Three launch new 100GB SIM only mobile phone plan

25 August 2017   By Helen Mumford

THREE have launched a new 100GB SIM only Advanced Plan, offering customers an intermediate Advanced data allowance that sits between their 30GB and "All-you-can-eat" packages.

three shop sign
Credit: William Barton/

Aside from providing 100GB of data per month for £25 per month, the plan comes with unlimited calls and texts, as well as a 12 month contract.

It also offers customers the ability to take advantage of Three's recently launched Go Binge service, which allows them to use such media platforms as Netflix, Deezer and Soundcloud without eating into their data allowance.

Yet given the existence of such a service, and given the fact that average mobile data consumption resides well below 100GB, there's a question as to whether most customers will actually need such an allowance.


The new Three SIM only Advanced Plan is almost identical to the two plans it sits between, except for the obvious variations on data allowance and price, as the below table illustrates:

PlanCall allowanceText allowanceContractMonthly fee
30GBAll-you-can-eatAll-you-can-eat12 months£18
100GBAll-you-can-eatAll-you-can-eat12 months£25
All-you-can-eatAll-you-can-eatAll-you-can-eat12 months£29

While the 100GB Advanced Plan is £7 more expensive and £4 cheaper than the 30GB and unlimited plans respectively, there are in fact a number of similarities.

As mentioned above, all three come with access to Three's Go Binge service, making them very attractive to people who want to watch Netflix or listen to Deezer on the go.

Added to this, they all include the Feel At Home roaming service, which since 2013 has been enabling customers to use their allowances abroad in a variety of locations at no extra cost.

These locations have now reached 60 in number, including Brazil, Singapore, USA, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, New Zealand, and Switzerland. That said, even though Three offer free roaming in such locations and in the EU (not least because they're now legally obliged to offer it in the EU), it's worth pointing out that their roaming services don't include 4G.

Still, this caveat aside, the inclusion of worldwide roaming is a welcome addition, one which is also complemented by the ability to use the new SIM only plan for tethering.

What this means is that customers will be able to use their phones as a personal wi-fi hotspot, although once again the allowance here is identical to those provided by the 30GB and All-you-can-eat plans.

Namely, customers will have a 30GB tethering allowance, a limit that's been in place since March 31st 2016, when Three first introduced the 30GB SIM only plan.

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This retaining of the same personal hotspot allowance is perhaps something of a disappointment, and not only because it means customers will have to pay for add-ons if they want to use more than 30GB of tethered data per month.

It's also somewhat disappointing because it represents a missed opportunity to make the most of the raised data allowance of the new 100GB plan (compared to the 30GB one).

And this is doubly so in light of the fact that it's unlikely most customers will need 100GB of data per month to use directly from their phones, without tethering.

That 100GB is perhaps a bit too much for mobile phone consumption on its own is indicated by Ofcom's most recent Connected Nations report, from December 2016.

It revealed that the average monthly data consumption for a mobile phone user was only 1.26GB in 2016, having grown by 44.8% from the 0.87GB of 2015, which itself was a product of the 64% growth from the 0.53GB per month of 2014.

Mobile data consumption

Generally, the rate of growth in data consumed per month has been slowing since 2011, but assuming that it remained at 44% per year, it would take over 10 years to reach an average of 100GB.

As such, it's questionable as to whether 100GB of mobile data is really necessary. Yet then again, assuming that 5G services do rollout in the next few years, 100GB would certainly future proof Three's customers for an era in which we consume more data on our phones than ever before.

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