Over the past few weeks, we’ve been having an on-going discussion with members on the best way to manage and improve the data experience on giffgaff. For those of you who have been involved so far, thank you for all of your comments, questions and feedback. After all your help, we really wanted to give you an update.
For those of you who are joining the discussion for the first time, a warm welcome. To get a good overview of how we’re trying to improve your data experience, please check out our kick-off thread from back in May. This will explain how the data experience on giffgaff is very closely linked with the level of congestion on the network. By managing congestion during our busiest hours we can also improve your data experience. We hope that you will read on and help us to get the best possible outcome for you and other giffgaff members.
When we investigated further, we found that a huge amount of network resource was being used by only a small minority of members during peak times, which can reduce the data experience for the vast majority of you. We didn’t think that was fair, so we introduced Traffic Flow – a new process which stops the extreme usage from these members from impacting your data experience. Now, a few weeks later, we’re starting to see results: around 750 members have been prevented from re-purchasing an unlimited data goodybag and this will help us to re-distribute this network resource more fairly. In fact, these members were taking up the same network resource as over 35,000 average giffgaff members during the busiest times. Traffic Flow will continue to improve the data experience for giffgaff members over the coming months and we will keep you updated on progress.
On any mobile network, conditions can vary greatly between different locations for a number of reasons and we want to make sure that as many members as possible are able to enjoy a good data speed, wherever you are. In any complete plan to protect and improve your data experience we need to understand these types of variations and so we would like to share some more information with you.
The network is made up of literally thousands of radio signal masts, each of which hold a number of radio cells and deliver a mobile service to localised areas around the country. As you can imagine, population density and difficulty getting planning permission for additional signal masts are just two of the things which can increase the likelihood of local congestion, which can reduce your data experience. We would like to ensure that all members have a great experience, no matter where they are in the country.
Having analysed the conditions in locations across the network, we would like to focus on a very small proportion (around 2.5%) of the network, where congestion is most likely to happen. In these locations, we think that we can deliver a fairer, more consistent service to you by identifying members whose usage is impacting the experience for other members and limiting their speed to 100kbps for a period of 30 minutes. In testing, this has delivered an improvement in experience for the vast majority of members and whilst we would expect around only 0.15% of members to have this speed restriction each day, tens of thousands of you would benefit from a better service in these locations. This will be launched within the next fortnight and we will be updating our Key Facts Indicator to reflect this change before putting this live.
Of course, we will continue to look out for other opportunities to improve your data experience and will keep you up to date as we work through them – thankyou for your patience and ongoing feedback in the meantime. Overall, by delivering a plan which is considered from both an overall network level and also a local level, we will be able to deliver a fairer and more consistent data service to you.