Bits are bits for Brits: O2 UK makes tethering free on existing plans

“O2 UK took a cue from Canadian carriers on Tuesday and dropped the premium tethering fee on its monthly plans,” MacNN reports.

“Any of its regular Bolt On plans, including the basic £3 ($4.80) 100MB plan, offer tethering for free,” MacNN reports. “It had previously asked for £7.65 ($12.23) regardless of the tier and often more than doubled the price of data.”

MacNN reports, “The strategy is similar to some European carriers and virtually all major Canadian networks, where data isn’t given special treatment based on which device is using it.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. It’s time for AT&T and Verizon to step up and be “world class”. I would love to see tethering “included” in my plan. Let me keep my unlimited data plan and “BOOM”.

    … I can dream, can’t I?

    1. Until US carriers are capable of ensuring capacity to all comers without a disruption of service to others I would not expect them to drop tethering fees. I say give it another 2 to 3 years, by then 4G LTE will will be ubiquitous and the carriers with boosted spectrum changes will have enough excess capacity to start competing on price. Till then we can’t expect them to not collect fees to control demand and also help them build out their network capacity . Canada has consolidated population centers mainly in the south the country and has less population than the most populous state in the US. The UK is about the size of a medium state in the US. Excess capacity in those areas do not cost as much to build out as they do in the US. We can’t expect carriers to lose money and continue to over promise and under deliver which hurts both their customers and share holders.

  2. I guess I’m fine with caps for wireless data, as long as they’re reasonable. But if I’m paying for 2GB of data, I should be able to use it on my iPhone or on a tethered device. What’s the difference where I’m using that 2GB? It’s not like unlimited data where much less is being used on a phone compared to a data-guzzling computer. They’re already limiting us to 2GB, so allow us to use it however we want. Just give us free tethering and then charge us $10 per 1GB over the allotted 2GB. Problem solved.

  3. Tethering is supported in Australia at no extra charge…

    It is difficult to understand the logic behind an extra charge for tethering except where the user enjoys an unlimited plan – in which case the Telco might wish to reduce the opportunities for large downloads.

    As far as I know, there are no unlimited plans in Australia – phone users pay for what they use…

  4. I love tethering. It means since I have my iPhone I do not need a 3GS plan for my iPad. If I am in the car, or at some boring relative’s place, I just tether my iPhone to my computer of iPad and off I go.

  5. Did anyone notice how the lowest data plan is 100MB, and costs measly £3 ($4.80)? How the minimum monthly plan includes 100 outgoing minutes, 500MB of data and costs barely $40 (and incoming calls are, of course, free)?

    American carriers don’t seem to realise that there are plenty of consumers who are still stuck on their old voice-only plans (or are rapidly migrating to no-frills pay-as-you-go carriers, such as Boost, MetroPCS, Cricket or Virgin Mobile), because they simply CAN’T afford the exorbitant minimum monthly smartphone plans starting at $55?

    Let us not forget; Apple hardware (as well as any other hardware or goods) is significantly more expensive (at retail) than in US. In general, consumer price indices across EU are mostly higher than in US. Still, Americans end up paying these exorbitant voice and data plans.

    1. “American carriers don’t seem to realise”

      Oh, they realize it full well, but if the average consumer has more money than brains and will pay it … then all the providers jump on board and you end up with the same kind of inflated profiteering market that was created by Monster Cable – now every maker is massively overcharging for cables that should be a mere $6. Apple does the same thing. It’s the consumers who are to blame. Sadly, those with less income are the ones who suffer most as basic needs can be unreasonably priced out of their ability to pay.

    2. The US Telcos are milking the consumers for as much as they can because they know that eventually they will end up being dumb pipes.
      Eventually everything will be just data. No minutes, no text message limits. Just data that you will get everything on your phone from.
      Just like CDs opened up a pandora’s box for the music business, data will do the same for the telcos.
      For now we in the US have to put up with this. The iPhone has started to chip away at the industries control. Note that apps are no longer a significant revenue source for Telcos. Next people will start using internet phone services more. At some point you will be able to buy data from a provider and use it for phone, video chat, IM as well as internet and mail.

  6. Saw this, opened a live chat witn “Oscar” and changed my tariff. 1gb data with tethering, 600 minutes unlimited text for a shade over £30 (I get a discount). And no change to my end of contract.

  7. Data is data is data… I wish. The cellco’s are royally screwing everyone on text messages big time. You would think that with all the money they make from tm’s they would ease up on data plans, but hey, greed is greed is greed.

  8. As an o2 customer, this is utter BS. Up to now, tethering cost GBP 7.50 per month. So now they’ve jacked up all the monthly fees by at least GBP 6.00 so if you upgrade, you get “free tethering”. Great! I know the standard of education in England isn’t what it used to be, but the basic math speaks for itself. Just handover the bits I already goddam paid for, and let me use them how I see fit.

  9. My mom was a Brit, pop an American. That makes me a half Brit DNA & genealogically, wonder if I can get in on half that?

    I know, my rationalization of half-Brit is 100% nit-wit in it’s foundation. But thought it was worth a try!

  10. Maybe we can file class action suit against AT&T for unfair practice. It’s globally shown that the teathering function is included with the phone at no cost and it’s not fair that Americans have to pay for it.

    Do you want to pay extra for a fork and knife when you go to a restaurant? Do you want to pay extra for the air you breath? Oh your car comes with a steering wheel, but you have to pay $20 a month to use it, and you can only drive 40 miles, until you have to pay again for 40 more miles.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.