Smartone-Vodafone Dropping POP3

Smartone-Vodafone LogoWell not exactly… that are dropping POP3 in the list of protocol that comes free with their “Internet Browsing” plan.

For those iPhone users in Hong Kong who followed my advice and subscribed to the Smartone-Vodafone’s “Internet Browsing” and the GSM 2G/3G Data plans, you should have received a SMS from Smartone-Vodafone to inform you that they will be dropping the POP3 protocol within the “Internet Browsing” plan.

One less protocol in the already limited features list of this “Internet Browsing” plan; you can see my article, “iPhone Hacked in Hong Kong on Smartone-Vodafone“, from a Smartone-Vodafone customer’s point of view on using the iPhone in Hong Kong for my opinions on this plan.

I am not certain if this decision of Smartone-Vodafone is the direct result of too many Smartphone and iPhone users using the Internet Browsing plan for POP3 and IMAP access. It is very obvious that their Product Development department did not think clearly about this plan before they launch it, and now they are trying to recover by dissecting the features of this plan further. Spawning even more VAS from it.

If you are one of the many iPhone users who took my advise in the article, “iPhone Hacked in Hong Kong on Smartone-Vodafone“, then there is no need for you to do anything. Unless your POP3 usage is so large that it exceeds your current 2G/3G Data plan monthly quota. In that case you may want to weight the benefit of upgrading to the higher 2G/3G Data plan of the new “POP3” VAS to the Internet Browsing plan.

Note: that Smartone-Vodafone only speak of POP3 and they did not mention IMAP, nor did they exclude any POP3 access over a VPN. So you should take these into consideration if you need to argue with them on your next phone bill.

2 Replies to “Smartone-Vodafone Dropping POP3”

  1. Hi Vinko,Have read your posts on smartone-vodafone and was very interested in your findings as I'm in the same situation with an iPhone 3g on smartone network.I've been testing usage since I bought the phone last month, and found that the only extra data usage on top of internet browsing I was charged was checking the weather (apps such as bloomberg, youtube were fine, I checked this by keeping a calendar on which days I used which application).Were you able to extract any additional information from your test? i.e. which apps exactly gets charged?I'll continue my tests in my next bill cycle, would be interesting to share results.

  2. Hi Andreas,Thank you for sharing your findings.I find that most 3rd Party applications like Evernote, Qik, Palringo and NetNewsWire are causing Smartone-Vodafone to charge me data rate on top of what comes with the Internet Browsing plan.Also, since a few months back, Smartone had remove the inclusion of email traffic from the Internet Browsing plan. They now charge a heavy monthly plan for email service.As a result of the above change a 3G Data plan; I recommend the HKD118/month plan, which gives you 20MB per month to cover those extraneous data usage on top of he Internet Browsing plan is ideal for average iPhone use in HK.

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