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All you can eat for £3 (data, that is)

Data. It's not just a charming robot from Star Trek: The Next Generation: it's also the stuff which makes up this web page and every other, as well as emails, videos and photos. And while once it was just something which flowed from our home PCs to the internet and back, now it's flowing in and out of our mobiles as well.

More and more of it, in fact. According to the mobile network Three, iPhone 4 customers use an average of 1.2GB of mobile data a month, more than double the figure a year ago.

The problem is, most mobile phone tariffs that include a data package only offer 1GB. And the rates if you go over that figure can be comically punitive - £2/MB or more.

What's the answer? Well, hopefully, unlimited data plans - you pay a little more, but you buy the peace of mind of knowing you're not going to get a huge bill. That's what Three have just announced: they'll be offering pay monthly customers - unlimited data for £3 a month. It follows on from their One Plan, which offers all-you-can-eat data and lots of voice minutes and texts for £25 a month. This new option gives infinite data to those with lower needs for calls and text messages.

Of course, it's not really 'unlimited' - there's a fair use cause, meaning those who use their phones to constantly upload movies to the web or similar will be told to cut it out. But for most Three customers this should really mean peace of mind, which is nice. Let's see if the other mobile networks follow suit.

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