The data experience on the giffgaff network has always had a very high priority and we are always working to ensure that we deliver a fair data service to you. Last year, thanks to all of your feedback, we began tracking a decline in data speeds for members and since then we have been working hard to protect your data experience.
We recognise that there’s more to do, but we wanted to provide an update to share the progress that has been made and also share how we intend to make further improvements throughout 2015.
What’s all this about?
Your data experience is affected by a large number of variables, but managing network congestion is one of the most tangible ways of ensuring that you get the best possible download speeds. During our busiest hours, the giffgaff network can become congested and at these times it’s important that network resource is being used as fairly and efficiently as possible between members.
How are we doing right now?
Whilst we know that there’s more work to do, it’s also important to recognise the progress which has been made in the recent months.
- We’re delivering more data By increasing our overall network capacity, members are currently using 30% more data now than at the same time last year. In fact, if you add it all up, we’re delivering 6 billion MB more in 2015 than we did in 2014.
- The network is being used more fairly: In August 2014, a massive 30% of network resources were being used by only 1% of members. Now, the top 1% of data users consume only 18% of the network meaning that the majority benefit from an additional 12% of network resource.
- Data satisfaction has improved: It’s encouraging that Data speed satisfaction has improved from 66% in August 2014 to an average of 71% in 2015.
This is all good news, but we have also been listening carefully to community feedback and we recognise that not everyone has noticed an improvement so far. We know that we have further to go and are committed to protecting the data experience for all members and ensuring that you receive a fair and consistent service.
We have been tracking the data experience carefully in recent months and whilst download speeds have improved on average, we have also seen significant differences in service levels from one week to the next. For this reason, we are putting a significant level of focus into delivering a more consistent data experience to you as well as continuing to reduce the overall level of network congestion.
OK, so what’s next?
As you can imagine, there is on-going work to increase the overall capacity of your mobile network and these increases are released on a monthly basis to you. In addition, we have now built a number of tools which we can use to manage network congestion, including Traffic Flow, preventing tethering on unlimited data goodybags and video optimisation. We will use all of these to help provide a more consistent experience to you:
- Capacity management: Delivering a consistent experience is achieved by providing the correct amount of capacity to meet the changing demands of giffgaff members. We have made some changes to the way that we deliver our monthly capacity increases throughout 2015 to ensure that we’re providing additional capacity when it’s most needed.
- Traffic Flow: We will continue to see improvements in the distribution of data usage over time, so we will keep you up to date on progress.
- Tethering recognition: Tethering with an unlimited data goodybag is against our terms and conditions and we refer to this as ‘illegitimate usage’. It’s 18 months since we last made changes to our tethering recognition policy so we are kicking off a project to update our rules and ensure that we continue to identify tethering accurately as technology evolves.
All of these initiatives are currently being worked on and will protect your data experience over the coming months. In addition to all of the above, we continue to review new initiatives and opportunities and will share more information if any of them seem like plausible possibilities following investigation.
We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback.