What You Need to Know
Owned by O2, giffgaff is one of the largest low-cost mobile networks in the UK. Known for their affordable monthly SIM-only bundles, they offer access to the same solid coverage as O2 at a lower price.
Giffgaff offers pay monthly bundles and pay-as-you-go (PAYG) service. Pay monthly bundles range between £5 and £20 depending on the phone and features you need. PAYG rates start at 15p per minute, 5p per text and 5p per MB of data used. As long as you top up at least once every 90 days, you can also call other giffgaff numbers at no charge.
If you have your own mobile, their SIM-only plans make it easy to use your existing device. Giffgaff supports both 3G and 4G phones, making most devices from the past few years compatible with their service. They also offer a wide range of new mobiles if you need one. However, their device financing terms often mean you’ll pay more that if you bought the mobile outright.
- Great prices
- Good coverage
- 4G access
- PAYG bundles available
- Decent phone selection
- No highstreet or phone support
- High-interest device financing
- “Always On” data is throttled
- Low data allotments compared to other carriers
- The O2 network giffgaff uses ranked last on Overall Download Speeds in OpenSignal's "State of Mobile Networks: UK (April 2017)" report
- Always On Data: When you use your 6GB of 4G data for the month, you’ll find your speeds throttled. However, from midnight until 8am, you’ll have full-speed access. If you’re a night owl, this can add up to some serious data use.
- giffgaff Payback: Earn bonuses for referring friends or helping out on the giffgaff forms that you can payout in cash or use toward your giffgaff service. You can find out more on their Payback page.
Awards and Recognitions
- Uses the O2 network, ranked #2 in 4G Availability in OpenSignal's "State of Mobile Networks: UK (April 2017)" report
- Uses the O2 network, #4 in Ookla’s 2016 Speedtest Market Report UK for both upload and download speeds
- Uses the O2 network, #4 in overall download speeds in OpenSignal’s 2016 UK State of the Mobile Network report
- Uses the O2 network, #4 in 3G download speeds in OpenSignal’s 2016 UK State of the Mobile Network report
- Uses the O2 network, #4 for 4G download and upload speeds in Ofcom’s 2016 Smartphone Cities report
- Uses the O2 network, #4 in 3G download speeds in Ofcom’s 2016 Smartphone Cities report
How's the Network Coverage and Speed?
Giffgaff uses the O2 network. Their 3G network covers 98% of the UK population. Their 4G network covers 78%. If you’re near a major UK city, you should have no problem finding 4G or 4G LTE service.
You can check coverage and network types in your area at their support page.
In the 2016 “Speedtest Market Report UK”, the network ranked fourth for both upload and download speeds. Uploads averaged 8 Mbits per second while downloads averaged 16 Mbits per second.
Finally, Ofcom’s 2016 “Smartphone Cities” report shows overall download speeds across 8 of the UK’s major cities averaging 13 Mbits per second.
Do They Charge Roaming Fees?
If you're travelling within the EU, you can use your existing bundle or pay standard UK PAYG rates in "most European countries."
Currently, giffgaff doesn't offer 4G roaming. So your browsing speeds might be a little slower. Also, if you have an Always-On Goodybag, you can only use 6GB of data per month while roaming within the EU. You'll pay a 0.78p per MB surcharge for additional data.
They note that their fee-free EU roaming is only mean for occasional use. Restrictions may apply if they feel usage is not fair.
Outside the EU, roaming rates vary by destination. To find out more about giffgaff’s roaming options, consult their Roaming with giffgaff page.
What About Long Distance Fees?
All giffgaff plans include calling to mobiles and landlines in the UK with your monthly minute balance.
For calls outside the UK, you’ll enjoy affordable per-minute rates without the need for add-ons. You can search the country you wish to call on the giffgaff International page.
Does giffgaff Offer Wi-Fi Calling?
No, giffgaff does not support native Wi-Fi calling or offer a Wi-Fi calling app.
How About Voice over LTE (VoLTE)?
Can I Tether My Mobile?
Tethering is included at no additional charge on all of giffgaff’s goodybag bundles.
NOTE: Tethering with a laptop or gaming console will often result in more data use than using your phone. If you have a tariff with a small data bucket, monitor your tethering usage to avoid unwanted surprises.
Can I Rollover Unused Data?
No. Giffgaff does not include data rollover with any of their current tariffs.
What Add-ons or Bundles are Available?
Giffgaff’s service is centered around monthly bundles. Goodybags offer a selection of voice, minute and text options while gigabags are data-only plans intended for use with a tablet or personal hotspot.
Options range between £5 and £20. If you run out of your bundle before the end of the month, you can re-up early.
For a full list of bundle options, see giffgaff’s SIM Only Plans page.
Can I Bring My Own Mobile?
Yes! Giffgaff started as a SIM-only provider. Using the O2 network for 3G and 4G, there’s a good chance you can bring your unlocked phone or O2 phone to giffgaff.
You’ll find a full list of pay monthly, PAYG and mobile data plans on their SIM Only Plans page.
Do They Require a Credit Check?
As all of giffgaffs plans are prepaid bundles or PAYG, you don’t need a credit check to establish service.
However, phone financing through giffgaff is subject to credit approval.
Do They Charge an Early Termination Fee?
As there are no term contracts with giffgaff, there is no need to worry about early termination fees. However, if you financed your device through giffgaff, you are still required to continue making payments toward your financing agreement.
Can I Port My Number To or From giffgaff?
All mobile networks in the UK must provide a PAC Code upon request. Giving this code to a new network will allow you to transfer your number.
To port your number to or from giffgaff, contact customer support and request your PAC code. They must deliver your PAC code within 2 hours of your request.
To receive your PAC code:
- The account you are trying to transfer from must remain open.
- You must be able to verify your identity through either personal documents or payment history
Once you receive your code, contact giffgaff or your new network and give them the code. In most cases, your number will transfer within 1 to 2 business days. Be sure to complete this process quickly, as PAC codes expire 30 days from the date they are issued.
Will They Unlock My Mobile?
All phones sold by giffgaff are already unlocked!
For other questions about pricing, features and coverage, be sure to check our giffgaff Q&A Forum. It’s filled with questions and answers from people like you looking to get the most out of their mobile service!
If you spot any errors or missing information, please let us know! It's definitely appreciated and will help make this page better for everyone.
Voice network: GSM 900 / 1800 MHz
Data network: UMTS, HSDPA, HSPA+, LTE
Hertz House, 11 Vine Street, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 1QE
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