Why choose a Virgin Mobile phone contract?
Virgin Mobile is an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) that runs on the O2 network, with which Virgin Media recently merged. Virgin Mobile offers a huge range of handsets, but tends to focus on the popular high-end brands, especially Samsung and Apple. You can choose from the very latest models or go for something slightly older to get a better deal. All Virgin Mobile plans come with 5G – subject to availability in your area and a 5G-enabled handset – along with Data Rollover, free European roaming and data-free messaging on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.
Data allowances range from 6GB to unlimited data and all SIM-only deals come on one-month rolling contracts, providing plenty of flexibility for changing up or down from month to month.
How can I keep my number when switching?
It’s easy to keep your number when switching to Virgin Mobile. Once you’ve chosen your new handset and SIM deal, you will need to ask your existing provider for a PAC (or Porting Authorisation Code). This nine-digit code is needed by Virgin Mobile in order to move your number over. To request it, just text PAC to 65075 to your current provider. You should receive the PAC via text within seconds. It is valid for 30 days, after which time if you haven’t used it, you will need to request it again.
When you put your order in with Virgin Mobile, you will be asked if you want to keep your number and you should then provide your PAC. It will then only take a day or two for your old number to move over.
Virgin Mobile added extras
Virgin Mobile offers customers several useful perks. If you don’t use all your data allowance one month, it will just roll over to the next month. Coined Data Rollover, this is a handy perk to have, offering you the reassurance that you have a bit extra data in the bank, as it were, for those occasions where, for whatever reasons you can’t get a wifi signal.
To help you save on data usage, Virgin Mobile also enables data-free usage of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter, which, if you are a social media butterfly, will save you a lot of data. Customers can also benefit from 3.5 million free wifi hotspots around the country, which provides yet another way to save on data usage.
Virgin Mobile subscriptions
All Virgin Mobile plans come with two contracts – a 24-month or 36-month contract for your new phone (you can choose the repayment period), and a one-month airtime contract for your data, texts and calls. Due to the fact that Virgin Mobile has now merged with O2, customers can also choose a 12-month O2 plan, which comes with access to the extra benefits offered by O2’s rewards programme, Priority, such as early-release concert tickets and discounts on restaurants and the like. However, the rolling one-month contracts offered as standard by Virgin Mobile are ideal if you like the flexibility to switch your data plan up or down from month to month according to your needs.
Virgin Mobile phone upgrades
Virgin Mobile phone contracts come on 24-month or 36-month contracts, but if you want to pay off your phone before your contract is up, you can, and there is no penalty for doing so. This means if you decide to upgrade early because a new phone has caught your eye, you can simply pay off the remaining cost. And with an accompanying one-month SIM-only plan, you are free to cancel or change it at any time, whetherb you’re upgrading to a new phone or not.
Virgin Mobile offers an unlimited data plan with no limits on speed, but also offers several high data plans, including 100GB and 200GB for half the price of the unlimited data deal, which still provide a lot of data to play with. All Virgin Mobile’s plans come with unlimited texts and minutes as standard.
Virgin Mobile Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP)
Although Virgin Mobile does not place limits on download speed or data usage (other than your monthly data allowance), it does impose certain reasonable limits on how you can use your minutes, texts and data.
It clearly states that you can only use your service for private, personal and legitimate consumer purposes only. You cannot use your connection for business purposes, whether that is sending bulk texts, making excessive calls to an exceptionally large amount of people or businesses, or resell the service to make money. You also cannot use it for any illegal purpose, such as downloading offensive or indecent content. If Virgin suspects this is occurring, it reserves the right to suspend or even terminate your service.
4G and 5G Coverage
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Virgin Mobile runs on O2’s network, which covers over 99% of the UK with its 4G network – comparable to all other UK mobile networks, although this does refer to population coverage, rather than geographical, which means you may still find the odd black spot. O2’s 5G network currently covers over 200 towns and cities across the country, so for the time being you are more likely to receive a signal if you live in an urban area than in the countryside, but rollout is continuing apace so that is slowly expected to change.
Virgin Mobile 5G speeds
According to the most recent speed tests carried out by Opensignal, O2’s 5G speed currently averages 92.3Mbps, a drop from its previous average of 100.6Mbps, but still considerably faster than its 4G average of 18.2Mbps. However, it is the slowest 5G average speed of all four networks, with Three being the fastest overall with an average 5G speed of 228.4Mbps.
O2 is the only UK mobile network that still offers free European roaming. As a result, Virgin Mobile customers can also take advantage of this perk and use their calls, texts and data in 43 European countries at no extra cost. You will need to enable the roaming function on your phone before you set off. To do this, log in to your account and click on Plans and Devices, and then Manage Devices. You can then turn on roaming under the Going Abroad section.
If you need to travel beyond the European roaming area, you will be subject to daily fees. You can check how much by entering your destination into the Roaming Hub on Virgin Mobile’s website, and, to avoid you being hit with excessive bills, Virgin has set up a spend cap of £52.02 per month, so you can rest assured you won’t be hit with a massive bill on your return home.
Note that you will not be able to use your full data allowance when roaming abroad. How much you can use depends on how much you pay for the plan you choose, rather than the size of your data allowance. The easiest way to find out how much data you can use when roaming is to use the Fair Usage Roaming Calculator on Virgin’s website.
Virgin Mobile permits tethering – you will just need to enable your phone’s hotspot in order to allow other devices to use your data. Tethering is handy as a back-up if your wifi signal goes down, but it will use a lot of data quickly – not to mention battery power too – so we’d advise only using this feature if you have a very high, or preferably unlimited, data plan.
Virgin does permit tethering abroad, but your usage limit will be the same as if you are just using your phone abroad. You can check what your roaming usage limit is by using the calculator on Virgin’s website or by getting in touch with an agent via Live Chat.
Virgin Mobile customer service
Virgin Mobile can be contacted on 789 from a Virgin Mobile number or on 0345 600 0789 from 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday or from 8am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. You can also get in touch via Virgin Mobile’s Live Chat service or via social media on Twitter @virginmedia.
When it comes to quality of customer service, Virgin Mobile scored 83% satisfaction with the service overall, against a sector average of 91%. Although this was the lowest score recorded amongst all the providers surveyed, on the other hand Virgin Mobile did come out top in customer satisfaction with complaint handling, scoring 57% against a sector average of 53%, which suggests that if you do have an issue, it is likely to be dealt with well by Virgin Mobile.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What network does Virgin Mobile use?
Virgin Mobile operates on the O2 network, which provides 99% coverage with its 4G signal across the UK.
Does Virgin Mobile do SIM-only?
Yes, Virgin Mobile offers a selection of rolling monthly SIM-only plans, including an unlimited data option.
Do I need to be a Virgin Media customer to get Virgin Mobile?
No – Virgin Mobile operates as a separate business, but if you do have Virgin Media broadband at home, you can benefit from double data with Virgin Mobile.
Does Virgin Mobile offer free wifi?
Yes, Virgin Mobile customers can choose to connect to any one of 3.5 million wifi hotspots available across the country with O2.
How do I join Virgin Mobile?
Virgin Mobile offers some great value pay monthly deals, with a range of phones and data allowances to choose from. Browse through our list of deals above to find a handset that suits and then click on the See Deal button which will take you through to Virgin Mobile’s site, where you can finalise your choice of monthly data and put in your order.