'giffgaff' - a new pay-as-you-go mobile network

As you might imagine, I'm a huge user of all sorts of technology, including lots of mobile devices. I've been using a smartphone since the very first appeared many years ago now, and long before the iPhone was even thought of. I've never been happy with one thing though - data plans.

Honestly I'm not a big talker - well, maybe to a few close friends - so I hardly need the hundreds of minutes and texts even the most basic plans seem to offer these days. What I do need though is lots and lots of data. My latest phone, the HTC Touch HD, is to all intents and purposes a mini-PC, and it is constantly wanting to sync various bookmarks, emails, calendar appointments, weather forecasts, etc. Not only that, but because of it's large screen I use it a lot for mobile browsing and things like Google maps too - perfect for storing the secret location of my latest mushroom foraging expedition! But it can cost me an arm and a leg in data - or, more commonly, I simply don't use data as much as I'd like.

That brings me back to the iPhone - a great device, and no mistake, but I'm utterly convinced that a huge factor in it's success has been the included data plan. Without data the iPhone is a bit of a brick - let's face it, all those apps would be for nothing if you couldn't get them on the thing and then actually do something useful with them! Most of us non-iPhone users have to put up with paying through the nose for even basic data like HTML, let alone start messing around with clever things like the Layar augmented reality browser. So why is this post titled 'giffgaff'?

Well giffgaff is a new offering (actually owned by O2), which calls itself:

"A new pay-as-you-go mobile network, matching the UK's lowest prices. A giffgaff SIM works in any phone, including the iPhone."
They've only just launched, and indeed are offering great prices, but more importantly from my perspective have promised free web browsing until the 25th of May 2010. You won't be able to get it abroad, but you will here in the UK, as they're interested in how people use mobile browsing and are very much looking at their customers as to how they should price in the future.

Well my SIM is on it's way, so I can't exactly report on the quality of service as yet, but it's looking promising so far. If you fancy having a go yourself just nip along to their website and request one - though you'll need to add an initial £10 top-up straight away:
It's very community oriented, so they are promising various reward structures for recommending people and helping out , but not sure exactly how all that will shape up. You could always plug my nickname in if you're signing up - richpb7 - that way at least I can see how the reward system works :-)

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