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British Operator EE Offers £8 Million Petabyte 4G Data Bundle

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the just-in-case dept.

Networking 53

judgecorp writes "British mobile operator EE is offering a massive 1 Petabyte data bundle to businesses spread across multiple phones,.It's more than a gimmick to promote the 4G data service — it's aimed at heavy data users such as media companies who use data networks to upload content. This deal charges £8 per gigabyte, which is less than half the cost of the satellite uplinks they currently use. So the £8 million cost of this package might even result in savings for some organizations."

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for that you could buy some backhaul... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45381179)

I mean come on install the fibre already !

oh wait the companies would have to do some planning ?

oh well just spend the money on mobile phones...

Re:for that you could buy some backhaul... (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#45381703)

GHCQ will take two of these...monthly.

Re:for that you could buy some backhaul... (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year ago | (#45381877)

I don't think fibre would cover the situations these are being targeted for. It is more of a mobile environment where a hardline connection isn't available. Imagine a news truck editing some interview feed and shooting it back to the station to air on the news in 10 minutes or so. Imagine an engineering firm sending an inspector to a remote location to see the progress of a project or potential damage so preparation can be made for repairs earlier and he sends video feeds back in real time so the firm can assess other areas to look into.

These are functions that a satellite link has typically been used for that a wireless plan might save some cash on. These are also functions where a fiber connect may not be available or was disabled somehow (building fire, natural disaster, vandalism and many other reasons).

Re: for that you could buy some backhaul... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45385291)

I'm a full-time professional journalist, and I suspect you're exactly right.

KU-band satellite links are expensive, cumbersome and finicky; and microwave is almost as expensive and generally unavailable except in the most developed areas.

I've used the LiveU cellular system a fair bit, and some folks would be amazed at how much bandwidth you can eat up in a short span of time.

I could see media companies and NGOs loving this as a solution where fast fiber or other terrestrial networking is unavailable, insecure or unreliable.

expensive (1)

Xicor (2738029) | about a year ago | (#45381207)

... thats 8M euros for the petabyte...

Re:expensive (3, Insightful)

Rosyna (80334) | about a year ago | (#45381219)

It's expensive for even the most evil carrier in the world, AT&T, which only charges $10/gb. And that's without any kind of bulk data rate discount.

Re:expensive (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45381285)

God... I just want to poke your bare asshole. Now that would be a grand experiment!

Actually, there's an ET doll right here with both the means and ability to conduct such an experiment...

Re:expensive (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45381331)

...but in euro generally you can get ten bucks a month plans for all you can use dataplans( I used to torrent on a _prepaid_ for a while... I think the speed was capped to 3mbit/s though, but I did transfer tens of gigs per month).

8 million is a pretty expensive proposition in that regard, especially since they would still need to have the satellite links as backup(I'd reckon they would wish to cover overcrowded areas).

Re:expensive (1)

Rosyna (80334) | about a year ago | (#45381361)

...but in euro generally you can get ten bucks a month plans for all you can use data plans I think the speed was capped to 3mbit/s though

I'm sorry but a 3Mbit/s capped connection is a not something I'd consider "all I can use".

Re:expensive (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45381401)

I've only used 600MB in the last 2 hours, that would be constantly on average less than half of 3Mbit/s. You should , my life is a lot like that. []

Re:expensive (1)

Xicor (2738029) | about a year ago | (#45384965)

except thats not how internet works... your usage spikes when loading something and goes down to zero when not. if i want to watch a movie, id rather it buffer super fast at the beginning and then be done than have it take 6 hrs to buffer.

Re:expensive (3, Interesting)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about a year ago | (#45381391)

While that is probably true, that 10 EUR a month is probably licensed for consumer use, not business use. It probably also comes with no SLA (service level agreements). It is quite possible that for this money, they will provide unlimited bandwidth (no data rate caps) and perhaps preferred transmission during heavy use times (if that is legal there, I'm in the USA).

For a business, part of what you get for the money is service and the ability to hold the company's feet to the fire. For 10 EUR a month, you more or less have no power, for 8 Million EUR, you would have some sway.

Keep in mind that if media companies could really use those 10 EUR plans, they would, they pay for the sat uplinks for a reason.

Re:expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45383689)

Consumer use is *much* cheaper in the UK though.

