O2 Limits 3G Customers To 128Kbps

Admits to saving space for "corporate customers who require higher speeds".

The 3G iPhone may be nearly upon us, but will Apple still want to partner with O2 on the back of this…?

With news that the next iteration of the iPhone may support up to 7.2Mbps we now learn O2 is restricting the vast majority of its customers to a measly 128Kbps.

According to some digging done by The Reg, the 384Kbps theoretical limit of 3G – while now grossly out gunned by HSDPA – is considered exorbitant by miserly O2 execs and a system of ‘Profiles’ has been implemented whereby customers are put into classes. In fact, the network even admits only “Profiles of corporate customers who require higher speeds are modified so that they can benefit from speeds of 384Kb/s.”

Talk about two tier.

Of course, there are some saving graces in all this. For a start, it is unknown whether these restrictions will apply to HSDPA handsets. Secondly, though 384Kbps is the maximum a customer can expect from 3G, in real world scenarios the speed does indeed frequently drop as low as 128Kbps and sometimes even lower. Lastly, O2 has confirmed frustrated customers can ‘apply’ for an upgrade to their profile should they wish to attain the higher speeds – though it provides no details on how to set about this.

Music to Apple’s infamously pernickety ear? Hardly…


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