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Giffgaff UK Set to Start Rolling Out 4G Calling and WiFi Calling

Friday, May 10th, 2024 (7:40 am) - Score 7,360
Smartphone-with-wifi-signal-showing-on-display-Copilot-for-MJ-on-100524

Mobile network provider giffgaff, which is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) on O2’s platform in the United Kingdom, are due to finally start rolling out two long awaited and much demanded new service features this month – Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling (VoLTE). But the process will take a while to complete.

For the uninitiated. 4G Calling is another name for Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) technology, which means that any calls you make or receive will stay on the 4G mobile network (signal allowing) rather than dropping back to 2G. Meanwhile, Wi-Fi Calling enables consumers with a supporting Smartphone to harness their home broadband ISP or other WiFi connection to make mobile voice calls, instead of using your mobile network.

NOTE: There’s no extra charge for using Wi-Fi or 4G Calling. All calls you make will come out of your UK minutes allowance if you have a plan, or will usually be charged at standard PAYG rates if you don’t.

The good news is that, after a lot of prep work involving “many moving parts [and] loads of teams“, giffgaff are about to start gradually migrating customers over to a new platform, which includes support for both of the aforementioned features. This will be particularly handy given O2’s plans to start switching-off 3G services from 2025 (here).

The migration phase, which will occur in phases, is currently in the process of starting now and is then expected to run for around four months. As soon as a particular phone/mobile number has been migrated, the member will automatically be able to access WiFi calling and VoLTE, as long as they have a compatible phone (compatibility is often an issue with these features). The migration process itself will take a few minutes and involve a “temporary loss of service for a brief moment.”

We know many of you have waited for this for a long time, but as we’ve mentioned before, there have been many moving parts, involving loads of teams and a lot of work to make sure that we get this done right for everyone,” said Mitch.J of giffgaff in a recent update (credits to Romk1n and meritez for spotting). The latest update, released a couple of days ago, said that things are currently “proceeding as planned.”

Aside from any issues with device compatibility, giffgaff does also note that members with multiple SIMs may go through the migration process at different times. In addition, the Visual Voicemail feature isn’t available yet, but they do plan to issue a separate update on this in the future.

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Mark-Jackson
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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Comments
17 Responses
  1. Avatar photo chris conder says:

    Great news. I love giffgaff. wifi calling will be a great bonus.

  2. Avatar photo Jazzy says:

    They did some maintenance on this a few weeks ago when we all received a text which said that they were doing some essential work. My text was received on 20th April

  3. Avatar photo R. Mark Clayton says:

    Gosh Giff Gaff (really O2) has finally enabled 4G calling even though it has been available on their network since at least 2017.

    1. Avatar photo Munehaus says:

      Going on their current record we’re expecting them to launch 5G SA some time in 2033. 🙂

    2. Avatar photo Adam Standen says:

      Only to Pay monthly Contract Users.

      Its not available for their PAYG customers which is what giffgaff is.

  4. Avatar photo Ed says:

    That’s what I love about those budget operators. You don’t get the same features as everyone else until the provider has no option but to finally implement them.

    1. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      some budget operators anyway. I think people who willingly use Giffgaff are gluttons for punishment (or live in an area where O2 truly is the only option).

      The other cheap MVNOs (not O2 based) seem to have been able to provide the important bells and whistles for some time.

    2. Avatar photo Jazzy says:

      @Ivor

      I am with them because the network can be free

      They have an active forum on their website, which I am a member of and if you regularly contribute they’ll give you free credit twice a year (you can even take it as paypal money). I pop in once a day and just chat about the weather, politics and my home life with my dog, living on a farm and every month they credit my account with about £15 for being an active forum member.

      My phone has been free with them for 10 years

      I am currently on the £10/month 40GB plan (special offer for members) and I get it nowt. I do live within half a mile on an 02 mast though

    3. Avatar photo Adam Standen says:

      @Jazzy

      You could still use the Payback cash to pay for a different network though.

      No one says you have to use it to pay for your giffgaff plan 😉

  5. Avatar photo Jammie1408 says:

    I think a lot of giffgaff fans have been waiting and call for these features for along time.

    Unfortunately 02 is a poor network for signal, speed and reliability.

    I’m a fan of Spusu, fantastic network. 🙂

  6. Avatar photo ali hussain says:

    good to know. all providers should be offering this in 2024

  7. Avatar photo Thomas Ferguson says:

    I have had these features for years I didn’t know Giffgaf were so far behind. O2 is very poor in my area.

  8. Avatar photo Pabs says:

    Welcome to 2016 GiffGaff.

  9. Avatar photo Tom says:

    Welcome to 2016.

  10. Avatar photo Gerarda says:

    I moved from O2 to Giffgaff 6 months ago and my wi fi calling continued to operate as before.

    1. Avatar photo Bubbles says:

      no it didnt

  11. Avatar photo Adam says:

    I ditched Giffgaff a few years ago when they hiked their prices massively. As a very low user it made no sense to stay, and I switched to 1pMobile. £10 every 4 months for everything I need.

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