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O2 Withdraws Unlimited Data Plans to End Network Overload

UK wireless carrier O2 is to cease offering unlimited data download plans to its smartphone users.

From 24 June, new smartphone subscribers will be subject to a monthly download limit of 500 MB to 1GB, depending on their data plan.

Many analysts believe that O2's move was inevitable, as consumer demand for data-intesnive smartphone applications has resulted in the overloading of mobile networks .

Speaking to the BBC, Ben Wood, an analyst with research firm CCS Insight, said (opens in new tab): “It is a victim of its own success - O2 has had so many people sign up for data-intensive phones, like the iPhone. Huge amounts of data are consumed by the minority of people.”

O2 has said that the move will only affect only three per cent of the 21 million O2 users in the UK.

Wood said that this three per cent of subscribers use 36 per cent of the data capacity offered by O2, resulting in the company spending an additional £1 million a day in order to cope with the pressure.