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Rates 3, how affordable are they?

Are Tre's fares affordable or not? Certainly the question will be asked by many of our readers who, although prepared by the series of articles that anticipated much of the tariffs of the fourth Italian mobile operator, learned tonight the costs of subscriptions and rechargeable. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this question. As often happens with regard to the market for telephone tariffs, a lot, if not everything depends on the use that is made of the mobile phone, what are the habits of daily life, how and how much one calls and navigates. In the case of middle 3 there is also the factor, not at all relative, of the particular network coverage of the operator of the Hutchison Whampoa group and of the application of the national roaming system.

Before even going into an analysis of the costs of the tariffs, let's start right here and clarify that 3 an operator "only UMTS". In this respect, it has undeniable advantages compared to Vodafone and Tim; where in fact you will be sure that the connection will be at high speed, unlike Tim (which has a large network but the EDGE cover very often overlaps the 3G one) or Vodafone (which even where not in 3G in GPRS). Having an all UMTS network and being the fourth mobile operator to arrive in Italy, added to the reduced load of customers (around 9 million against Tim's 35 million and Vodafone's 30 million) often allows for a more connected connection. fast.

3 three tariffs 3But the advantages are also compounded by the disadvantages. The UMTS 3 coverage comparable, more or less, to that of Vodafone and Tim; in practice the large and medium-sized cities and all the main communication routes with some excursions in medium and small towns. The difference lies in the fact that where there is no coverage 3 you go roaming and not, like Vodafone and Tim on a traditional network (which covers about 98% of the population). When this happens the rates 3 of the special bundle for iPhone are not valid. You therefore pay on consumption; generally for data the cost of one euro per MB for rechargeable, for subscriptions of 60 cents per MB, at the moment it is difficult to define the costs since the offer is not exactly explained in all the details. Deactivate roaming, unless a inadvisable modification of the operator settings carried out manually, not entirely intuitive (you have to force the connection to 3 in the cellular network selection excluding the automatic selection) and when this is done you have to resign yourself to a series of boring error messages inviting you to check your network settings.

For this reason, before subscribing to 3 to buy an iPhone, it would be good to carry out some checks on the places you usually frequent, the first home, your office, the routes you take, to understand if there is coverage 3 or not. If not, you probably have to think for a moment before going to a store and buying iPhone from the H3G operator.

Another element to keep in mind that 3 uses a particular definition of the traffic and bundles included, divided by weeks. In particular, taking for example the Zero6 Top the 400 minutes, 200 SMS and 4 GB of data are divided into 1 GB weekly blocks, 50 SMS and 100 minutes of calls. Beyond the threshold, even weekly, you pay according to consumption with SMS of 15 cents, 15 cents per minute for calls and 20 cents per MB for data. The Zero7 Top and Zero8 Top plans also have a similar limitation that divides monthly data by four for each week. In practical terms and using a more rigorous (and perhaps even clearer) definition one should not speak of a monthly threshold but more properly of a weekly monthly payment threshold.

Among other details there is also the fact that for rechargeable plans (which have a recharge obligation of 10 to 30 euros) the 3 GB free for navigation are included only until January when, subject to the extension of the promotion , you will have a cost of 5 euros per month.

Made a little light on these clauses which for some customers certainly have a not negligible value, it must be said that, at least in terms of prices 3 it seems to have set up a decidedly attractive offer both in terms of the cost of the mobile phone, especially for what concerns the 8 GB version, which of subscriptions.

At 29 euros, for example, you get an 8 GB iPhone at 99 euros with 100 minutes of calling, 1 GB of data and 50 SMS per week. Vodafone, just to make a comparison, requires 60 euros per month for 500 minutes (plus unlimited to a Vodafone mobile), 2 GB of data and no SMS, making the iPhone then pay 199 euros. To have a zero euro iPhone you have to spend only 79 euros per month against 160 from Vodafone, getting from 3 500 minutes, 5 GB and 150 SMS per week against 2500 minutes and 2 GB per month of Vodafone. In addition to this 3 it allows you to use iPhone for tethering navigation, which Vodafone does not allow. If you go to the high end of the iPhone, the 32 GB model, the purchase costs of 3 are higher (199 euros against 129 euros of Vodafone), but at full capacity with Vodafone 3969 euros will have been spent (phone included) against 2090 of those who subscribe to a 3-way subscription, a very significant saving.

Not much different is the speech for Tim who requires a subscription of even 180 per month to give the iPhone 8 GB free. The threshold of calls in "stellar" voice (5000 minutes), but the data are few compared to those of 3 (5 per month against 5 the week of 3). Spending 35 a month with Tim you get an iPhone at 189 euros (90 more than the Zero6 Top of 29 euros by 3) and 200 minutes and 1 GB of browsing per month against the aforementioned 100 minutes, 1 GB and 50 SMS per week of 3. But if nothing else Tim allows, like 3, to use the data included in the bundle with tethering, which does not allow, as mentioned, instead Vodafone.

Finally, it is worth noting that in offer 3 there is also a rechargeable that with a minimum of 10 euros per month of recharge commitment thanks to a discount of 100 euros on an iPhone 8 GB and 3 GB of data included in the month (until January in promotion). The option to report why neither of the two competitors has anything similar; well to do some personal account to understand if it is actually convenient to be tied to 3 for 24 months, ending up spending, at least, 639 euros (iPhone 8 Gb from 399 plus 240 euros of top-ups), or if it is not convenient to spend 100 euros more for the telephone (practically 4 euros per month) obtaining the freedom to change operators when desired.

So far what, hot, a few hours after the official announcement of the rates, can be said of offer 3. Something more and maybe even more in depth can be said over the next few days when, also thanks to the contribution of our readers (who are invited to contact us to report their impressions and their opinions), we may perhaps make some insights. Until then, however, the general impression that although not facing a radical revolution with respect to the offer of 3 n to the iPhone system worldwide, if nothing else, the mobile operator of H3G seems to have put an element in more in the not too dynamic system on which the competition on the iPhone lived in Italy; above all, it lowered the costs of entry into the iPhone world, also providing a functional data quota for the identity of the terminal, even the lowest monthly cost levels.

Whether this will move the two mobile operators who first launched the Apple phone, bringing them to some discounts, or move the Italian customers convincing them to abandon the freedom to buy iPhone at full price to use it as they prefer without two-year constraints, all remains to be seen. What is beyond doubt that a winner is already there: it is Apple that sees the increase in the exposure of its phone, placed at price levels that could raise the antennas to more than one customer who until yesterday did not even have considered the Apple mobile phone.

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