I love a bargain. Like, I really love a bargain. So when a new network launches in Ireland offering unlimited calls, texts and data for €9.99 per month, my ears pricked up. Before I knew it, I had two sims ordered. Not a single term or condition had been read. Now, in the safety net of my 14-day distance selling period which means I can cancel these seems for the next two weeks, I’ve read through the terms. Have I found any snags? Just what is the catch with Eir’s new network GoMo?
With GoMo, Is Unlimited Really Unlimited?
GoMo promises to give you “all you need” to stay connected. Their offering is deliberately vague to keep you focused on that €9.99 per month price tag. But, let’s take a step back and look at what unlimited means with GoMo.
For your unlimited calls, there is a fair usage policy which caps your plan at 45,000 minutes. That means you’d need to be on your phone for longer than a month. Which isn’t really possible because by the time a month rolls around your plan will be rolling over into the following month’s allowance.
Technically, as unlikely as it is to happen it’s possible and if you manage it, calls over the 45,000 minutes will be charged at 30c per minute.
I’d say I sent about five text messages per month these days. Everything is in WhatsApp so the reliance on SMS is at an all time low. Till GoMo gives you 10,000 SMS messages to send every month. Again, a ludicrous allowance. We can split hairs over the wording being inaccurate because it’s not really unlimited, but 10,000 messages are too many for one person to get through. That’s an amount to stop automated systems abusing the service.
If you do manage to go over the 10,000 messages, your excess messages will be charged at 15c per message.
We live in an age where data is king. Noone really cares about calls or texts. Actually, just last week I thought about removing the phone from the app tray on my phone. I use everything else like music and email than I do phone calls. This is the big play by GoMo. Focus on the data.
Again, unlimited data is not unlimited data on GoMo. But any time you see “unlimited data” or “All You Can Eat Data”, I can tell you that it’s not completely without limits. Like calls and texts above, there’s a fair usage policy there somewhere. The difference with data is that it’s much easier for you to surpass your data allowance.
With GoMo, you’re given a very generous 80GB of data. However, it wouldn’t be unheard of to download more than 80GB of data in a month. That would be over twenty thousand Spotify tracks. To make things even more real, it’s about 80 hours of Netflix. If you get stuck into a binge, you could really go over that.
For the price, I could see plenty of students thinking they could just buy one of these sims and slap it into a modem to run a house. For sure, it’ll work but 80GB of data will evaporate quickly this way. So what will GoMo do when this happens?
It’s very simple. GoMo reserves the right to throttle users who exceed the fair usage policy and, as a result, impact other users in the same area. In theory, you might never be impacted by exceeding your fair usage policy, but GoMo claims they will be keeping an eye out for this.
Roaming is one of the areas you need to be careful with GoMo. If you’re in the European Union, things are pretty good. Over the past few years, roaming in Europe has become a dream and, legally, GoMo needs to honour the rules of Europe and let people access the internet.
Roaming Inside the EU
The new network from Eir will give you 10GB of data to roam in the EU. Unlike using data back home, if you go over the 10GB of roaming data, you’ll need to start paying for excess data. The going rate for this is €5.54 per GB and the network will notify you to say you’ve gone over your limit.
You can still use your calls and texts from back home while roaming in Europe too. This works for calling people back home and not numbers in the country your visiting.
Roaming Outside the EU
To be honest, it might be best you steer clear of roaming outside the EU with GoMo. This is a no-frills network and roaming outside the EU is certainly a frill for them. If you want to use data in the United States, it’s charged at €4.99 per MB. That’s over five thousand euro for one GB of data in the States.
Steer clear of this.
