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Does giffgaff have bad reception?

Started by: noor
On: 21/01/2010 | 20:15
Replies: 15

by: noor
on: 21/01/2010 | 20:15

This is no joking matter; I was not very impressed today with the reception I was receiving from giffgaff. I recently transferred my number over to giffgaff, yesterday infact, and there were no problems than, but today for more then half the day I was stuck without any reception. I couldn't make any calls or texts. What’s happened? Why is the reception this bad? Is it always like this?


Before anyone suggests that there may be a problem with my mobile phone or my location, then NO! I have checked and my phone and it is quite reliable. My previous networks: T-Mobile, Virgin and Orange have all worked fine with good reception so why should giffgaff be any different? As an MVNO using the o2 network I expected better reception. I’m starting to wonder if I have made a mistake changing over to giffgaff...


Message 1 of 16
by: simon69c
on: 21/01/2010 | 22:48

Sorry to hear that.


Well as you note, giffgaff uses the O2 network so their reception is basically at the mercy of O2's network capabilities.  Do you have friends on O2 who can let you know what sort of reception they get in your area?  Unfortunately there is always a bit of variation with the networks and none of them cover 100% of the country and they all have a few signal blackspots (often very localised) and not necessarily in the same places as not all of the networks have masts in the same places.  Just because the other three main networks have good signal where you are is no guarantee that O2 do too unfortunately.


You could try taking the SIM out and giving the contacts a quick wipe - just in case any dirt got on there when you were swapping the SIMs over - this could conceivably be giving the phone trouble connecting to the network.  You could also try forcing your phone onto 2G (if it is a 3G phone) to see if that helps - 3G networks can sometimes be a bit temperamental when they are under heavy load because the cells "breathe" (the more people trying to connect, the smaller the cell range will become).  The older 2G networks tend not to suffer from this so if you can force your phone onto that (some phones have the option to temporarily disable 3G) then at least you should be able to make calls and text - data connection speeds will obviously be slower though.

Get a free Giffgaff SIM / microSIM
Message 2 of 16
by: leon
on: 23/01/2010 | 23:35

O2 provides one of the best coverage in the UK, however when you are inside or around big buildings the reception isn't as good

I want your bad romance.
Message 3 of 16
by: mirfan
on: 27/01/2010 | 10:54

I'm currently using O2 in London, and my personal experience of reception is that it is not as good as it used to be. Unsure if it's because masts were lost when buildings were demolished during regeneration, or due to overloaded network from iphone.


Many times over the past few months, I get the "network busy" message when I try to dial out even though phone is showing 5 bars of reception.


O2 network problems have been reported in a number of articles in the past 6 months:

Message 4 of 16
by: paul_shirley
on: 27/01/2010 | 14:53


simon69c wrote:You could also try forcing your phone onto 2G (if it is a 3G phone) to see if that helps



3G is badly blocked by walls at the frequencies used in the UK, 2G penetrates better. Switching to 2G can improve your signal. It might also help with congestion as a side effect of needing less towers to cover the same area, no guarantees but worth trying. When you aren't using data 3G is rather pointless and batteries last longer on 2G so its usually worth doing anyway.


Compared to my newly retired 3 SIM GiffGaff is looking good, no dropouts and much higher 3G speed. Of course I live in an O2 and 3 blackhole - though in theory 3 has better coverage here!

Message 5 of 16
by: michael
former giff-staffer

on: 17/03/2010 | 09:51

If you are experiencing poor coverage or you know of spots where calls get dropped on the giffgaff network, then please raise a case with us and we will report it to O2.  These cases will get reviewed and the highest priority ones are addressed.




Message 6 of 16
by: timmy84
on: 13/10/2011 | 17:01

i get pretty bad reception, most of the time too. im in NI belfast i literally have to stand up tall and shake my phone like im possessed to get a text sent out explaining why i couldnt take thier call a minute ago (bad reception, call dropped) i mainly signed up for the free internet but get a horrible signal

Message 7 of 16
by: stealthybigboss
on: 13/10/2011 | 18:47
i get around 2- full bars
Message 8 of 16
by: jfcdave
on: 14/10/2011 | 08:17

There's no right or wrong answer. Each mobile operator has its strengths and weaknesses. As giffgaff use O2 then their coverage relies on what O2 provides. Turns out where I use my phone this is better than Orange, I'm currently in an Orange contract and I've been testing giffgaff to see how it performs. I'm happy enough to be confident switching as soon as my contract is up.


As well as better voice reception I also get faster data rates than Orange.


However, some areas other networks can be better.


You can even test giffgaff signal without activating a SIM. Just stick your unactivated gg sim in a phone and see the signal strength in places you frequent.

Message 9 of 16
by: jaytomo
on: 29/03/2012 | 05:39
No its not ur fone like it aint my fone either its the giffgaff sad signal issue that I av had since I changed ova to giffgaff. Its forever buffering like a stuck record had rather say tht it is a joke and thts on us am afraid to say
Message 10 of 16