Giffgaff UK Set to Start Rolling Out 4G Calling and WiFi Calling

Mobile network provider giffgaff, which is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) on O2’s platform in the United Kingdom, are due to finally start rolling out two long awaited and much demanded new service features this month – Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling (VoLTE). But the process will take a while to complete.

For the uninitiated. 4G Calling is another name for Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) technology, which means that any calls you make or receive will stay on the 4G mobile network (signal allowing) rather than dropping back to 2G. Meanwhile, Wi-Fi Calling enables consumers with a supporting Smartphone to harness their home broadband ISP or other WiFi connection to make mobile voice calls, instead of using your mobile network.

NOTE: There’s no extra charge for using Wi-Fi or 4G Calling. All calls you make will come out of your UK minutes allowance if you have a plan, or will usually be charged at standard PAYG rates if you don’t.

The good news is that, after a lot of prep work involving “many moving parts [and] loads of teams“, giffgaff are about to start gradually migrating customers over to a new platform, which includes support for both of the aforementioned features. This will be particularly handy given O2’s plans to start switching-off 3G services from 2025 (here).

The migration phase, which will occur in phases, is currently in the process of starting now and is then expected to run for around four months. As soon as a particular phone/mobile number has been migrated, the member will automatically be able to access WiFi calling and VoLTE, as long as they have a compatible phone (compatibility is often an issue with these features). The migration process itself will take a few minutes and involve a “temporary loss of service for a brief moment.”

We know many of you have waited for this for a long time, but as we’ve mentioned before, there have been many moving parts, involving loads of teams and a lot of work to make sure that we get this done right for everyone,” said Mitch.J of giffgaff in a recent update (credits to Romk1n and meritez for spotting). The latest update, released a couple of days ago, said that things are currently “proceeding as planned.”

Aside from any issues with device compatibility, giffgaff does also note that members with multiple SIMs may go through the migration process at different times. In addition, the Visual Voicemail feature isn’t available yet, but they do plan to issue a separate update on this in the future.

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