GoMo: Full Roaming Charges
|Region||Make Call||Receive Call||Send SMS||Voicemail Rates||Data Charging|
|Africa||€2.99/min||€2.99/min||€0.39||€2.99/min||€4.99/MB (€5,109.76 / GB)|
|Americas||€1.99/min||€1.99/min||€0.39||€1.99/min||€4.99/MB (€5,109.76 / GB)|
|Asia||€2.99/min||€2.99/min||€0.39||€2.99/min||€4.99/MB (€5,109.76 / GB)|
|Rest of Europe||€1.99/min||€1.99/min||€0.39||€1.99/min||€4.99/MB (€5,109.76 / GB)|
|USA||€1.99/min||€1.99/min||€0.39||€1.99/min||€4.99/MB (€5,109.76 / GB)|
I know that’s all pretty heavy, but for the vast majority of users, there’s very little risk or impact here when it comes to using your GoMo sim in Ireland. So what else do you need to look out for?
There’s an Activation Fee
Straight of the bat, GoMo will require you to pay €9.99 to get your sim up and running. Actually, this isn’t unheard of in Eir who still sometimes charge this fee. To be totally honest, for €9.99 per month, that activation fee didn’t even make me bat an eyelid.
What Phones Will Work on GoMo?
To get a phone to work on GoMo it’ll need to either be unlocked or locked to Eir. I’d imagine an old Meteor phone would also work if you find yourself in that kind of strange situation.
Will the Network Be Slow?
Interestingly, Eir decided to make GoMo a 4G network. I say interestingly because Three’s similar network, 48 Months is limited to 3G. Ultimately, this means that GoMo should be just as fast as any of the major networks in Ireland. The exception being Vodafone who now offers 5G internet in some select locations.
On the surface, it would appear that speed should not be a problem at all. However, the eagle-eyed Cillian Sherlock from RTÉ spotted an interesting line of GoMo’s terms and conditions.
If you're looking at switching to #GoMo from @eir – you should test your current provider's 4G speeds and compare them with this from GoMo's coverage map. Estimated MAXIMUM 4G download speeds of 10Mb/s.https://t.co/kcPJtwH3zu pic.twitter.com/G3sGdAdF0x
— Cillian Sherlock (@cilliansherlock) October 15, 2019
GoMo outlined some theoretical speeds you might expect to get on their network and they were slow. 10Mb/s would drive most modern streamers fairly mad. I don’t expect the network to be that slow at all and would imagine that this is a blended average of speeds from across the country.
After doing some digging, tech journalist Adrian Weckler came to the conclusion that these speeds wont be caps at all but instead conservative estimates.
Checked this, as it’s very important: Eir isn’t putting a lower speed cap on GoMo.
So while its T&Cs say “estimated” 10Mbs max speed, it’s whatever the Eir network offers in that spot. Could be 5Mbs, could be 20Mbs.
— Adrian Weckler (@adrianweckler) October 15, 2019
I’ve done some tests myself and speed certainly doesn’t seem to be an issue. Download speeds are as fast if not faster than other major networks. Upload speed, however, is a quite a bit slower which may be an issue for the posting stories generation. It’s also worth a thought that GoMo doesn’t have that many people on the network right now, so maybe contention will grow in the coming months and slow everyone down.
Update: Don’t Miss a Payment
Initially, after a quick look at the terms and conditions, I thought that a missed payment with GoMo meant your number was gone. That’s not the case. If you miss a payment, it rolls over to the following month. Once your account goes into arrears of €30 or more, your account will be suspended. To regain access, you need to contact GoMo and make a payment. Then your account is back up and running.
Looks like another catch that simply isn’t.
Can I Move My Number To GoMo Later?
Yep! If you’re in a contract and don’t want to miss out on this launch offer, you can sign up then swap your own number onto the network when it suits you. You’ll be paying two bills, but if you see the value go for it. It’s what I’m doing myself. I’m going to check out the network and continue to read the terms and conditions to make sure there’s no catch before moving my own number onto the network.
That’s covering off the biggest fears I had, but have I missed something? Let me know in the comments below if there’s another question mark you have over this almost too good to be true offer and I’ll find out for you.
For now, it does largely seem to be a great offer from GoMo once you know the limitations like non-EU roaming. I’ll have a sim in the next few days and will be checking out speeds around Dublin, so I’ll update this article once I know more.