Virgin Media, the UK’s largest mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), is finally set to launch 4G and will hope to tempt customers away from the UK’s four major carriers with the promise of free WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, flexible contracts and data rollover.
All of the company’s 4G deals will ‘zero rate’ WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, meaning they will not count towards monthly data allowances. And if a user does not consume their monthly allocation, it can be used the following month.
Customers can separate the cost of the handset from their contract so they can upgrade to a new one whenever they want and move up or down tariffs.
The MVNO is powered by EE, now owned by Virgin Media’s rival BT of course. However this means users will benefit from the most advanced network and widest coverage of any LTE operator in the UK. Customers will also have access to more than 250,000 hotspots via the Virgin Media Wi-Fi app.
“Virgin Media’s new mobile plans are fast, flexible and filled with data,” said Peter Kelly, head of mobile at Virgin Media. “By offering free messaging on WhatsApp and Messenger we’re making sure that Virgin Media customers never have to worry about messaging friends or family and if there’s data left over at the end of the month then we’ve got that covered too.
“With 4G our customers have a quicker way to browse, message, stream and play wherever they are.”
Virgin Media is pressing ahead with the £3 billion expansion of its cable network that will see four million homes and businesses add – half of which will be connected via fibre to the premise (FTTP). It is also working on a nationwide Wi-Fi network, powered by public hotspots and home routers with a view to increasing fixed-mobile convergence.
A fifth of all Virgin Media customers take both mobile and broadband services from the company.