The long requested Official iPhone carrier support is now with us
and to answer the question, does this mean giffgaff will soon be selling iPhones, check out this blog post which announces that YES they will be selling the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s from June 4th
If after following this guide, you are seeing issues relating to the hotspot not loading or your signal performance dropping, then please post your feedback in this dedicated thread
Before following these instructions please note
Once this update installs, then your mobile data will be set to ON.
So if you are a PAYG user who tends to keep it off until when needed, then make sure you go in and switch Mobile Data to OFF to avoid losing any credit.
You need to be running iOS 7.1.1 to automatically receive this carrier file
This means only the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5C, and 5S can make use of the new carrier file and features, older devices are limited to iOS 6.1.6
The ability to manually edit proxy settings and MMS settings has now been removed
This update does NOT enable Visual Voicemail.
People are reporting that this only works for iPhones, not iPads
Just because the personal hotspot option can now be enabled, doesn't mean that you can use it with unlimited data, giffgaff will block you if you tether on an unlimited bag.
I connected my iPhone 5c to iTunes, I did a check for any updates and was offered the chance to download and install a new carrier file,
However iTunes and a PC is NOT required as long as you have internet access from the iPhone via wi-fi or other data connection.
On the iPhone, just go to Settings > General > About,
and your phone will prompt you that an update is available
fig.1 iTunes message advising of a carrier update
fig.2 Carrier update message on phone
I performed the update, restarted the phone, just in case and can confirm the following
The carrier name now shows giffgaff
The voicemail button now dials 443
The personal hotspot function works correctly, and assuming you are on a goodybag that does NOT have an unlimited data allowance, or you have a gigabag, or just have PAYG credit then you may use this function to tether your giffgaff data connection to other devices
Please note that if you tether your data connection to another device whilst you are using a goodybag with an unlimited data allowance, then you will receive a warning and a 30 minute data block
REVERTING TO AN OLDER CARRIER FILE
Note: Some people have reported this doesn't work for them, so I make no guarantees that you will be able to revert to o2-uk as the carrier name.
Some people are asking for a method of reverting to the phone saying O2-UK instead of giffgaff.
Well there is no accounting for taste and I really don't understand people's desire to advertise a different network to that which they should be happy and proud to be on, but it is possible if you also accept you will lose all the other additional features added by the update.
However it does require that you have previously used iTunes to update the device.
Look in (Mac) Library/iTunes/iPhone Carrier Support folder, for (Windows) C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Carrier Support\
If you previously did any updates you should see a file called O2_UK_iPhone.ipcc
Connect the iPhone to the machine via cable and start iTunes
In the devices list click your phone name and go to the Summary tab
Hold down the Alt key (on MAC) or Shift key (on Windows) and click the Check for Updates button to display the following
Select the original older O2_UK_iPhone.ipcc
file and restore it to the iPhone
This reverted all the changes delivered by the update
For anyone who has not previously connected via iTunes, there is a copy of O2_UK.ipcc version 15.6 on Apple's download servers that you can use.
Putting iTunes into Carrier Testing mode
If you find that the files are greyed out in iTunes and you are unable to select an older carrier file, do the following
Close iTunes, open a terminal window and run the following command, and then restart iTunes and try to restore the file again.
defaults write com.apple.iTunes carrier-testing -bool TRUE
Close iTunes, open a command prompt and run the following command, and then restart iTunes and try to restore the file again.
%ProgramFiles%\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /setPrefInt carrier-testing 1
Does this affect my signal strength
Some people have said that they appear to be seeing less signal bars following this update.
A carrier file cannot affect the actual signal itself, so any difference should be co-incidental and down to local conditions.
To verify the actual signal strength between your handset and mast.
on your iPhone then press Call.
This will put you in Field Test mode and the signal bars will be adjusted to show a strength value in dBm (The lower the figure, the better the signal)
To revert back to the normal signal bar indicator just press the Home botton on your iPhone.
If you are able to revert to the old carrier file you could use these instructions to compare the strength with a more detailed representation. However bear in mind that test results can vary from second to second on the same device in the same location due to factors on the mast itself, so should not be taken as a reliable measure of ongoing performance.