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Orange rolls out all you can eat web

Hot on the heels of Vodafone’s daily data tariff, Orange UK has launched its own flat rate mobile internet offering for both prepay and contract subscribers.

Orange customers will have five new bundles to choose from – three for contract, two for prepaid – starting in June.

Daily browsing for all subscribers is charged at £1, with prepay users able to sign up for a seven day browsing package for £5. Monthly contract subscribers can also sign up for a monthly evening and weekend browsing package for £5, or a monthly anytime package for £8.

Orange has also taken a leaf out of Voda’s book and is giving its subscribers free access to its own branded portal, Orange World.

But also like Vodafone, Orange has not included VoIP traffic, peer to peer services such as instant messenger, text messaging clients or file sharing in the flat rate packages.

Mark Newman, chief research officer for Informa Telecoms & Media, welcomed the introduction of flat rate data tariffs. “Until operators abandon their per megabit pricing model in favour of an unlimited flat rate monthly fee, mobile broadband will never have the same appeal to the mass market as the PC internet,” Newman said.

“But by introducing the flat rate model operators are effectively encouraging their customers to use the ‘internet’ in the same way as PC users – to access ‘free’ services, be they internet mail, information and entertainment services or third party ecommerce sites,” he said.

Orange, like Vodafone, has mirrored the mobile internet strategy of its UK rivals, T-Mobile and 3 UK, which have already seen much success from their respective Web n’ Walk and X-Series offerings, by launching affordable data tariffs targeted primarily at the consumer market rather than high end business users.

It is surely only a matter of time before O2 joins them.

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