3 has been making a shout about lowering mobile call rates for awhile now, and now the network is walking the talk with the launch of One Plan.
The SIM-only tariff offers 1GB data, 5,000 texts, 2,000 any network minutes and 5,000 3-to-3 minutes for £25 monthly. 1GB of data will be the standard for most of the network's tariffs, and existing customers on the Text500 and above plans will have their monthly data limit increased from 500MB to 1GB over the next two weeks.
This makes the network the most competitive for smartphone tariffs, especially on the iPhone 4. One Plan will also offer iPhone and iPad microSIMs for the same price points, as well as two other tariff levels that offer subsidised smartphones. The operator says the One Plan portfolio is a forerunner of the flat-rate mobile plans it believes other networks will offer in time, as smartphone use becomes increasingly widespread.
One Plan £30 offers the same texts, minutes and data but includes a smartphone such as the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, while top-end smartphones such as the iPhone 4 can be bought on One Plan £40.
3's chief executive Kevin Russell said that the network was doing away with claims of 'unlimited' data, calls or texts and simply publishing actual allowances instead.
He also said that though Ofcom's decision to lower mobile termination rates wouldn't take effect till April 2011, he was confident enough to offer 3's super-competitive voice minutes right away.
In the future, he said, consumers can look out for increasingly competitive data offerings from 3, including universal data subscriptions, which would allow customers to share a single data plan across multiple devices - such as a smartphone, an iPad and 3's portable Wi-Fi device Mi-Fi.