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Three scraps unlimited tethering and makes 0800 calls free

James Temperton
20 Mar 2014
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Three is the first UK mobile network to make 0800 calls free - but its unlimited tethering deal has now been dropped

Three has killed off the UK’s last remaining unlimited tethering package after admitting it was putting its network under strain.

One Plan had previously allowed unlimited tethering, but anyone who now signs up will have this limited to 2GB. Existing One Plan subscribers will continue to get unlimited tethering until their deal expires. In addition, all of Three’s deals now include tethering, something that was previously only possible on the One Plan.

Three’s decision to remove the One Plan’s most attractive feature comes after it upgraded all 3G customers to 4G for free. The company explained that it was still offering ‘all you can eat’ data, with the 2GB limit only applying to tethering.

In a statement Three explained that allowing unlimited tethering had put its network under pressure:

“We feel very strongly that all-you-can-eat data is something we want to continue to be able to offer as many customers as possible. But when that data is used for Personal Hotspots, it can put a strain on our network.

“We need to protect the network experience for all customers and this is why we’ve taken a decision to put this limit in place,” the company said.

To sweeten the deal all new pay monthly plans will include free calls to 0800, 0808 and 0500 numbers when you sign up for a 24 month deal. Calls to 084 and 087 numbers will be charged at a lower rate of 5p per minute. Existing customers can sign up to the new service without having to extend their contracts.

Regulator Ofcom has already ordered all UK mobile networks will have to make calls to 0800 numbers free from June 2015. It has also called on operators to make call charges clearer by better explaining them on bills.

Three is also introducing text alerts to let customers know when they’re close to using up their voice and data allowances. The £15 charge for unlocking devices is also being removed, with Three now offering unlocking free of charge.

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