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GiffGaff UK Scraps Unlimited Mobile Broadband Data Plans

Thursday, Sep 11th, 2014 (8:13 am) - Score 12,332

Customers of mobile operator GiffGaff look set to be disappointed when it removes the “Unlimited Internet” component from two of their top interchangeable monthly SIM-only (goodybags) plans. The allowance will, effective from 24th September 2014, instead be replaced by a capped quota of just a few GigaBytes and a new Traffic Management change will drop some speeds to just 300Kbps (0.3Mbps).

At present GiffGaff offers a range of so-called ‘goodybags’, which start at £5 per month (60 UK minutes, 300 UK texts, 20MB Internet, free to other giffgaff numbers) and rise to £20 (2,000 UK minutes, unlimited UK texts / Internet, free to other giffgaff numbers). The latest change concerns the top three goodybags that all include unlimited Internet usage.

GiffGaffs Current Top 3 Goodybags

£12 per month
250 UK minutes
Unlimited UK texts
Unlimited Internet
Free to giffgaff numbers

£15 per month
500 UK minutes
Unlimited UK texts
Unlimited Internet
Free to giffgaff numbers

£20 per month
2,000 UK minutes
Unlimited UK texts
Unlimited Internet
Free to giffgaff numbers

Unfortunately both the £12 and £15 goodybags will lose “unlimited Internet” and instead see it being replaced by a capped 3GB (GigaByte) and 5GB allowance (oddly existing users of the £15 service will continue to get “unlimited Internet“, but those on the £12 option will not). On the upside the £12 service will now come with 500 UK minutes and the top £20 package will retain “unlimited Internet“, while also dropping in price to £18 per month (this will last until 31st March 2015).

Back to the bad news and Giffgaff, which has previously disconnected heavy data users from its service (here), has also confirmed some changes to their existing Traffic Management (Traffic Flow) policy.

Traffic Flow Changes

To protect your data experience, even during the busiest hours of the day, we will add the following Traffic Flow measures to all of our unlimited data goodybags:

a) Where members are using more than their fair share of network resource during the busiest hours, a 300 kilobits per second (kbps) restriction will be introduced for the remainder of the peak period. This speed will ensure that members are able to use the internet but with less impact on other members.

b) A peer to peer speed restriction of 100 kbps during peak hours will also be introduced for these members.

Any speed restriction will be removed at the end of the peak period.

In addition to these changes, we are also kicking off a project to improve our video optimisation capability. This will have two key benefits to your experience – it will reduce the amount of data which is used to stream a video on giffgaff, meaning that your data allowance goes even further. In addition, it will reduce the load on the network and protect the network experience.

In a short statement Giffgaff, which is one of O2’s Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO), said, “We do understand that unlimited data is popular but it does create network problems that we are seeking to address with these changes.” But the changes don’t stop there and Giffgaff also intends to introduce a few new features to its service on the same day. Firstly, members will now be able to purchase a new goodybag before their current one expires.

Secondly, a new system of text usage notifications has been introduced to help inform customers when they’re running low on an allowance. In the case of data, customers will receive a text message to let them know when they’ve reached 80% and 100% of their inclusive allowance. Giffgaff will also send a message if you reach 100% of your minutes allowance.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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