Three have announced revamped new SIM-Only plans with the headline being "Three brings free 0800 calls to SIM-only plans", but in reality that was a throwaway piece of news compared to the fundamental change in data, tethering and the monthly cost.
Three has launched new SIM-only plans, offering customers free 0800 calls, with other 08 numbers, like 084 and 087 costing just 5p per minute.
The plans also include a number of spending tools, including the ability to set limits to stop customers going over their minutes allowance and spending limits on expensive numbers.
Customers will also get more choice in the amount of data they can have as part of their plan, and can easily change plans to one with increased allowances, if they find themselves talking or using more data than expected.
Combined, these features are designed to ensure people can enjoy their devices while avoiding bill shock.
There is a choice of data allowances: 500MB, 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and all-you-can eat data, so people can find the right bundle for their needs. Personal hotspot is now supported in every new SIM plan, with customers on all-you-can-eat data plans able to enjoy a 4GB personal hotspot allowance.
Three plans to introduce a 4GB data allowance to new contract handset plans next year, as well as increasing the personal hotspot allowance included in new all-you-can-eat data plans from 2GB to 4GB.
Announcing the new SIM plans, Three’s Marketing Director, Tom Malleschitz, said: “People want choice and control so they are able to enjoy their devices without worrying about bill shock. These SIM-only plans give them exactly that.
“They’ll also benefit from free 0800 numbers and with Feel At Home customers can use the internet and call and text home while in Australia, France, Italy, the USA and twelve other countries out of their UK allowance.”
So what does that mean for the end user? Here's how the new tariffs and pricing stack up.
Under the previous tarrifs the 200 mins/AYCE data on a 30 day contract was £12.90, that is now £18/month.
I suppose Three think by adding tethering into the contracts as default they can justify the higher cost?
Personal hotspot lets customers connect their laptops or other devices to the internet using their mobile data.
Customers with 500MB, 1GB, 2GB and 4GB will be able to use all of their data allowance for personal hotspot. Customers who choose an all-you-can-eat data allowance will be able to use up to 4GB of this as personal hotspot allowance.
Three's advantage always used to be that they were the standout cheap/value option. Have these new tariffs changed this?
What do you think? Are Three still the king of value? Will you be switching?