Virgin Media offers 4g, smartphones to mobile customers

Company launched mobile phone network in October last year with sim-only plans

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

 

Virgin Media has unveiled plans to offer customers smartphones and 4G, giving customers access to high speed mobile services for no extra charge.

The company said it would offer smartphones to customers but split the bill for the handset from the monthly plan, allowing them to change plan or upgrade their phone when they want to, without penalty.

The move will allow customers to change their plan every month depending on their needs, splitting the agreement for the handset from the monthly tariff.

It’s a similar approach to that adopted by ID mobile, the Carphone Warehouse’s mobile virtual network operator that also works on 3 Ireland’s infrastructure.

Virgin Media launched its mobile service nine months ago, aiming the sim-only 3G service at existing customers. It offered an unlimited mobile service, which included calls, texts and data, to existing Virgin Media customers, and a lower cost limited service. Smartphones and a 4G service would follow this year, the company promised, putting it on an equal footing with its longer-established rivals.

Among the handsets on offer are the Apple iPhone 6s, Samsung Galaxy S7 and Sony Xperia X.

“Since the launch of Virgin Mobile last October, our mission has been to shake up the market by offering simple, good value offers - starting with Virgin Mobile Unlimited,” said Ronan McEvoy, head of Mobile, Virgin Media. “We’re continuing this with our range of mobile phones, carrying the best brands, the latest phones and keeping it simple.”

Customers will automatically be upgraded to 4G services, with no need to change their plans or opt in.