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Giffgaff Launch New UK 4G Tariffs – Now Say Goodbye to Unlimited Data

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 (3:15 am) - Score 3,986

Mobile operator giffgaff, which makes use of the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) platform from O2 UK, will tomorrow revamp its range of 4G and Tethering friendly mobile tariffs (goodybags) to include bigger Internet data allowances and more choice. Now say goodbye to the “unlimited” plan.

At present customers can pick from a selection of three 4G and three 3G based mobile plans (goodybags). The bad news is that their “unlimited” usage 3G plan at £20 per month will be coming to an end in January 2016 and their £12 plan will follow a little later (closing March 2016). On top of that the 3G plan for £15 has today also been removed.

In place of those giffgaff appear to be centralising around 4G tariffs, which can of course still drop back to 3G when the new service is not available. For existing 4G customers the new plans mean an extra 1GB of data on top of their existing allowances and double the free minutes for those who take giffgaff’s £15 and £18 plans.

Sadly those who subscribe to the old 3G goodybag plans will actually see a loss of 1GB from their data allowances at the same price point (e.g. the £12 plan use to have 3GB of data, but now it only comes with 2GB), although some of these plans also benefit from double the free calling minutes (i.e. the £15 and £20 goodybags). All of the new plans also include the usual free giffgaff to giffgaff calls.

GiffGaffs New Goodybag Tariffs

£5 per month
100 UK minutes
300 UK texts
100MB UK data

£7.50 per month
250 UK minutes
Unlimited UK texts
500MB UK data

£10 per month
500 UK minutes
Unlimited UK texts
1GB UK data

£12 per month
500 UK minutes
Unlimited UK texts
2GB UK data

£15 per month
1000 UK minutes
Unlimited UK texts
4GB UK data

£18 per month
2000 UK minutes
Unlimited UK texts
6GB UK data

£20 per month
Unlimited UK minutes
Unlimited UK texts
Always On UK data

The eagle eyed will have noticed that the new £20 plan, which previously promoted “unlimited” data usage, now touts the somewhat more ambiguous sounding “always on” UK data. We’re told that this Always On goodybag offers members 4G speeds on the first 6GB of data used and then access to unlimited data at a restricted speed (256Kbps) from 8am until midnight.

Giffgaff Statement

We know many of you find the concept of Unlimited appealing as it gives peace of mind that you will always have data. However over the last year we have seen a big reduction in the number of people who opt for Unlimited for a number of reasons: a price increase; bigger bundles at lower price points and; the introduction of one of our most popular member ideas, the ability to ‘Early repurchase’.

The fact remains though that a small number of Unlimited members still use a huge portion of our available data. Traffic Flow measures we’ve told you about over the last year have helped but they are not the full solution. With growing support in the Community for a new way to make the distribution of data fairer and protect the experience for all, the time feels right for a change.

On top of that it’s worth noting that giffgaff also sell two dedicated Mobile Broadband (data-only) plans (gigabags), which remain unchanged except for adding 4G support. The options are 500MB UK data for £5 per month or 1GB of UK data for £7.50.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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19 Responses
  1. Craski

    The wording of the “Always on Data” isnt 100% clear.
    Is it 6GB total allowance in the month before reducing speed or a 6GB max allowance / day?
    If its 6GB per month then that pretty much makes it unusable as a alternative/substitute for those with slow or no fixed line broadband. Perhaps that is their intention?

    • nknklnkl

      It’ll be 6GB per month. These products aren’t designed to be an alternative/substitute to fixed line broadband.

      As they say “The fact remains though that a small number of Unlimited members still use a huge portion of our available data” – networks have a finite amount of bandwidth they can move around before it starts to affect the wider user base.

    • Ignition

      That’s exactly their intention. No mobile operator wants people using their networks as substitutes for standard unlimited home broadband. The costs are considerably higher for them.

  2. adslmax Real

    I will be contact ASA to banned this misleading word ‘Always On Data’. They put hidden in the small print first 6GB then throttling to 256Kbps!

    Naughty gigggaff, you will be in serious trouble soon from ASA.

  3. JamesM

    I was on GG – I am now on 3. Best move I ever made. okay so it might be £20 now and not £15 for all you can eat data but that’s what it is and 4G free to boot!

    I struggled to get more than Edge on O2 here in Bristol

    • Yatta!

      I did the same about 2 years ago, managed to avoid Three’s recent £5 increase by queuing up several months worth of the £15 pack before the increase came in to effect.

      I’m in (South East) Bristol too, never had a problem getting a decent 3g signal on O2/GiffGaff really anywhere in Bristol (bar their frequent outages when I was a customer), though when out in the sticks in the West Country, O2 signal was often fairly dire, and I often found myself without reception.

      Three’s reception is fairly solid most places I’ve been/go to (in the UK), though their 4g signal is very week round where I live.

  4. RaptorX

    Whenever I hear of an ISP or mobile provider moving away from unlimited data, I think “underinvestment in the network”. Many ISPs now provide a truly unlimited service and it doesn’t physically cost anything to send data over a network, the charges are all artificial.

    • Tempest3K

      Not all the charges are artificial – those routers etc don’t power themselves for example……………

    • Ignition

      Presumably the equipment and fibre that carry the data are free?

      ISPs / mobile operators such as Giff Gaff that don’t own their own networks I guess are getting carriage over other people’s networks for free, too?

      Mobile is one really big case where data transport costs. Spectrum costs. Masts cost. Backhaul costs. Operating networks costs.

      Either they increase the charges dramatically across the board to compensate for not charging for usage or they charge for usage.

  5. “doesn’t physically cost anything to send data over a network”

    ROFL! 🙂

  6. Vince

    Yes I imagine the peering costs, transit, uplinks, power, site rental, business rates, and so on that apply are all absolutely free.

    So you can see why the networks should just give the service away too.

    • DanielM

      Network / transfer costs will cost much less for o2 though. that Army of proxy servers helps a lot especially with that image compression.

  7. RaptorX

    No, running costs are not that much and don’t have to be covered by the amound of data transferred. rofl to your ignorance.

    The big costs are buying and installing the gear, which is of course, expensive. All a provider really has to do is to charge monthly fees to cover these expenses and running costs such as staff, buildings etc + profit + future investment.

    Fact is, whether the equipment is sitting idle or running 100% the whole time makes very little difference (power use should go up a bit) hence why I said that charging per unit data is artificial. And I’m proved right by the number of ISPs that have made the investment in capacity and can therefore offer unlimited data plans. Zen, BT, PlusNet and TalkTalk are all good examples of this. Think about this before trying to rubbish what I’m saying and you’ll see I’m right.

    • Clearly you have no real concept of the costs involved in running an ISP. I am totally safe in my ROFL

    • nknklnkl

      RaptorX, you clearly have no knowledge or experience of the running costs for mobile networks or ISPs.

    • DTMark

      You could apply the same argument to restaurants, with the conclusion that everyone should pay the same price because the cost to the restaurant is the same regardless of how much food is consumed. Which wouldn’t be true either.

  8. I am not happy as I used to get the £20 unlimited data every mth because i have memory problems and I used to watch you tube a lot . I won’t be able to do that on £18 .00 goodybag with 6GB of data this isn’t enough for me . But you are willing to give new customers this 20.00 unlimited data. But not the old customers. Well i am sorry to say that I will be leaving giffgaff to go somewhere else as I am not happy at all .

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