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O2 Travel Offers Unlimited Mobile Data Roaming with 100MB Restriction

Tuesday, Jul 22nd, 2014 (2:51 pm) - Score 3,541

O2 UK, which might soon find itself in hot water with the advertising watchdog.. again, has launched an enhanced O2 Travel add-on that claims to give existing pay monthly customers access to uncapped Mobile Broadband data usage (or 50MB on pay-as-you-go) while roaming in Europe for just £1.99 per day. Naturally there’s a catch.

The new add-on is much more attractive than the previous O2 Travel deal, which charged the same amount but imposed a ridiculously small usage restriction of just 15MB (MegaBytes) upon customers and didn’t always make this clear in their initial promotions.

By comparison the refreshed add-on is being promoted alongside claims of having “no upper usage limit“, although alongside this is a mention that Traffic Management steps apply. A quick look at the services Terms and Conditions reveals, in a roundabout sort of way, what that actually means.

O2 Travel T&C’s – Data Allowance (Pay Monthly)

There’s no fixed data allowance with O2 Travel, but we’ll slow down the service if you reach an assumed fair usage amount in order to manage traffic on the network. This will be more than 100MB of general data or more than 50MB of streamed video or audio data (the “assumed fair usage amounts”) in a day.

Audio and video streaming are available with O2 Travel but the quality of the audio/video will be optimised for a mobile device. The speed available for file transfer, online gaming, peer to peer downloads and network back-up services is restricted and may not work with O2 Travel. You can view our traffic management policy here.

Unfortunately O2 doesn’t appear to have filled in all the fields on their Traffic Management policy but it does state that “Smartphone customers who reach their data cap will have their download speed throttled to 15kbps until they begin a new charging month or additional allowance is purchased“. So that’s 15 Kilobits per second, which doesn’t seem like a “moderate” restriction that the Advertising standards Authority (ASA) could accept.

Just for a little comparison, over a decade ago the best dialup modems claimed to deliver 56Kbps (though many homes actually got 30-40Kbps) and the Internet was a.. hmm.. difficult experience. We also recall using a 14Kbps link once and it took several minutes to load even a light weight webpage. Quite simply, 14Kbps is as good as a hard cap for practical Internet use.

But leaving all that aside, 100MB is pretty good for a roaming service, at least in comparison to some of their competitors. Likewise you won’t have to worry about a higher than expected bill.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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