O2 has expanded the data caps on its European travel plans for Pay Monthly and Pay & Go customers.
Previously O2 travellers heading to the continent were hobbled by a flimsy 20MB for £1.99/day, but the blue network has seen fit to upgrade this for travelling Brits.
Paying £1.99 for O2 Travel will now give Pay Monthly customers as much data as they want, although speeds will be throttled after a fair use ceiling is hit, while Pay & Go punters can enjoy 50MB for the same money.
The traffic management restrictions applied to Pay Monthly customers will kick in once 100MB of general web use has been hoovered up, or 50MB of streaming video or audio. Once you’ve breached the fair use limits, your mobile internet speed will be reduced to a lowly 15kbps.
In real terms, 100MB will suffice if you’re checking emails or searching for that cafe you read about using Google Maps. Generally speaking, an hour of web browsing should burn through 15-20MB.
The Pay Monthly cap is less generous to those holidaymakers who want to post beach brag photos or video clips of the great time they’re having. Photo uploads requires significantly more data, so if you simply must show off to your mates, it might be a better to use the hotel WiFi.
The changes in O2 Travel pricing follows new EU rules which state that mobile data across member states cannot be charged at more than €0.20 (15p) per MB before VAT is applied.
This price control in theory should only apply if you’ve not opted for a specific package, like O2 Travel.
As O2’s Pay Monthly option doesn’t have a limit – O2’s page stops short of calling the service unlimited – so it’s hard to say exactly how the price works out, as it really depends on how much you’re using. If the service were capped at 100MB then O2 would be charging you the equivalent of 0.01p per MB over a 24 hour period.
The Pay & Go package – £1.99 for 50MB a day – works out at roughly 0.03p per MB.
O2’s standard roaming rates for data in Europe are however capped at 19p/MB. The EU wants to ban data roaming rates across member states altogether. In April, MEPs voted to ban mobile roaming charges in Europe from December 15, 2015 onwards.