I'm on 3 for primary internet access (no hardlines to the house yet). Granted, this isn't 4g (7.2Mbps peak), but all the same I'm paying £25 for 7Gb (£3.57 a GB including tax at 20%, a little under $5 once you've reclaimed the VAT). The bandwidth is sold in packets, so if I need more I can just buy another 7Gb packet (ahead of time even) and keep going.

That's what strikes me as odd about this; You'd expect this kind of user to get a massive discount over normal consumers, yet they're paying over twice as much for their data. The only practical benefit I see is the higher speed, but that's only going to happen where the local towers permit it. If a cell tower goes down they get repaired pretty sharply anyway - the only other benefit I could see this giving them is a 'preferred' status at the tower (ie, other users get kicked off so the plan holder can get on), and I don't see any operator doing that on this scale. They'd get a name for poor reliability quickly if they tried it.

Re:expensive (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#45385429)

Also keep in mind it's one thing to have a customer use 10GB. It's quite another to use petabytes of data. There aren't necessarily economies of scale if you have to support an intensive user like that. I know we hammer our ISP at work way harder than most users since we're a media company. We don't pay more, but we would have to if we needed more than our ISP provides and I wouldn't be surprised to be charged a premium for a niche usage metric.

Re:expensive (2)

gravis777 (123605) | about a year ago | (#45382733)

At $10 a gb, that would still cost $10 million for a petabyte.

I don't think people quite understand how much data a petabyte is. I see some 4TB drives on Amazon running around $300 each (consumer grade drives - go with me on this). How long does it take the average user to fill up 4TB with stuff they are pulling over the internet? Many ISPs cap you at 200 gig of data a month, some are lower, so 20 months if you were capping out your bandwidth cap every month to fill one of these drives. A Petabyte is 250 of these drives.

Even for corporations, a Petabyte is a considerable amount of data, unless you are someone like Google or Netflix or something. A non-profit I volunteer at has a considerable amount of HD video we toss around to the different campuses over a fiber network, and the video we generate from an event can easily be over a terabyte as we archive each camera. it wouldn't surprise me that between simulcasting and moving files around if we don't hit 20 terabytes of data a week - on a LANDLINE FIBER network. That would take us a year to hit a Petabyte.

This carrier is offering a Petabyte of data on a MOBILE network. That is a considerable amount of data, especially considering its 4G - I doubt a hundred users using 4G to constntly stream HD or even UHD video could even come close to, say, 50 terabytes a month. Shoot, on 4G, if a single user is constantly maxing out his bandwidth, they might hit 400-500 gig a month.

A petabyte of 4G data is a considerable amount of data, and is going to take a LONG time, even with hundreds of users, to hit this cap. I truthfully only seeing a plan like this being useful to people like BBC (since its in Britain) with field reporters piping in reports back to the home office, and this would be considerably cheaper than launching a satelite and considerably easier and cheaper to send out a reporter with a camera and 4g hotspot as opposed to a newsvan with a satelite truck or antenna truck. The cost savings would be huge.

Also if they are spreading this data across multiple 4G devices, this may be a cost savings for connecting remote users and offices in rural areas. I mean, think if you had a company with 1000 offices in rural areas (sounds a bit much for a country the size of Britain, but its an arbitrary number) that needed constant access to data and apps at corporate's data center - then think about the cost of running fiber, T1s or whatever out to them - as they are rural it is going to be incredibly expensive for each branch.

8 Million GBP may sound like a ton of money, but they are offering a ton of data in exchange. This may be very attractive to a few large corporations with tons of users using mobile data, corporations with tons of field users or rural offices, and news agencies.

My big question is if EE is going to use these fees to help them build up their network. I am not sure how efficient EE is, but if they sale a few of these packages, I am sure that those users will be expecting exceptional service, and if you get a few of those users all clustered together in a place like London, you are going to have a pretty congested network, and if I am outside of London, I better hope I am in a 4G coverage area. So if I am any of the customers I have mentioned above, than I am hoping that EE would be using this to help finance the building out of their network infastructure.

Re:expensive (1)

therealobsideus (1610557) | about a year ago | (#45383485)

Um, I worked for a Fortune 200 (telecommunications industry) and my team alone would generate over 5 petabytes of data every month and a half, give or take a few weeks. Mind you, my 'team' consisted of several hundred people, but we were a huge organization with over 40,000 direct workers and 39,000 contract workers. This type of organization is what this plan is aimed for....

Re:expensive (1)

gravis777 (123605) | about a year ago | (#45390201)

Yes, but were you using a 4G network?

