2015 saw UPC become Virgin Media and the Irish mobile market welcomed two new MVNO networks, owing to Three’s merger with O2: iD Mobile and Virgin Mobile. Virgin Mobile have now moved into advancing their operations in Ireland by offering mobile phones to customers.
What do Virgin Mobile offer?
“Piggy-backing” on the Three network, Virgin Mobile offers what should be great nationwide coverage in most areas. To coincide with the introduction of mobile phones to Virgin Mobile, they are also upgrading their network to 4G. Obviously, you will also be able to save further by bundling together your TV, mobile phone, home phone and broadband into one convenient bill. Finally, Virgin Mobile will also offer “Freestyle” billing: an interesting, but not new approach to how you pick your mobile plans.
What is Virgin Mobile Freestyle?
Virgin Mobile Freestyle is a similar concept to that launched by iD Mobile last year. Traditionally, when you signed up to a mobile network, you picked your monthly payments without knowing how much was dedicated to your phone and service cost. Freestyle allows you to split your phone cost and service usage cost into two separate selections, providing much greater transparency into your monthly spending. While it may be a little difficult to get your head around such honesty, it’s worth while.
The single greatest benefit here comes when you have completed the duration of your contract. When you got your new phone for €60 a month over two years, it was great value. But not it’s four years later, you still have the phone and are still paying €60 per month, if not more because that plan simply doesn’t suit your needs. With Freestyle, once you have finished paying off your phone, you only have to worry about your monthly service costs.
So how much will it cost to get a phone with Virgin Mobile
Virgin have announced some of their pricing already, with the very best being kept for Virgin Media customers (all pricing shown here is for Virgin customers). The Apple iPhone 6s 16GB and Samsung Galaxy S7 will start at €190 upfront and cost €50 per month after a €35 per month, 4 month introductory offer. For this monthly amount you will get Unlimited calls, texts and 4G data.
Virgin Mobile won’t offer the same flexibility as iD Mobile, who allow you to adjust your minutes, texts and data monthly, but they do appear to offer competitive pricing versus the other long standing networks. At the launch of their mobile offers, Virgin Mobile show saves of €250 versus Vodafone, €299 versus Meteor and €179 versus Three for the iPhone 6s.
If you are a non-Virgin Media customer you can still avail of the new network, but you will pay an extra fiver.
What phones can I get with Virgin Mobile?
For launch, Virgin will be offering the following phones:
• Apple iPhone 6s 16GB & 64GB
• Apple iPhone 6
• Apple iPhone 5s
• Apple iPhone SE
• Samsung Galaxy S7
• Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
• Samsung Galaxy S6
• Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016)
• Sony Xperia X
• Sony Xperia XA
• Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
• Microsoft Lumia 550
How and when can I get Virgin Mobile?
Virgin Mobile will be available through the Virgin Media website from July 7th. It is not yet clear if Virgin will be available in retail stores.
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