Three: why our iPad data is cheaper than other networks'

Three talks iPad data price plans
Three talks iPad data price plans

TechRadar has spoken to Three to ask how it has managed to dramatically undercut its competitors when it comes to iPad data.

Three's data offering of 10GB for £15 per month is much cheaper than competitors, with the same amount costing £25 on Orange and only 5GB for the £25 on Vodafone.

Marc Allera, sales and marketing director for Three, said the price difference was down to the network set up:

"Our network is a pure 3G network, set up for mobile internet, so we can ensure we give our customers the best value.

"Mobile data is seen by the big guys as a substitute for declining voice revenue, maybe that's why they're keeping [the cost] higher."

Data slide

Allera pointed to dramatic slide in mobile data costs that have happened in the last ten years as proof that customers are increasingly turning to 3G networks to access the internet.

In 2005, Vodafone was offering 100MB of data per month for £50, and in 2007 O2 improved its mobile data offering to £30 for 3GB.

But now networks like Three are offering up to 15GB for £15 per month for mobile broadband packages, something Allera says could come to the iPad tariff in the future:

"Our 15GB for £15 [mobile broadband] plan is on a 24 month contract, and our philosophy [for the iPad] is not to tie people in, rather allow users to 'snack' on the internet with 30 day rolling contracts.

"We could see some changes [on our iPad tariffs] as mobile broadband usage has changed dramatically from year to year."

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.