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Giffgaff 4G Coverage and Network Review

12th January 2018

GiffGaff Network Coverage

Giffgaff is one of a number of MVNO’s with 4G capabilities, but Giffgaff has certain advantages including a known name, a solid history as a 3G provider and low prices.

The network uses O2 for signal, so where O2 has 4G Giffgaff also has 4G. That means that right now it should have 4G coverage for over 97% of the UK population outdoors and it's likely to reach 98% indoor coverage by the end of 2017. 




Short-term contracts

Not quite the best 4G coverage

Unlimited data on some plans

4G data capped at 9GB

Allows tethering

No inclusive roaming beyond Europe

Our Rating


Giffgaff’s 4G coverage relies on O2’s, which means it’s currently at over 97% population coverage outdoors. That puts it behind EE, but ahead of Three and around the same level as Vodafone. Giffgaff also has strong 3G and 2G coverage, so you should be able to get mobile data of some kind almost everywhere.

Use Giffgaff's coverage checker below to find out more about Giffgaff's coverage in your area, including signal strengths and details on both indoor and outdoor coverage.

GiffGaff Coverage

Network Type

Coverage by population







4G from Giffgaff is now available in thousands of locations, including but not limited to: Antrim, Bradford, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bridgend, Brighton, Burnley, Castleford, Coleraine, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Leigh, Liverpool, Livingston, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, London, Macclesfield, Newtownabbey, Nottingham, Nuneaton, Pontypool, Poole, Portsmouth, Reading, St Albans, Sittingbourne, Southampton and Tamworth.

Recent locations to get 4G from O2 - and by extension Giffgaff - include: Knighton, DryhopeAldingham and large parts of the Scottish Highlands. Plus, other locations are in the works, such as Aldeburgh.

Network Speeds and Frequencies

Giffgaff uses standard 4G, which is around 5 times faster than a typical 3G network. The network’s average 4G download speed is 18.48Mbit/sec, and its average 4G upload speed is 9.40Mbit/sec.

That’s not quite up there with the fastest UK networks, but it’s still very quick, and should allow for smooth streaming, downloading and web browsing on your phone.

  • Average Download Speed: 18.48 Mbit/sec
  • Average Upload Speed: 9.40 Mbit/sec

Giffgaff only uses the 800MHz band for 4G, but this band is ideal for delivering coverage across the UK. It’s long range, so it can travel a long way between masts, making it suited to, well, everywhere really, but most notably rural locations, as masts are often spread far part in the countryside. But it’s also good at passing through walls, making it great for towns and cities as well.

You can find in depth details of this band and others in our 4G frequencies guide.

  • 800MHz used for 4G
  • 900MHz used for 2G/3G
  • 1800MHz used for 2G
  • 2100MHz used for 3G


Giffgaff has a range of Pay Monthly and SIM Only plans, along with the option to Pay As You Go. All plans come with 4G data at no extra cost. Plans are available from as little as £5 per month.

Pay Monthly Phone Plans

Roaming beyond Europe


Max Data Allowance


Contract Length

6, 12, 18 or 24 Months

Giffgaff’s Pay Monthly plans come in a choice of 6, 12, 18 or 24 months and come with up to 9GB of 4G data. There’s also an unlimited data plan (or ‘Always On’ as Giffgaff calls it) which lets you go beyond 9GB but caps your speeds at 384kbps from 8am to midnight once you exceed 9GB.

Tethering is also included on all plans – though with the ‘Always On’ plan you can only tether with the first 9GB.

SIM Only Plans

Roaming beyond Europe


Max Data Allowance


Contract Length

1 Month

Giffgaff’s SIM Only plans give you exactly the same selection of tariffs as Pay Monthly – so you can get up to unlimited data, but only up to 9GB at 4G speeds, and only up to 9GB for tethering.

However, you’re only tied in for 1 month on SIM Only, and of course you’ll pay less, as you’re not paying for a phone as well.

Data Only Plans – For Tablets and Dongles

Giffgaff offers a 500MB Data Only plan, so you can get your tablet or dongle online without paying for unneeded minutes and texts. This is 1 month long and costs £5.

Pay As You Go

Giffgaff doesn’t offer any Pay As You Go bundles (though the SIM Only bundles should do that job, since they only last 30 days), but it does allow you to Pay As You Go, at rates of 15p per minute, 5p per text and 5p per megabyte of data. Calls and texts to other Giffgaff numbers are free.

Roaming Destinations

Giffgaff lets you use your minutes, texts and data at no extra cost in 37 destinations, namely:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

As with most networks it's limited to European ones however, so if you want to travel more globally Giffgaff may not be the network for you. Also, if you have 'always on' data you can only use up to 9GB of it for roaming.


Giffgaff stands out through low prices and flexible tariffs, with a range of SIM Only plans that you’re only tied into for a month.

It’s also one of those rare networks that has unlimited data on some tariffs – though speeds are throttled above 9GB, so it’s not as good for this as, say, Three.

Tethering is allowed too, but there’s no inclusive roaming beyond Europe, all of which makes Giffgaff a strong network for light to middle-weight data users who don’t do a lot of travelling.

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