Virgin Mobile SIM Only Deals £6/m – Compare Contracts
Virgin Mobile actually existed before the birth of Virgin Media. A lot of people think it was the other way around, but it wasn’t. This means that Virgin Mobile has had many years to grow, adapt and find its niche in the busy UK market.
Right now, it’s one of the few mobile service providers that offers truly unlimited data, for example, as long as you’re also a Virgin Media broadband or TV customer. And these are the SIM-only offers from Virgin that we’re going to talk about today.
Why choose a Virgin Mobile SIM only offer?
Each mobile phone provider has their own set of selling points. Virgin Mobile is no different. Here’s what Virgin Mobile has to offer to get new customers to take out a SIM card with them.
- Unlimited data available to Virgin Media customers – If you are already a Virgin Media broadband and / or TV customer, you will be able to subscribe to a Virgin Mobile SIM with unlimited data. However, not all Virgin Mobile SIM cards offer it – you’ll have to select it specifically and they cost more. Understanding if you need unlimited data will then be crucial in deciding to take advantage
- 99% of the population covered – Virgin Mobile overlaps with the UK’s largest EE network, which means exceptional coverage and fast data speeds. However, if you are new to the EE network, we recommend that you check the signal strength using Virgin Mobile’s coverage map.
- The fastest 4G data speeds – The EE network also offers the UK’s fastest 4G data speeds, which means if you’re with Virgin Mobile, which is plugged into EE, you’ll be able to take full advantage
- Spending limits available – This is not unique to Virgin Mobile, but can be useful in ensuring you don’t get accidentally overloaded for general data usage, calling, texting, picture messaging, etc.
- Ease of data transfer – Allows you to carry over data you haven’t used in the previous month to a month when you might need more. Not everyone will find this useful, but it’s a great feature to have
Is Virgin Mobile a good network?
While there are a few dozen mobile service providers – and many more if you count the small niche providers and business providers – there are only four actual mobile networks in the UK. They are: Three, O2, Vodafone and EE. Each has a physical network of masts and as such each has its own coverage “footprint” and data speeds. All the other providers besides these four overlap one of them in order to offer their services.
Virgin Mobile is superimposed on the EE network. Fortunately, EE offers the widest coverage and the best data rates of the four network providers, so you’re in good hands. EE covers over 99.9% of the UK population with its signal and offers data download speeds between 8-10 Mbps in most places, with speeds up to 40 Mbps where you can get a signal particularly good.
Data and calling features
There is a standard set of desirable features that you should look for on any cell phone provider you are considering signing up for.
- 4G data speed – Thanks to piggyback on the EE network – the UK’s fastest 4G network – Virgin Mobile speeds are the fastest in the UK. In most places, you will be able to get download speeds of between eight and 10 Mbps, with up to 40 Mbps available in areas where your signal is particularly good.
- Data rollover – Is available with a Virgin Mobile SIM, which means you will be able to store unused excess data and apply it where you need it
- Sharing the line – You get unlimited tethering with Virgin Mobile SIM cards. Hotspot is where you use your phone as a wifi router, using its data allowance to connect a second device to the internet, such as a tablet or laptop
- Wi-Fi calling – Like EE itself, Virgin Mobile offers wifi calls on all its SIM cards. Wi-Fi calling is where you use your home broadband Wi-Fi connection instead of your mobile network to make phone calls, and is useful if there are parts of your house where reception is bad
- Data donation – This is where you can gift unused data to another person who is with the same provider. Virgin Mobile does not offer data donation
- Data Limits – Are useful if you want to limit the amount of data you can use beyond the limits of your plan. Very useful if you think you are likely to exceed, but if so then maybe consider getting a SIM card with a higher data limit
Roaming on Virgin Mobile
You can use a Virgin Mobile phone almost anywhere in the world. You should keep in mind, however, that the amount you will be charged – as with all cell phone providers – will vary wildly, depending on where you are in the world.
However, in the European Union and in many associated countries, you will be able to “roam like home”, which means that all your allowances will not cost you more if you use them in the countries you visit.
On Virgin Mobile, you can move around at home in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guinea, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion Islands, Romania, Saint-Barthélemy (Saint-Barth), San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, the French Antilles and Vatican City.
Beyond these, Virgin Mobile offers special rates for the use of your services in the Channel Islands, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Turkey and Switzerland. As with the rest of the world, you will need to check the rates on a case-by-case basis.
Which providers offer good alternatives?
Of course, Virgin Mobile SIM cards aren’t the only game in town. There are many other choices if you can take a moment to compare SIM offers from other providers. In the meantime, here’s a look at the other top UK vendors and what, if anything, makes them special.
- ASDA Mobile – Works on the EE network and only offers paid SIM cards. You can also buy “plans” using your top up, which offer better value for calls, texts and data, but expire after 30 days.
- BT Mobile – Is also on the EE network and offers a wide range of SIM-only offers. If you plan to get additional SIM cards for other family members, BT Mobile offers discounted rates for each additional SIM card.
- EE – Is on its own network and offers just about anything you can think of when it comes to mobile and SIM offers
- giffgaff – Is served by its community, which often makes it cheaper and quite unique. It works on the O2 network
- O2 – Works on its own network and like other full network providers offers just about anything you can think of in terms of SIM cards and other mobile deals
- Plusnet Mobile – Is a SIM provider only operating on the EE network. A good choice both for those who don’t use a lot of data and need a cheap SIM card, and for those who are already Plusnet broadband customers
- Celestial mobile – Works on the O2 network and offers a small range of monthly paid SIM cards with double data often offered to its Sky TV or broadband customers
- CLEVER – Belongs to Three and therefore operates on the Three network. It offers a reduced range of SIM cards with an emphasis on value for money
- Tesco Mobile – Is on the O2 network and has pretty much everything. Monthly SIM only, PAYG SIM, contract phones, contract tablets, works. Good value for money also in general
- Three – Works on its own network and like the other three UK network providers offers everything you could possibly want. Three is the only provider to offer unlimited data on their SIM cards with no strings attached – you’ll have to pay for it, beware
- Mobile ID – Works on the Three network and is the internal brand of Carphone Warehouse. It offers a bit of everything
- Vodafone – Is the last of the four UK network providers, then operating on its own network. As with the others, there are few things you cannot get from Vodafone
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I get a SIM card for Virgin Mobile?
Yes. Virgin Mobile has a good selection of SIM-only deals, operating on the EE network.
Are Virgin Mobile SIMs 4G?
Yes. All Virgin Mobile SIM cards are 4G. However, when a good 4G signal is not available, your phone will switch to 3G or even 2G as needed.
How do I cancel Virgin Mobile SIM only?
If you sign up for a Virgin Mobile SIM plan and change your mind for some reason, that’s okay. Virgin Mobile offers all of its SIM offers with a 14-day cooling off period, during which you are free to change your mind.
What network does Virgin Mobile use?
Virgin Mobile is on the EE network, giving it the best possible coverage and the fastest 4G data speeds available in the UK.
Can I use a Virgin Mobile SIM card in an EE locked phone?
No. Although Virgin Mobile is falling back to the EE network, it remains a completely separate provider and business. EE locked phones will only accept an EE brand SIM card.
Is Virgin Mobile good?
If you’d like to learn more about how we rate Virgin Mobile as a provider, you can do so by checking out our in-depth review.
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