Re:expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45386143)

> AT&T, which only charges $10/gb

Why are people defending AT&T with these irrational lies? That is a complete and utter lie. AT&T charges a hell of a lot more than that:

I know because I get raped for $20,428.80 per gigabyte by them. I just posted the proof you damn liar.

You AT&T shills are disgusting. Please stop trying to ruin this site by disrupting it with your nonsense. Seriously, go kill yourself.

Re:expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45381339)

... thats 8M euros for the petabyte...

Would be more like 10M Euros.

Re:expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45381439)

You got the punctuation wrong, again it would be like 10 Euros for, Million-Petabyte 4G, data bundle.

Re:expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45381453)

1048576 GB in 1 PB. £8 * 1048576 = £6,710,8864. Sounds like a rip off to me.

Re:expensive (1)

CaptQuark (2706165) | about a year ago | (#45381579)

Actually, it's 8M Pounds for the Petabyte...


Re:expensive (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#45381855)

Note that this is primarily targeting companies needing UPLOAD capacity. Where normal consumers use download mostly.

I wonder what the transfer rates are in this bundle.

Better summery: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45381215)

"EE is offering bundles of 50TB, 100TB, 200TB, 500TB and 1PB, with each gigabyte costing £8 per GB." && "The operator is targeting data intensive industries such as broadcasting, which traditionally rely on satellite uplinks" && "According to EE, satellite uplinks cost £20 per gigabyte and must be booked in advance"

Re: Better summery: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45381329)

What speeds do they get with satellite? Are they guaranteed a speed with either? "4G" (HSPA+? LTE?) is fast, but it's getting crowded.

Re: Better summery: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45382115)

This is the UK, HSPA+ has never been sold as 4G. 4G refers to LTE, and LTE only.

Re: Better summery: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45382935)

You can roll up pretty much anywhere with a satellite van, not so with 4G.

They are missing the point.

Another antiquated space-based (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45381427)

technology rendered obsolete by advances in technology. The space-based future envisioned in the '60s sure looks more and more quaint every day.

Re:Another antiquated space-based (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45382123)

It was a good troll, but have you ever actually tried to use a mobile 'phone for anything mission critical? And "4G" is mostly marketing hype, providing significant speed improvements only if no more than about three people in the area are saturating their connections at once, and a horrible recipe for RFI.

Give me satellite any day. If my dish can see it, I can transmit to it. And if I can transmit to it, I get the capacity I am expecting.

Also my 4G plan, for business and home use, costs £8 for 5GB. Yes, I negotiated it. Yes, fuck you EE.

Do The Right Thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45381429)

Charge exactly as much as competitors (or even your corporation), charges for the cheapest plan.

If they do this, and spread the word well, they will see profit.

Regardless, today, this is a service that should be provided for free. We, at least in the USA, still charge for phone usage, ignoring the fact that phone accessibility is a literal necessity of modern life.

Please let this capitalization of necessary resources cease.

12.80 US Dollar pre GB is high (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#45381457)

on most systems it's like $10-15 for going over your plan base pack and I think if your buying a big corporate plan the rate is a lot lower then that.

Re:12.80 US Dollar pre GB is high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45381485)

Try this instead []

£8 / GB is horrible! (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#45381531)

So, that's about $13 / GB. AT&T (ie. the global rip off artist of the century) basically charges $10 / GB to inividuals. So, EE can't do any better than a 30% premium over that for a $13M contract!? How is this in any way interesting?

Re:£8 / GB is horrible!^H^H^H^H cheap (1)

mathew42 (2475458) | about a year ago | (#45381911)

So, that's about $13 / GB. AT&T (ie. the global rip off artist of the century) basically charges $10 / GB to inividuals.

Cheap by Australian standards. Telstra charge [] $25 for 1GB, with excess data at 10c/MB or $40 with no excess data charges. You can pay $95 for 15GB with same excess data 10c/MB excess data charge. The prepaid option is even worse $20 for 250MB up to $180 for 12GB.

amaysim's [] $9.90 for 1GB or $29.90 for 4GB is about as cheap as it gets in Australia.

Re:£8 / GB is horrible!^H^H^H^H cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45382143)

I miss Kogan Mobile.

Re:£8 / GB is horrible!^H^H^H^H cheap (1)

fisted (2295862) | about a year ago | (#45385165)


Re:£8 / GB is horrible!^H^H^H^H cheap (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#45388147)

Yeah, but Australia is notorious for *horrible* Internet prices.

