O2’s “On and On” offers unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 1GB data from £26/month

April 1st, 2012

O2 have added “On and On” to their range of Pay Monthly offerings with unlimited calls, texts and 1GB of data from £26/month.

O2 have this week launched a new Pay Monthly tariff: the “On and On” tariff. With unlimited calls, unlimited texts and a 1GB data allowance, the new tariff puts O2 in direct competition to Three’s “The One Plan” and T-Mobile’s “The Full Monty”.

The “On and On” tariff is available as a 12 month SIM-only package for £26/month if you’re happy to keep your current phone or is available as a 24 month contract from £36/month if you’d like a brand new smartphone. Customers are also given the option to upgrade to a 2GB data allowance for an additional £5/month (or an additional £2/month on the SIM-only package).

What does O2’s “On and On” tariff include?

O2’s new “On and On” tariff is being marketed as a “buy it and forget about it” tariff. To that regard, you’ll get unlimited calls and unlimited texts so you never need to worry about out-of-bundle charges for spending too long on the phone.

You’ll also get a healthy 1GB data allowance – enough for about 3,000 rich webpages, 200 MP3 files, 2 hours of video or 160 new application downloads. Tethering and mobile wi-fi hotspot is also included so you can share your 3G connection with a laptop, tablet or iPod Touch.

Tethering is included with “On and On”.

The “On and On” tariff includes:

  • Unlimited calls to landlines and mobile phones
  • Unlimited texts
  • 1GB internet (upgradable to 2GB with the additional charge of either £2/month on SIM Only or £5/month on Pay Monthly)
  • Tethering & wi-fi hotspot (mobile broadband for your laptop, tablet, iPod Touch, etc.)

There are no automatic charges once you use up your internet allowance – instead you’ll need to upgrade to the 2GB package to continue using the internet over 3G for the rest of the month.

How much does O2’s “On and On” package cost?

“On and On” costs £26/month without a new handset or starts from £36/month with a brand new handset. The exact cost depends on the handset that you choose. Handsets being offered on the plan include:

Inclusive Smartphone Price on The Full Monty
SIM Only (no inclusive handset) £26/month
Apple iPhone 4 (8GB) Free on £36/month
Apple iPhone 4S (16GB) £60 upfront plus £36/month OR
£20 upfront plus £41/month OR
Free on £46/month
Apple iPhone 4S (32GB) £170 upfront plus £36/month
Apple iPhone 4S (64GB) £270 upfront plus £36/month
Samsung Galaxy S II Free on £36/month
BlackBerry Bold 9900 Free on £36/month

A full list of handsets available on the ‘On and On’ tariff can be found on the O2 website.

What can I do with 1GB of data? Should I upgrade to the 2GB data package?

The average smartphone user consumes around 250MB of data a month (0.25GB). 1GB of data should normally be sufficient providing that you do not regularly download or stream multimedia content (e.g. music and video such as Spotify, iPlayer and YouTube). We’ve got a full guide to download limits and what they mean in reality but 1GB and 2GB approximately correspond to the following:

1GB corresponds to… 2GB corresponds to…
Basic webpages (mainly text) 10,000 20,000
Rich webpages (with multimedia, e.g. BBC) 3,000 6,000
Basic e-mails 1,000,000 2,000,000
Rich e-mails (with attachments) 2,000 4,000
Downloading/streaming music 200 songs 400 songs
Downloading/streaming video 2 hours 4 hours
Skype voice call 30 hours 60 hours
Skype video call 4 hours 8 hours
Listening to online radio 16 hours 32 hours
Downloading/updating apps 160 apps 320 apps

Source of estimates: O2 [1, 2]. Our testing found a Skype mobile voice call consumes around 0.55MB/minute (70kbps). Skype video call uses 4MB/minute (500kbps). Online radio calculation assumes 128kbps bitrate. Average size of app is 6.1MB (based on top 20 free Android apps).

As there is no possibility of out-of-bundle data charges, we would recommend opting for the 1GB data package to begin with and only adding an additional 1GB if you find that you need it. For a larger download allowance (particularly useful for consuming multimedia and tethering), Three’s “The One Plan” and T-Mobile’s “The Full Monty” are both similar plans but include unlimited internet and no download limits.

Are there any out-of-bundle charges for using too much data?

No. According to O2, your 3G internet connectivity will automatically be disabled once you reach your 1GB limit. This means that you won’t automatically be charged extra (other O2 tariffs will charge an additional £1/day once you use up your inclusive download allowance). It is possible to add an additional 1GB of data for £5/month (or an additional £2/month if you’re on the SIM-only version of the tariff).

How does O2’s “On and On” tariff compare to Three’s “The One Plan” and T-Mobile’s “The Full Monty”?

