O2’s On & On price plans signal the arrival of a commodity world

If you wanted any confirmation that the mobile industry is commoditising fast, have a read of this release from UK giant, O2.

After £26 a month, voice and calling minutes are unmetered and you get a gig of data included. An extra fiver gets you 2 gig. (Plus the usual exclusions like 0870 numbers.)

You only pay more if you want to subsidise a handset.

T-Mobile’s got their Full Monty, 3 has their “One Plan”, what’s Vodafone going to do?

The same. They’ve no choice as the decision has been made for them.

Now that O2 has acted to join the commodity crowd in a serious manner, it’s going to be increasingly difficult for a lot of MVNOs justify per minute/SMS billing.

O2 today announces On & On, a new tariff that lets customers use their phone more than ever before, while paying less than ever before.

For just £26 a month for customers keeping their current phone or from £36 a month with a new phone, On & On offers unlimited minutes to mobiles and landlines in the UK and unlimited text messages to UK based numbers. 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.

“O2 On & On gives our customers the most value we’ve ever offered in a Pay Monthly tariff,” said Sally Cowdry, Marketing & Consumer Director for O2 in the UK. “Whether they’re choosing to stay with us or joining O2 for the first time, they’ll be able to talk and text as much as they like, while enjoying the internet on their mobile absolutely worry-free. And only O2 has the added value benefits of priority access to 4000 acts a year with Priority Tickets and everyday offers and discounts with Priority Moments.

To help make that new phone even more affordable, On & On is available for either £36, £41 or £46 per month. Each price point gives customers the same unlimited UK minutes, the same unlimited UK texts and the same 1GB of data. For instance, the iPhone 4S 16GB has an up-front cost of £59.99 (usually £99.99) on the £36 On & On tariff, £19.99 (normally £49.99) on the £41 tariff or free on the £46 per month tariff.

On & On customers will also get the same peace of mind as all O2 Pay Monthly customers with regular text updates on how much data they’re using and, if they use all the 1GB data, no extra data charges. On & On customers looking to use more data can double it to 2GB for an extra £5.

Once they’ve joined On & On, O2 customers can then choose to personalise their tariff with a range of Bolt Ons to truly make it theirs, including phone insurance, international calling discounts and picture messaging bundles. They’ll also get all the great benefits of being on O2 including expert Guru help and O2 Priority Tickets. They’ll also get access to a range of exclusive discounts with Priority Moments which could help save customers up to £70 from a range of high street stores.

Available from Friday 30 March, both new and existing customers can join On & On by visiting an O2 store or heading to

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.

11 replies on “O2’s On & On price plans signal the arrival of a commodity world”

That is a very interesting question. To which I don’t really want to know the answer….

I wonder if it’s to do with this rather vague fair use viewpoint? 1.1gb is ok vs 5gb is too much.

Or maybe they reduce the connection speed once you hit 1gb…. Did you notice that Yoigo, our favourite Spanish MWC local sim provider has tariffs based on speed of access and not amount of data delivered… Interesting idea I thought…

I like the idea of just not having to worry about going over my allowances. I am on a 12 month sim only plan. I asked o2 via twitter if I could change to this as it more expensive than my current tariff. I thought the answer would be yes, but no. It was no.

O2 will let me upgrade my 12 month sim only plan to a contract with a phone or even to any more expensive sim only plan than the one I am on. Except the On & On tariff. 

O2 advised that the On & On plan is exclusively for new customers or customers coming to the end of their current commitment period wanting to upgrade.

No big deal! but why do they let customers upgrade to other tariffs during the 12 months contract term but not to this one?

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