And even you are saying 15GB is $95, which is just over $6 / GB. *That* is the sort of volume discount I'm talking about. So you'd think buying 1 PB of data would give an even *better* one. Since it clearly didn't, this article is fairly pointless...

Stupidly expensive (0)

Retron (577778) | about a year ago | (#45381567)

Stupidly expensive, which has been the story of EE's 4G in general.

3, for example, offer consumers 7 GB for £25 (=£3.57/GB) on their network - and that's as a PAYG thing. If you're a business and bulk-buying it'd be way cheaper than that. The only snag is that 3 doesn't offer 4G (yet)... when it does, expect EE's pricing to plummet!

Re:Stupidly expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45382539)

Also, 3's uplink is significantly better than EE's uplink (which they mostly inherited from Orange). It's currently excluded from the SamKnows/EU testing, but I've been conducting my own research.

Packet loss of 3%-4% is not uncommon and on uncongested (reset) cells, they appear to have only 256kbps upstream. HDSPA+ has been known to do that. It seems like many of the cell towers themselves are using DSLAM upstreams.

The reason that 3 waited was so they could use more advanced LTE transponders. Sadly, they won't be renaming themselves to 4.

You also have the carrier-grade NAT issue with both of them. I don't know about 3, but EE's (former Orange's) network architecture means they can't avoid that without rebuilding their infrastructure.

None of the mobile operators comes even close to being able to manage the reliability and throughput of a satellite uplink or a fibre run, or even a coax cable line.

Re:Stupidly expensive (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#45383703)

I recently switched to 3 for their 3-2-1 plan (pay as you go, 3p/min for calls, 2p/text, 1p/MB of data, with 150MB free [expires after a month] when you top up). I've actually started using the data facilities on my phone while mobile since then. I used to only use it when I was near WiFi, because most of the stuff I'd want to do while mobile is only 1-2MB and my previous carrier had a flat rate per day for data up to a cap. Now, using 2MB of data is only 2p, which is expensive in comparison to doing it at home, but not enough money to actually care about, even if I did it every day.

Lacklustre service (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45381621)

EE [] and their subsidiaries are the most complained about telecommunications company in the United Kingdom, according to the regulator Ofcom. They may want to rethink their target market for this service too [] .

8 million gbp ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45381797)

and the suckers who buy don't even get unlimited downloads. wtf?

4G coverage (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year ago | (#45381953)

As if anyone can get 4G coverage long enough to actually put data over it at any interesting rates. You'd have to search for a location where your signal is strong enough so much, that you could just as well be looking for a wifi uplink that will cost nothing more than a cup of coffee at a starbucks or equivalent.

Re:4G coverage (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year ago | (#45382053)

Most public wifi is hanging off the end of a DSL line and has really poor upstream, you wouldn't want to be using that to upload large files.

Move to denmark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45382167)

How can be such a big difference in what you get what you pay I just looked at the Danish Internet provider and they offer 1000 GB for as little as 300kr (around 34£) a month and that's LTE.

And yes this is a business plan not a average consumer plan

So 0,034£ / GB
34000 £ / PB not 8.000.000 £

typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45382229)

Perfect if all your users happen to be in the middle of major metropolitan cities. Useless if you live in suburbs or any other place

Re:typical (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#45383635)

Perfect if all your users happen to be in the middle of major metropolitan cities. Useless if you live in suburbs or any other place

Which suburbs? I don't know about the UK, but here in the NYC suburbs (Long Island) we get 4G data no problem.

Sign me up! (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45383863)

British Operator EE Offers £8 Million Petabyte 4G Data Bundle

£8 for a million petabytes? I'll take two.

Re:Sign me up! (1)

fisted (2295862) | about a year ago | (#45384979)

came here to say that.

$0.4/GB in Eastern Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45385423)

In Eastern Europe you pay about $0.4 per GByte or around 40$/month flatrate to access 4G networks.
So this british offer is very expensive.

EE shutting down cell towers (1)

kinarduk (734762) | about a year ago | (#45386049)

Since the merger of Orange and T-Mobile, EE have been cost cutting by shutting down cell towers with overlaps. This sounds reasonable, but it's having a huge effect on signal strength and quality. Initially they denied there was a problem, now they can't hide the fact the service is suffering. So if you're a business with £8 million in your pocket, make sure you do your due diligence and check coverage in your area! Remember what you check now might not be there when you want to use it, as EE are still decommissioning towers!
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