O2’s “On and On” tariff is being marketed as a high-end tariff that frees you from the worry of out-of-bundle charges. This puts it directly in competition with Three’s “The One Plan” and T-Mobile’s “The Full Monty”. The three tariffs compare to each other as follows:

On and On (O2) The Full Monty (T-Mobile) The One Plan (Three)
Network O2 T-Mobile Three
Contract Length 24 months 24 months 24 months
SIM-Only Plan Length 12 months None available 1 month
Price From £26/month From £36/month From £25/month
Minutes Unlimited 2,000 (£36/month)
unlimited (from £41/month)
Same-network minutes Unlimited Unlimited* 5,000*
Texts Unlimited Unlimited 5,000
Internet 1GB as standard
2GB (extra charge)
No fair usage limits
Unlimited (all-you-can-eat)
No fair usage limits
Download Speed Up to 21Mbit/s with HSPA+
Unknown coverage
Up to 21Mbit/s with HSPA+
Unknown coverage
Up to 21Mbit/s with HSPA+
80% UK coverage
Tethering Yes, included Yes, included Yes, included
Voicemail Free Part of minutes allowance Free
BT Openzone Wi-Fi Not included Unlimited Not included

* The approximate market share of T-Mobile is 19% whereas the approximate market share of Three is 7%. On the face of it, this would make unlimited calls to T-Mobile numbers a much better proposition than unlimited calls to Three numbers. However, the high number of inclusive minutes on both plans means this is unlikely to make very much difference.

For a detailed comparison of Three and T-Mobile’s respective offerings, we’ve got a detailed comparison of ‘The Full Monty’ VS ‘The One Plan’.

How does “On and On” compare to O2’s standard Pay Monthly offerings?

A 12-month version of the tariff is available for people who want to keep their current mobile phone.

As well as the “On and On” tariff, O2 also offers a range of standard Pay Monthly tariffs which start at £10.50/month for 50 minutes and 250 texts. If you typically use 600 minutes or less in a given month, you may find that O2’s standard tariffs provide better value: for example £27/month will buy you 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB data. We’ve got a full review of O2’s Pay Monthly tariffs and O2’s data plans.

Are there any fair usage allowances with “On and On”?

O2 do not have any specific fair usage allowances – through their terms of use document is worth a read. The only specific restrictions on your usage that are listed are that usage of the service is limited to “private and personal purposes”. O2 also reserve the right to disconnect your service if they believe you are using it in “such a way that we reasonably believe adversely impacts the service to other O2 customers.”

Is tethering permitted with O2’s “On and On” tariff?

Yes. According to O2: “Also included is a gigabyte (GB) of data to use however they like, including tethering and streaming, without having to worry about extra data charges once it’s been used.”

Being able to tether with the “On and On” tariff means that you can share your phone’s 3G data connection with other devices including a laptop/tablet, an iPod Touch, e-book reader or games console. You’ll need a smartphone which supports the mobile wi-fi hotspot feature in order to use this feature: it’ll create a wi-fi hotspot over which your 3G connection will be shared. We’ve got a detailed guide on tethering and how to connect your other electronic devices to the web on-the-go through wi-fi hotspot.

Note that because “On and On” comes with a download limit of 1GB, you should be careful when tethering – it’s possible to go through your data allowance very quickly using a laptop. Three’s “The One Plan” and T-Mobile’s “The Full Monty” are both similar plans offering unlimited data and will likely provide much better value to people who tether on a regular basis.

What is O2 coverage like where I live?

You should use the O2 online coverage checker to ensure you can receive a service from O2 where you live.

I’m switching to O2. Can I keep my existing phone number?

Yes. You’ll need to ask your existing network for a PAC code and then to provide this to O2. The entire process of transferring your phone number should take no more than 24 hours. Our PAC Code Finder tool provides a step-by-step guide to transferring your mobile number to O2.

I’m currently an O2 customer. Can I switch to “On and On”?

O2 customers who have finished the minimum term of their current contract can switch to the “On and On” tariff through the O2 website. If you’re currently in the middle of the minimum term of your contract, it may still be possible to upgrade as O2 customers allow some customers to upgrade their contract part way through. Please consult O2 customer services on 202 as to whether this is possible as it will depend on the date of your contract and the terms and conditions that were in place when your contract was signed.

Where can I find out more about O2’s “On and On” packages?

You can find out more about O2’s “On and On” tariff on the O2 website. A full list of O2 tariffs and available handsets is also available.

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About Ken

Ken Lo

My passion is helping people to get the most out of their mobile phone. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005.

Aside from writing about mobile technology, my interests are in software development, digital marketing and physics. Outside of the blog, I work with numerous technology companies helping them to explain their product and helping them to market it to consumers. Please get in touch for more information.

Your Comments

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 1 comment from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  1. Daniel said:

    1GB allowance is pathetic for this type of plan. i assume people wont take them up on this offer.

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