Orange UK iPad data tariffs announced

Orange have announced their iPad data price plans for the United Kingdom.

I was bracing myself, but actually, it’s not too bad. In fact, provided I forget what I’m already paying for my data dongle, the pricing looks fairly reasonable.

First of all, you can pay-for-what-you-use. That simply costs £0.05 per megabyte. (Do you remember when, just a few years ago, you had to pay upwards of £4.00 per megabyte?) I quite like that plan. You’ll also get a £10 credit upon activation which, accordingly to my fag-packet calculations, will give you 20,000 megabytes or 20GB to use at any time.

Then there’s an iPad Daily bundle. That’s simply 2 quid-per-day and entitles you to 200mb of data valid for one day until midnight. So, unless you’re up early, it’s not really 24-hours. But you know, based on my usage of the iPad (in terms of taking it out of the home/office where there’s constant WiFi), that would work quite well for me. I could imagine using that quite nicely.

Then there’s the iPad Weekly bundle, valid for 7 days until midnight which costs £7.50 and comes with 1GB of data allowance. Again, not bad on the face of it.

And for those tempted by a monthly price plan arrangement, iPad Monthly 15 (£15/month) gets you 3GB of data allowance and unlimited BT Openzone usage.

And iPad Monthly 25 (£25/month) gets you 10GB of data allowance per month and unlimited BT Openzone.

I think it’s genius pricing. Genius. Indeed the whole arrangement is genius. The chances are you already have a data plan, dongle or similar with your operator, however the convenience of not having to arse around with sim cards will, I reckon, see a heck of a lot of people opting for these.

If I had to choose right now, I’d probably do the per-meg one, if only because I am tickled pink at the concept of being charged only 5p per megabyte. I think that’s a nice sweet-spot for me personally.

Which would you choose?

Are you even going to bother with an iPad?

And if so, are you going to get the 3G version?

Pre-order from the 10th of May…

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

19 replies on “Orange UK iPad data tariffs announced”

5p/MB (what isn’t that unreasonable, indeed) is 200MB per tenner.
Not the greatest deal out there, but enough to cover morning newspapers browsing (without flash) for a few weeks.

Genius pricing?? Try a calculator not a fag packet, 20Gb would cost £1000 1Gb would cost £50.00 on their pay as you use plan. This is simply orange exploiting people that want to use the latest technology. people that are already paying for a data plan for their mobile phone. Apple should allow tethering to an iphone. Contract Iphone’s have unlimited data subject to fair usage. For those who already have an iphone, why wouldn’t you just jailbreak your iphone and tether your ipad to it over WiFi using MyWi which can be downloaded on cydia for $9.99
Come on Orange you can do better than that. Everyone will be jailbeaking their phones if you expect them to pay these prices!!!!

Where's the subsidised price?

I'd be very interested in one or possibly two on a 12-18 month contract.

Surely they can do this for under £30/month? I mean, they run £400 Nokia X6's out the door on 18 months for around £35.


Wrong. That is just plain wrong. There should be one universal data sim section. What you do with that sim is completely up to the customer. The pricing should be based on average download speed and not the amount of data consumed. For example. I pay €9.99 a month. This gives me an average download speed of 384 kbit/s. This came with a basic USB dongle. But there is nothing stopping me putting the sim card in anything. It has spent sometime in a Nokia 5800 that is used as an in car GPS machine. It has spent some time in my N85 and been tethered to my laptop when the dongle wasn't picking up a 3G signal correctly. For the month of April I downloaded 10.3GB on it. I uploaded 8.1GB on it. It was connected for 77 hours 43 minutes and 11 seconds. There is a “fair use” policy. But you have to be a complete loon to even come close to violating this. I've yet to see who, if anyone other than Apple, will be selling the iPad here, and I would imagine the sim would work fine in that as well (if I ever decided to chop it down to fit, and don't get me started on my thoughts on Apple's decision to take an already small bit of plastic and insist on making it smaller). Not that I am in anyway shape or form in a rush to find out.

But the UK MNO's need to sort their act out in my opinion. That above is just robbery. Data is data is data. Regardless of what machine consumes it.

Thats a great pricing structure and really inventive….I'm just not sure the device is worth the prices i'm now seeing quoted. As a mobile worker I have been looking into an ipad as a true mobile working device but the notepad I can get for the £700 is pretty impressive as well 🙁

I'm not sure there will be a subsidised price…I think Apple are following the Google Nexus model with the ipad i.e. buy the device from apple and get your data tariff from whoever.


I think you'll find that on contract, £15 for 3GB is about par.

It's not robbery. You didn't have to invest £5Bn buying 3G licences, building, running and upgrading a network of quite a few thousand 3G sites, and planning for future growth.

It's called ROI, and until recently MNO's had none.

What HSPA networks do today was science fiction even 5 years ago. The price of a few coffees and a Danish is not much for a month's data that 5 years ago it would have *taken* a month to download, running 24/7. It's less cash than a 10-minute cab ride back to the office for a file you forgot to download before going to a client's.


Ah, the sterling success that is/was the Nexus One launch model.

They didn't even try that with the iPhone launch, and ended up subsidising to get it mass-market.

MNO's want subs, Apple wants to shift boxes, then the inevitable accessory purchases and build the eco-system buy-in.

It will happen.


£35 x 18 = £630 – much more than the £400 for the X6. Leaves at least £230 for actual services.

Cost of cheapest 3G iPad = £529
£30 x 18 = £540 – about the same price as the iPad. And you're expecting them to throw data in for free?

I think £35-40 per month is much more likely….


Ah, no, I think you may have misunderstood my point. No I most definitely not belittling the effort the MNO's have made in getting 3G rolled out*. I argue that pricing on the amount of data is wrong. Price on average download speed instead, because based on the £15/month for 3GB (and I am guessing that is just download and not total) I would of blown right though my paid for/limit in just 7.7 hours of use. As ChrisP below points out in his own way, data is data is data and Orange trying to foist a separate iPad tariff scale is just plain wrong. But here they are not entirely to blame. Apple choosing to use a different size sim for the iPad is something that just makes my blood boil! In my opinion you should be able to walk into an Orange shop and say something like this: “Hello. Data sim please. What average download speeds to you offer for £15 per month?” They tell you what speed or speeds are available at or around that price point. You pick the one you want, sign the contract, walk out with the sim and stick it in whatever you want.

*Although it seems to me that all the UK MNO's could do more to ensure a more even spread of coverage around the UK… 😉


what sort of speed are you expecting them to offer you on an unlimited transfer basis for £15 a month? 9.6kbs?

Fixed speed, unlimited transfer deals have worked out fantastically well for the fixed line broadband companies…. Wireless is inherently more limited, being a shared medium.

I can't help but like this reply John. But I will level with you. I pay Saunalahti €9.99/month. That is on the standard 24 month contract. This is the cheapest that they offer. For this I get a maximum (but it's really an average) speed of 384kbit/s. And the dongle itself.

Saunalahti use the Elisa network here in Finland. This package is more than enough for me to conduct all my daily online business when I am away from home including conduct video calls using Google to my family, Skype works very well too. I will admit that I have not tried to watch a film via Voddler or play Battlefield Hero's using it. But then that comes down to a time constraint.

If I felt like that I really needed more then I would move up to the €19.80 a month for a 1Mbit/sec.

You could argue that this works over here because of the lower population, but, then the MNO's have still made the effort in the first place to cover enough of the country in a strong 3.5G signal…

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