contract with O2 so changing should be fairly painless.

They're mad to make it so difficult to find. It took me ten minutes to find it again to write my first reply on this, when I knew it existed, and could follow my nose.

 

 

There's a stupid catch-22 in the setup too. The SIM arrives by post (postman, not courier, as the web page implies) and will only allow connections to EE websites until you've completed account setup. Part of account setup involves giving an email address and proving you control it by replying to a mail they send. If accessing your email involves going to a non-EE server, you can't reply until the account is set up, and you can't set up the account until you can reply. You need an alternative net connection to break the deadlock.

 

MP.

 

ETA. I've done 1100 miles by boat this summer with internet access on EE and a giffgaff (O2) SIM in my smartphone. I've only found one place where O2 data was better than EE, at Lower Heyford on the Oxford canal. The only place EE disappointed was central Birmingham, where there was plenty of signal, but the net pipes were obviously totally overloaded.

Edited by MoominPapa
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They can see an encrypted TCP connection from the IP of the phone to a VPN end point. There's no way to distinguish between a VPN from the phone (which is allowed under the all you can eat phone data) and a VPN from a tethered device, NATing through the phone IP address. All the deep-packet-inspection ruses people have suggested (HTTP headers, etc) are rendered unusable.

 

MP.

Yes looking at http headers is not possible with a VPN, and I doubt that anyone would do that, not all traffic is http, and that would be a relatively compute intensive thing to do. Looking at the tcp/ip packets is much more simple, and using a VPN does not change that, but what I think you are saying is to use the VPN on the phone to pass that tethered data rather than as you usually do run a VPN from the tethered device. So I can see that would work in theory but not sure if you can set the phone router up to do that can you? I know you can use the phone as a VPN client, but can you use that in conjunction with tethering?

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There's a stupid catch-22 in the setup too. The SIM arrives by post (postman, not courier, as the web page implies) and will only allow connections to EE websites until you've completed account setup. Part of account setup involves giving an email address and proving you control it by replying to a mail they send. If accessing your email involves going to a non-EE server, you can't reply until the account is set up, and you can't set up the account until you can reply. You need an alternative net connection to break the deadlock.

 

 

That's an interesting scenario, and in fact I can think of lots of other situations where just having one data connection is a considerable weakness. Hence, for a number of years I've always made sure I have some kind of "backup" data connectivity available, for example nowadays I can access internet and emails on my phone, and previously I've had Mi-Fi and ADSL; or ADSL at home and free reign of an internet connection at work.

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