I discovered GiffGaff casually when I was looking for a SIM (IoT SIM or M2M SIM) to use with the Arduino shield SIM900 . This SIM *is not* an IoT nor M2M SIM but I chosen it since costs are easy to forecast , I got it for free and without contracts or constrains.... it was the quicker way to start with my tests.
However, apart SIM900, acquire an UK phone number is mandatory if you are looking for a new job in UK (CV with an UK number has more chance) or if your are moving even temporary in UK ... and according to me GiffGaff SIM is a great choice... and you can get your new UK number (before moving) at your home.
I appreciated the "social/community" attitude of this operator : with a community (forum) very active, idea labs ( https://labs.giffgaff.com/browse ), recruiting campaigns and... stickers if you complete missions 🙂
The user portal is pretty easy to use with the balance updated in real-time. There are a lot of settings and informations...
The most traffic in my case is Text (SMS message with SIM900):
I paid (pay as you go rates without using goodybag monthly bundle) right now 0.056€/SMS (£0.05/SMS).
1 SMS, in Italy, costs ~ 0.15€ / 0.20€ (GiffGaff 0.056€)
I can't say if I'll have an extra costs in future (since I'm using the SIM only in Italy and GiffGaff could apply cost for the roaming > 60 days).
✪ General information
The name "GiffGaff is an ancient Scottish word that means 'mutual giving'. That pretty much sums us up."
GiffGaff is an UK operator (based on O2 network) who allows to receive your new SIM for free in your country (in my case I received it in Italy).
GiffGaff is ideal for who is going to move to UK (temporary or not).. and wants to receive (in own origin country) the SIM before to move.
The offers is very easy to understand (I would but I can't say the same for Italian network operators) It is very simple to understand the Terms and Conditions.
✪ How to order a new GiffGaff SIM ?
- http://www.giffgaffeuropa.com/ (europa)
- https://www.giffgaff.com/freesim-international (international)
Or clicking here (by inviting):
✪ How long take to receive new SIM?
I filled the on-line form the 2017-12-28. The 2018-01-05 (consider the holiday period) the SIM was in my mailbox. I received an email notification (with the activation instructions) one day before (2018-01-04) that I received the SIM.
✪ How much cost the GiffGaff SIM?
✪ How the SIM card is sent and what I receive?
✪ How I can active the GiffGaff SIM?
Following this link (https://www.giffgaff.com/activate) and adding credit.
It is not mandatory to active the SIM but after some time the SIM will expire (and you can't active it).
If you are going to use a creditcard ( not UK ) or you won't to chose a monthly plan goodybag them select "Just need top-up credit" ... se image above (the last option where GiffGaff activation wizard asks for "Choose a monthly plan").
Warning! Issues during the SIM activation
If your phone doesn't work and/or is not showed the signal bars (there is not network or coverage) wait few minutes and check if roaming is enabled (if you are not in UK).
When you are activating the SIM remember to select "allow roaming" on your phone setting (I did activating the SIM in Italy).
✪ How can I add credit to GiffGaff SIM?
With creditcard or vouchers.
Creditcard / debitcard
I used an italian debitcard (postepay visa-electron) without any issue choosing the Top-up plan (only to add credit for pay-as-you-go).
Not sure (I didn't try) maybe for goodybags you need a UK creditcard. I guess the monthly plans (goodybags) is reserved to who has the residence to UK.
Probably using a voucher you can active a goodybags also if you don't have residence in UK.
Do I need an UK creditcard (or UK residence) in order to active the SIM?
No necessary for top-up: I used postpay (visa-electron debit card issued by Italian bank).
For goodybag you can use (maybe) vouchers.
✪ Are there limits in use (example if I live in Italy and I won't go in UK)?
✪ Has the SIM and expiration?
How can I avoid that SIM expires?
✪ How SIM works with SIM900 (Arduino shieddl)?
// DEFINE APN and GET IP AT OK AT+CGDCONT= 1,"IP","giffgaff.com" OK AT+CSTT= "giffgaff.com","giffgaff","" OK AT+CIICR OK AT+CIFSR 10.146.139.0 AT+SAPBR =1,1 OK AT+SAPBR=2,1 +SAPBR: 1,1,"10.145.189.160"