/ Technology

Do you really need unlimited mobile internet…

…unless you’re up to no good? With many companies jumping on the ‘truly unlimited internet’ bandwagon, does anyone really need access to never-ending data on-the-go?

Why am I talking about this now? There are two reasons.

Firstly, T-Mobile recently launched its ‘Full Monty’ tariff offering unlimited internet, supposedly without caveats.

Secondly, the mobile network GiffGaff, which has been offering truly unlimited internet since its inception, is weighing up its options.

Before I explore this in detail, I must first set one thing straight – I’m not going to moan about companies using the word unlimited, at least in these cases. I think it’s great that networks are finally getting to grips with the fact that the word ‘unlimited’ should mean what it says. In my view, there should be no data caps if you want to advertise your service as ‘unlimited’.

Anyway, this is all by-the-by – mobile companies have cottoned on to the fact that we love it when they tell the truth, and if they can offer truly unlimited internet, good on them. However, my question is – does anyone really need it?

Who needs unlimited internet?

I’m with GiffGaff, which runs on O2’s network, and I benefit from its truly unlimited internet at £10 a month. In an attempt to steer away from promoting the service, I’ll stop at saying that I think it’s a bargain and enjoy using the net without fear of a big bill at the end of the month.

However, despite months upon months of trying to use as the internet as much as I can (watching YouTube videos, downloading apps etc), I can’t seem to use more than 1GB of data. And I’m surprised, especially after reading stories of mobile internet bill shock.

This has led me to the conclusion that no one could possibly need more than 3GB of internet a month on their mobile.

Abusing the limits

This brings me to GiffGaff’s problem. Less than 1% of its users consume more than 30% of all the data used by its customers. This, GiffGaff argues, is distorting their data costs and making its business unsustainable.

This minority group are apparently using their data for things like downloading high-def movies (unnecessary for a small mobile screen), iTunes track lists larger than a phone could hold, and streaming video content for eight hours a day by tethering their mobile to their PC or TV.

GiffGaff is taking action by disconnecting these users. However, much of its community doesn’t think the network can call its offering ‘unlimited’ if there are such restrictions.

So, should GiffGaff simply be allowed to remove the 1% who are abusing the system and continue to offer unlimited internet? The Advertising Standards Authority allows networks to use the word ‘unlimited’ even if they take action against up to 2% of their users.

Or should GiffGaff just bite the bullet and add a fair usage policy to its internet offering, say a 3GB limit, and revoke its use of the word ‘unlimited’? At the end of the day, what’s the point of offering unlimited internet if 99% of its users aren’t really stretching the system?


Maybe you should write another article on the unfair use of the word unlimited or Infinity and while you’re at it the use of 24/7 when you can turn up at 22:01 on Saturday and not have a store open until 10:00 the next morning. Nothing 24/7 about that. These stores don’t seem to understand the meaning of the words they use or don;t care they’re misusing them.

Small print should be as large as the print they want you to read.

Anyone want to buy my guaranteed lottery number predictor (small print requires use of time travel, time travel machines sold separately)


I’m with you William, and our previous Conversation about the words ‘unlimited’ and ‘up to’ are linked to in this post: https://conversation.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/had-enough-of-up-to-and-unlimited-advertising-claims/

The use of 24/7 hadn’t occurred to me, but I agree with you there also. However, that’s a debate for another day!

jojo says:
28 June 2012

lmaooo william funny,, and i totally agree with u, on all counts


Maybe if data allowances could be carried over to the next month or averaged over the contract then the need for “unlimited” would disappear.
I’m looking at a new contract but only really need data when I am away for a few days or on holiday i.e. not every month; so I end up on a contract with a larger data allowance than I normally need just to cope with the few months a year I do need it.

kenb says:
9 February 2012

Breaching the T&C’s is the issue not the amount of data used.

Unlimited should mean what it says. If Giffgaff don’t want their phones tethered then the service isn’t unlimted is it. Personally I am fed up with companies picking on a minority of their users and the ASA allowing it.

How about allowing the NHS to refuse to treat the most expensive 1% of the population, especially if that 1% could be shown to have caused their illness . Think of the savings! Would that be fair?


Actually the NHS are already refusing to treat the elderly unless they pay for it – This is one of the reasons for the objections to the proposed appalling Con Dems policy.


I have never needed to use the Internet “on the go” EVER – but if you can only afford a mobile phone – then why not?

