I’ve been a long time fan of giffgaff. The proposition – web only, no call centres, with a social element – appeals to me and the pricing is excellent. The downside for me has always been the fact that giffgaff uses the O2 network (not surprising as giffgaff is part of O2!). In my experience 3G coverage is horribly patchy. Even in central London coverage is flaky, at home it is non-existent. An example here is London Bridge mainline station; even when 3G coverage is apparently available, there is no data throughput. If it wasn’t for the giffgaff proposition I would have moved on a long time ago.
Recently I received an email asking me if I’d like to take part in the giffgaff 4G launch trial. Whilst O2’s 4G coverage is geographically limited, where they do have coverage (e.g. central London) it must surely be better than their 3G. I’ve already swapped my SIM for a 4G compatible one (using the simple giffgaff online SIM swap process), in preparation for 4G so now I await it going live – in early April.
Pricing seems fair with 4G data being capped whereas 3G data was typically unlimited. The 2GB cap on the £12 tariff will certainly be enough for me. I already use EE 4G on my iPad Mini and it does make a big difference, compared with 3G. With 4G tariffs now available with no premium from Three it can only be a matter of time before 4G becomes part of mainstream data packages across all mobile operators.
If you’re interested in signing up with giffgaff you can get a free giffgaff SIM here, plus £5 extra credit when you activate your SIM.