3 introduces new tiers for mobile broadband usage

10 Jun 2010

3 Ireland today revealed that it is introducing a number of new tiers of mobile broadband plans from a €9.99 per month product for light users with 1GB of monthly usage to a 30GB package for €26.24 a month.

The company said the motivation to introduce to the new plans was to meet customer demands for packages that best reflect their usage.

Going live this weekend, there will be three packages targeted at consumers who require different levels of usage:

·        3 Broadband Light – 1GB of monthly usage for €9.99 with modem prices ranging from €29 – €49

·        3 Broadband Active – 15GB monthly usage for €19.99 with modem prices ranging from Free – €29

·        3 Broadband Pro – 30GB monthly usage at the special promotional rate of €26.24 with free modem

Speaking with siliconrepublic.com 3’s commercial director Eoin McManus said that the same speed of up to 7.7Mbps will apply across all the price plans for 3Pay and Pay Monthly customers. 3 plans to increase its network speed to 14.4Mbps in the coming months.

“Up until now we had a single price plan with a single amount of capacity. But as the network evolved and the amount of people on the network has evolved, we found that there are much greater and much different patterns in mobile broadband usage.

“In order to better serve customers and meet their needs the opportunity was there to move to a tiered model.

“The 3 Broadband Light package could be for infrequent users of mobile broadband or people who might be fixed line users but want a mobile solution to complement rather substitute activity, or it could be people who may wish to try the product out before migrating to a higher package.”

I asked McManus if the new tiered structure was in line with the recent decision by AT&T to get rid of its flat rate products because of heavy data usage in the US.

“Short answer – no. Companies like AT&T have found that they need to introduce a different way of pricing to make money. Our motivation is quite the opposite. We have the largest mobile broadband base in the country and have invested so much in our network that data capacity is not an issue.

“These tariffs are for customers who are either light volume users or those who are heavy volume users who require extra capacity but not at a substantially higher price. Theoretically for an extra €10 a month some users are getting ten times the capacity.

“Our aim is to introduce the lowest price for mobile broadband in the marketplace as a standalone package without the need to buy fixed line to do so,” McManus said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years