I use the internet about “up to 12 hours a day” so if I didn’t have several computers in various places – then maybe I would demand internet access on the go.


I transfered/switched to GiffGaff.Co.Uk Pay As You Go (PAYG) Sim Card ONLY Network, Running on O2 & Backed By Telefonica The Sister company that own’s O2 & Other companies & mobile networks in The Uk & Europe/Spain & Aboard, in August 2010,

This was after being miss lead by Tesco mobile’s Pay As You Go (PAYG) deals & So called £2 a week taken from the PAYG balance for so called UNLIMITED mobile internet/data,

Which is just what I wanted & needed for My new PAYG smartphone mobile, As when I was on Orange contract for 5 years, I never owned a smartphone mobile & hardly went on the internet,

So I knew smartphone mobile’s were very powerful & Can access also sorts of App’s, That require data/internet & GPS, & Because I didn’t wish to be sent any hidden contract bills/charges & Could no longer afford contract’s with free mobile’s each year,

I thought I had done all My online research in to Tesco Mobile PAYG deals & UNLIMITED PAYG deals, & From My miss lead research, I was left with a choice from Asda Mobile, Talk-Mobile, & Tesco PAYG,

I choose from research to move/transfer from Orange Contract to Tesco Mobile PAYG, As they offered triple top ups & So Called UNLIMITED £2 a week mobile internet/data,

But I later found out in 2010, While in Brighton that Tesco Mobile PAYG was IN FACT NOT UNLIMITED Mobile Internet/Data For £2 A week, I found this out when My £37.00p PAYG credit had gone & I could not make any calls or text messages,

I e-mailed tesco mobile payg some time that week in 2010 & found out they capped/limited there mobile So Called UNLIMITED mobile internet/data to 100mb’s a week & I have no idea what 100mb’s is, In terms of using smartphone mobile’s to access online,

I don’t consider using an official Twitter App that’s logged in 24-7 & refreshing every 5 minutes,checking/downloading/accessing Yahoo.Co.Uk/BT Plc E-Mail Account, Google Odd searches, & Google Maps, & Accessing FaceParty.Com, Although Tesco Mobile PAYG In 2010, Thought this needed capping,limiting, & Thus charged Me £4 Per Mega Bite, Luckily I Only had £37.00p PAYG Credit & Was NOT On Tesco Mobile Monthly Contract, Otherwise it would have been one month later I had found out there’s NO SUCH THING AS UNLIMITED Mobile Internet/Mobile Data On Tesco Mobile Pay As You Go (PAYG), Despite My online research in 2010,

I challenged Tesco Mobile PAYG Through Tesco CEO, & I got My £37.00p Back & A Tesco Gift Card Too,

Once I got My money back from Tesco Mobile (PAYG), I got My PAC Code, & After doing even better & More detailed online research, I came across GiffGaff.Co.Uk & Found nothing but praise for them in online papers, money saving expert, which.co.uk, & Other websites,

Once I knew there UNLIMITED 30 Day GiffGaff.Co.Uk Goody Bags Really offered, TRUE,REAL, & Legal, UNLIMITED Packages & Deals, They original offered 100% UNLIMITED Calls To Any Uk Mobile Within The Uk & Hung Up Every 60 Minutes, & Same With This Including Any Uk Landlines Starting With: 01, 02, 03,

Although Some Time In 2010/2011, GiffGaff.Co.Uk Said they had to remove these 30 day GiffGaff.Co.Uk goody bags, & replaced them with a certain amount of minutes, & Continuing with UNLIMITED Mobile Internet/Data & Text Messages While In The Uk & To Any Uk Landline/Mobile Within The Uk Receiving Text Messages Would Be UNLIMITED Still, Again With Limited Minutes.

I Was Sad to see this happen, But I could understand it appeared companies/businesses were using there Old GiffGaff.Co.Uk UNLIMITED 30 goody bags for phonning Uk landlines & Mobiles within the Uk as call centres,

This abuse effected anyone who likes to chat a lot on there mobile, Where as I Rely on text messages & internet/data while out, & This was still UNLIMITED within goody bags.

