O2 MVNO retains unlimited data


Community-led MVNO Giffgaff will continue to offer unlimited data despite network partner O2 being the first major operator to scrap the service.

O2’s decision was made as a result of increased traffic across the network, mostly due to the rise in smartphone use, and the need for clearer pricing. Many in the mobile industry recognised that O2 opened the door for others such as Orange to follow suit.

However, Giffgaff chief executive Mike Fairman (pictured) said the MVNO would not be scrapping unlimited data as yet.

“We are constantly reviewing data pricing and talking to O2 about it. O2 has scrapped data bundles but we haven’t and aren’t going to at the moment as we have a different customer base to O2 so it would be wrong to do it just because they have.”

Fairman added: “There is an acceptance among the big network operators that they all have to cap data, but then you have smaller companies like ourselves and it is not the case.

“We have to be careful that customers don’t just migrate over to us because we haven’t capped data, which is why we are constantly reviewing it.”

Giffgaff commercially launched at the start of June, and is now preparing a number of tools across its community, predominately focussed on increasing engagement between users.

This includes integrating Twitter feeds into its forums, developing a Facebook module and trialling a URL system to give members a unique web address to give to friends and online contacts that is linked to their forum account; sales derived through it are turned into reward points.

Fairman said: “One of the things for the future is to position our community in such a way that it is of a greater benefit to customers and the business.”

He added that form users have already proved themselves an asset to the company, with 1,000 or so questions asked and most answered within 24 hours.

The new iPhone is one example Fairman highlighted. “People asked if it would work with a giffgaff SIM, which it will. But we don’t offer micro SIM cards. Within 24 hours there were templates on the site showing people how to cut them.

“One forum member even went out and bought a special cutter to trim normal SIMs down to the right size and is new sending it out to people who need it.”