Virgin Media this week announced a range of new 4G SIM only plans, with the sweetener that customers can roll over any unused data at the end of the month.
The plans also entitle customers to use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger without eating into their data allowance.
So how do Virgin Media’s plans measure up to the competition? What do you get for your money? And how does the data rollover system work?
Read on and we’ll talk you through it…
What do you get for your monthly outlay?
The 4G SIM only plans start at £6 per month (with monthly allowances of 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 300MB of data) and go up to £25 per month (5000 minutes, unlimited texts and 20GB of data).
You can see the full range of plans below.
All plans include free Data Rollover and free WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
The data rollover offer applies across all plans, as does the option to use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger without eating into your data.
The plans operate on a 30-day rolling contract basis, so you’re free to cancel with 30 days notice.
How does the Data Rollover work?
Under the terms of the offer, all data that’s unused at the end of the month is automatically rolled over for you to use the following month.
The rolled-over data will then be used first. And only after it’s been used up will you start using up your regular monthly allowance.
In contrast to some similar rollover schemes, such as FreedomPop’s, there’s no charge for rolling over data. There’s no limit to the amount you can rollover from one month to another either.
The caveat? There’s always one. In this case it’s that you can only roll over data from the previous month. So it’s not possible to stockpile months and months of unused data.
How do I know how much data is being rolled over?
Virgin Media will send you a text when the data is being rolled over to let you know.
You’ll also get a text to notify you when you’ve used up the data you’ve rolled over from last month.
What’s up with WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger?
This one’s simple. You don’t use any data for messaging your kith and kin with WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. It will, however, use up data to download the apps if you don’t have them already.
Are there any other incentives?
There are. All customers also get free use of 250,000 WiFi hotspots around the UK when they download the Virgin Media WiFi app. And if you’re in London, you’ll be able to get online at 250 stations on the Tube too.
Get the app for iOS: Virgin Media WiFi
Get the app for Android: Virgin Media WiFi
What’s Virgin Media’s 4G coverage like?
Virgin Media’s 4G service is based on EE’s network, which is the UK’s largest. Its coverage extends to 97% of the population.
You can check whether it’s available in your area with EE’s coverage checker.
What kind of speeds can I expect?
Virgin Media’s 4G plans provide speeds in line with EE’s standard 4G service. So depending on your location, you could get a speed that’s up to five times faster than 3G.
At the moment, Virgin Media isn’t offering plans with EE’s Double Speed 4GEE and 4G+ service. But that could well change in time.
How do the prices compare?
They’re competitive. Compared with major networks, in fact, they’re pretty keenly priced.
And while you may well be able to find a cheaper plan from lesser known networks, such as giffgaff, the fact that Virgin Media’s 4G service is based on EE’s extensive network is a major selling point.
Is Virgin Media 4G available solely on SIM-only plans?
Virgin Media is also offering 4G plans on its Freestyle contracts. Much like O2’s Refresh scheme, Freestyle contracts split your monthly bill so you’re paying separate premiums for your phone and monthly allowance.
Aimed at early adopters, they’re intended to make it easier to upgrade to a new phone while you’re mid-way through your contract term.