But I was under the impression that GiffGaff.Co.Uk wanted to set certain standards within The Uk Mobile Networks Industry & Telecoms Industry Too, By Showing UNLIMITED Means Just that, Along with rewards by helping out on the online forums & By recruiting more GiffGaff.Co.Uk Customers Too, By therefore showing up The likes of: O2, 3G, Vodafone, Orange Mobile, T-Mobile, VirginMedia Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Asda Mobile, Talk-Talk Mobile, & Other Mobile Networks Within The Uk, & Therefore showing them You can offer UNLIMITED & Fairness too within The Uk Mobile Networks Industry & Telecoms Industry, & Getting OfCom to put pressure on the bigger companies within in this market too,


One day even taking over the market leader O2’s Business within The Uk, & Possibly even buying themselves out of the hands & Likes of O2 & Telefonica Uk/Germany, & Thus Challenging O2 Mobile Network, & Choosing whether to use another network provider, Or Continuing on O2, Or branching out in to there own Mobile Uk Phone Masks & Technology,

Yet recently with GiffGaff.Co.Uk removing there UNLIMITED Mobile Calls To Any Mobile Network Provider While Within The Uk & Also Any Uk Landline Starting With: 01, 02, 03, & NOW Thinking About Changing There 30 Day GiffGaff.Co.Uk Goody Bags On The Matter Of Whether Keeping UNLIMITED Mobile Internet/Data, & Whether They Should REMOVE This UNLIMITED Mobile Internet/Data Aspect Of These 30 Day GiffGaff.Co.Uk Goody Bags, Replacing It With An Certain Amount Of GB’s Per Goody Bag, Or Staying With The WORD UNLIMITED With A Hidden Fair Usage Policy/Policies, &/Or Again Adding Different Monthly GB’s Per Month In Goody Bags & Once Going Over The Hidden Caps/Limits, They’ll Charge A % Per Mega Bite There After You Go Other The Limits/Caps Each Month,

Although any changes to more GiffGaff.Co.Uk 30 day goody bags, Will mean GiffGaff.Co.Uk’s lost is BRAND & ETHICS, & Power To Change & Effect The Uk Mobiles Network’s Industry & Uk Telecoms Industry, Who Are Ripping Us Off & Using Hidden Fair Usage Policy/Policies (FUP), Despite Getting AWAY WITH UNLIMITED Words,Adverts, & Packages & Deals, & Both OfCom & ASA, Are Allowing them to get away with such abuse & cheek,


Until 2009-2012, Its ONLY Really Been GiffGaff.Co.Uk attempting to challenge these industry & prices, & Showing UNLIMITED Can work, If people do not use there mobiles for laptops,pc’s,computers,internet ready tv’s, By sneakily using there mobiles as Modems to such devices that can access, Or using the mobiles in the past for Uk call centres calling people as an company, as this is EXCLUDED From The UNLIMITED 30 Day GiffGaff.Co.Uk Goody Bags,

Although with smartphone mobiles getting more powerful,clever, & can access the internet/data at high enough speeds to have YouTube.Com App’s & Website, Google Website, All Online E-Mail Accounts & Downloading Any E-Mails Straight To Your Mobile, Accessing Twitter.Com 24-7 & Refreshing Every 5 Minutes, Google Maps, Being Sent Google E-Mails, Any BBC App That Records Mobile Network Coverage & Speeds, & I May Ask FaceParty.Com & FaceBook.Com, & AbleHere.Com, That Have Loads Of Graphics, & I Also Download Photos,Documents, From Yahoo.Co.Uk/Google E-Mail Accounts,


Maybe More, All Without The Fear Of Being Charged £4 Per Mega Bite Like Tesco Mobile PAYG & There Hidden Caps & Limits In There FALSE UNLIMITED Deals & Packages,

But I have no idea how much mobile internet/data I use each month, & I am still abit scared to download shows from BBC I-Player, Maybe some songs for Me & My mobile, & Ect, In Case even GiffGaff.Co.Uk 30 day goody bags had an hidden/limited mobile internet/data cap, Although it seems UNLIMITED,

But with talks going on it may change its UNLIMITED Mobile Internet/Data, I don’t think I could PUSH My Smartphone Mobile to Its FULL POWER/POWERS, & Again I’ve always wanted to test My smartphone to its full limits, But even on GiffGaff.Co.Uk I was worried of getting charged like when I was on Tesco Mobile PAYG Hidden/Limited So Called UNLIMITED Mobile Internet/Data For £2 Per Week,

Yet with talks going on within The GiffGaff.Co.Uk Forums about making major changes to the way we’ll access/be