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Opinion : Orange iPhone Offer Promises Lots But Watch Out For T&Cs

Orange's iPhone offers have been scrutinised by the wider army of bloggers and UK-based journalists for the last few hours and already, the France-Telecom owned mobile phone network has come under fire for a number of reasons.

The operator uses the word unlimited to describe its "mobile internet browsing" option while actually providing a mere 750MB worth of data (that's upload and download, something that should be remembered).

Ditto for the unlimited WiFi which is limited to 750MB per month on BT Openzone (ed: and to make things worse, there's nothing in the small prints that point to that). BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones said on his Twitter that Orange may reconsider the wording of its mobile data services in a near future.

Other data-hungry smartphones like the HTC Hero carry an even smaller data allocation - a mere 500MB in most cases - with some calling it an outright bias towards the iPhone.

Technically, Orange T&C forbids all non-Orange streaming services which includes Instant messaging, Youtube, Skype, BBC iPlayer, Spotify and the list goes on. Orange also claims that it has the best 3G coverage in the UK although it seems that they might be nearer to their maximum capacity than O2.

O2 doesn't have any strict limit in place and still adheres to a fairly lax fair usage policy. Let's hope that Vodafone manages to undercut both rivals or else some might accuse the big three of price fixing.

Our Comments

Kudos to Rory Cellan-Jones for coming up with the story and exposing Orange's crystal clear attempt to reign in associated bandwidth costs due to the iPhone.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.