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The 9 things you need to know before joining Virgin Mobile

Luke Thompson
Tuesday, December 6th 2016

After much searching and researching, your quest for a new mobile deal has landed you at the feet of Virgin Mobile. But no doubt you still have some questions before you take the plunge.

Here are nine things worth knowing about Virgin Mobile before you go ahead and sign on the dotted line. Some good, some bad, but all useful.

1. Upgrade, downgrade as you please

Virgin Media Mobile is one of the only mobile providers in the UK to let you both upgrade and downgrade your tariff mid-contract, even if you’re tied into a 12-month minimum term.

You can do this at any point. Downgrading or upgrading won’t affect your contract length and the new price will come into effect from the month following the re-grade.

2. Virgin Mobile’s tariffs are a little different

One of Virgin Mobile's unique selling points is its separation of the handset contract and tariff contract. This allows you to alter your tariff as and when you wish, without any changes affecting your 24-month handset contract. Only available on 24-month terms, pay monthly contracts come with a smartphone of your choice and one of Virgin’s basic tariffs.

3. No need to be a Virgin Media customer

Virgin offers the same prices and deals to both existing customers and non-Virgin customers. The only advantage an existing customer will get is free calls to other Virgin mobile users.

4. No unlimited data plans with Virgin

An unlimited data plan may be an attractive proposition if you are a heavy mobile internet user. Only a handful of mobile providers offer this option (Three and giffgaff are two). However, if you are prepared to pay for it, Virgin does offer a 20GB SIM-only deal which should certainly keep you going for the month.

5. Virgin Mobile now offers 4G

After a long wait, all Virgin Mobile’s plans now come with 4G as standard (where available) including its SIM-only tariffs and its pay monthly phone contracts. Virgin runs on the EE network, meaning you should get the best possible speeds and coverage across the UK.

6. Virgin Mobile uses EE’s network

Instead of running its own network, Virgin Mobile uses EE’s 3G and 4G network to carry its calls, texts, and mobile internet data. EE has the largest 3G mobile network in the UK, reaching 98% of the population, so it’s highly likely you will get a 3G signal where you live and work, even if you cannot yet get 4G.

7. You can’t tether with Virgin Mobile

Tethering, which means broadcasting your smartphone's data supply to other devices such as laptops, is forbidden across all Virgin Mobile tariffs. This applies to SIM-only deals, pay-as-you-go plans, and pay monthly phone contracts.

8. Call other Virgin Mobile customers for free

Any call made to another Virgin Mobile customer will be free for the first 60 minutes of the call, but only if you are an existing Virgin media customer. After this period you will be charged the standard rate of 40p per minute. To avoid this charge, hang up and redial. This will count as a new call and the 60-minute period will begin from scratch.

9. Free wi-fi

All Virgin Mobile customers can use public wi-fi on the London Underground for free. All you need is your account details and a compatible device, such as your smartphone or a wireless-enabled laptop. Wi-fi access is available in the ticket halls and on the station platforms. It isn’t available in the tunnels or between stations.

Virgin Mobile also has around 22,000 wi-fi hotspots located in bars, restaurants, stadiums and popular retail stores. You can connect to one of the wi-fi hotspots via the WiFi Buddy app. There's no need to set up a username or password, you'll be able to sign in using your SIM card.

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