Three’s Go Binge gives you unlimited data for streaming on Netflix, TV Player, Apple Music, Deezer and SoundCloud.
In the UK, Three is now offering Go Binge on Advanced Pay Monthly contracts with at least 4GB of data per month. With the offer, customers will get unlimited data for streaming in standard-definition on four selected services: Netflix, TV Player, Deezer and SoundCloud. A fifth service, Apple Music, will also be made available on Go Binge from the 27th November 2017. The services will not count count towards your normal data allowance and are therefore deemed to be “zero-rated”.
In this article, we’ll review Three’s Go Binge offer. We’ll look at the services included in the offer and at the plans on which you’re able to get Go Binge. We’ll also look at criticisms of the offer and the implications on net neutrality and all-you-can-eat data. Finally, we’ll discuss how you can keep your existing phone number when moving to Three to take advantage of the offer.
Customers joining Three on a Pay Monthly contract in the UK are now able to select a plan with the Go Binge offer. The offer gives you unlimited zero-rated streaming in standard-definition when using the following services:
- Netflix: Watch popular movies and TV shows on-demand on your phone. A subscription to Netflix is required (between £5.99 and £9.99 per month).
- TV Player: Watch live television on your smartphone. A free version is available with free-to-air channels like BBC One, ITV and Channel 4 (supported with additional adverts). A subscription to TV Player Plus will cost £5.99 per month (this will give you access to paid channels and will remove additional advertising).
- Apple Music (from 27th November 2017): Stream on-demand music from your iPhone or Android device. Apple Music costs £9.99 per month on the individual plan or £14.99 per month on the family plan.
- Deezer: An on-demand music streaming service, similar to Spotify. It costs £9.99 per month for a subscription to Deezer.
- SoundCloud: An on-demand music streaming service with songs and podcasts from emerging artists around the world. Available for free, with an upgrade to SoundCloud Go costing £5.99 per month.
Other services are not currently included in the list (including BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Spotify, Amazon Prime, Google Play and more). You’ll only get zero-rated data when using one of Three’s selected partners, though Three has promised to add more services in the future.
It’s worth noting the following limitations when using the Go Binge offer:
- Go Binge will only give you free standard-definition streaming. If you want to stream in high-definition, this will count as usual towards your normal data allowance.
- Additional content like adverts are not included in the Go Binge offer. Go Binge will only cover your standard-definition content stream. Other content within the application (e.g. adverts) is not zero-rated so will continue to count against your download allowance.
- You must have some of your normal data allowance remaining. In order to use Go Binge, you must still have some of your normal data allowance remaining in the current month. If you’ve run out of your normal data allowance, you’ll need to add additional data for Go Binge to be available again.
- Go Binge works with Feel At Home but not all content will be available abroad. This is due to content licensing agreements in each country.
At present, Three is offering Go Binge to new customers joining on an Advanced Pay Monthly plan with at least 4GB of data per month. This includes both 24-month contracts with a new handset and 12-month or 30-day SIM-only plans.
The following table shows a selection of Three’s cheapest available SIM cards with the Go Binge offer:
If you’re an existing customer, you also won’t have access to the Go Binge offer until you renew onto a new contract with more minutes or more data each month.
For customers who already have an all-you-can-eat data plan, the Go Binge offer will not make any difference at all. This is because all-you-can-eat data already gives you unlimited data for all services (including high-definition streaming and including other services not listed above).
If you’re joining Three on a Pay Monthly mobile broadband tariff, you’ll need to choose a plan with at least 5GB of data to benefit from the Go Binge offer.
Criticism & Net Neutrality
Three’s Go Binge offer has come in for some widespread criticism since it was launched. The reason being it undermines the principle of net neutrality (the idea that traffic from all online services should be treated in the same way to ensure an even and level playing field).
In its present state, the Go Binge offer only includes four selected services (it excludes lots of other popular services including BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Spotify, Amazon Prime, Google Play and more). Customers using a non-approved service are disadvantaged compared to customers using a Three-approved service.
To give an example, customers using Spotify would need to use up their data allowance when streaming music through the service. Meanwhile, customers using Deezer (a Three-approved service) would not need to use their data as it’s covered by Binge On. A customer wanting unlimited streaming on Spotify would therefore need to pay almost twice as much to get unlimited streaming on their plan (they would need a much more expensive all-you-can-eat plan rather than just a Binge On plan):
Cheapest SIM with Unlimited Deezer*
Cheapest SIM with Unlimited Spotify*
|No tariffs could be found matching this criteria.|
Go Binge potentially takes us down the road towards a situation where ISPs and mobile networks are able to decide which services their customers can use. For many people, this is a key step away from having an open internet where different service providers can compete freely with each other. In a world where service providers need to cut a deal with ISPs and mobile networks, smaller providers without the resource or pockets to do this are greatly disadvantaged (along with public service broadcasters like the BBC who are unlikely to be able to justify paying to get included in such a service).
According to Three, the Go Binge offer is compatible with EU net neutrality laws. Three also argues that additional streaming service providers will be added soon.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re joining Three to take advantage of their Go Binge offer, it’s a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.
When your new phone or SIM card arrives from Three, fill out this form on Three’s website. After you enter your PAC Code on this online form, Three will schedule the transfer of your phone number (normally for the next working day).
For step-by-step instructions on transferring a phone number to Three, please select your current mobile network from the drop-down menu below:
For more information about transferring your phone number between networks, please see our guide to using a PAC Code.
For more information about Three’s Go Binge offer, please see their official website.