Virgin Mobile offers an unlimited data SIM card from only £20/month with access to 5G.
In the UK, Virgin Mobile now offers an unlimited data plan from £20/month with inclusive access to 5G. This follows the recent switch of their coverage provider from EE to Vodafone, which gives customers access to 5G coverage in 100 UK towns & cities.
In this article, we’ll review Virgin Media’s unlimited data plan including the SIM cards available, the expected download speeds and the fair usage policy. We’ll also compare Virgin’s unlimited data plan to what is available on other networks before looking at the coverage you’re able to expect. Finally, we’ll look at how you can keep your current phone number when switching to the Virgin Mobile network.
|Prices From:||£20 per month|
|Contract Length:||12 month or 24 month contract|
|Average Speed:||177Mbps download (Virgin Mobile 5G)
37Mbps download (Virgin Mobile 4G)
|Fair Usage:||Personal use only. Not intended for use in a 4G router.|
|Special Offer:||Unlimited data SIM card for £20/month
(24 month contract with 5G, normally £25/month)
Virgin Mobile Unlimited Data Plans
With the launch of Virgin Media’s 5G network, it’s now possible to get unlimited data with 5G coverage for £20/month on Virgin Mobile. This is discounted from the normal price of £25/month for customers who sign up before the 6th April 2021.
You can currently get Virgin Media’s unlimited data SIM card for £20/month on a 24-month plan or for £25/month on a 12-month plan:
In addition, it’s also possible to get unlimited data on a range of phones including the iPhone 12 and the Samsung Galaxy S21. This includes access to 5G if your mobile phone is able to support it.
In the past, Virgin Media’s 4G-based unlimited data plan was only available to customers who had Virgin Media broadband or TV at home. As of February 2021, it’s no longer necessary to be a Virgin Media broadband or TV customer. This means you’re now able to get unlimited data on Virgin Mobile regardless of which home broadband provider you use.
If you’re connected to Virgin Media’s 5G network, you can expect an average download speed of around 177Mbps on their unlimited data plan. Meanwhile, average download speeds of 37Mbps are available when you’re using Virgin’s 4G network.
The following table shows Virgin Mobile’s average 4G and 5G speeds:
|Virgin Media Coverage||Average Download Speed||Average Upload Speed|
According to Virgin Media, they don’t have any speed restrictions on their unlimited data plan. You can therefore use as much data as you like without your download speeds being throttled.
Fair Usage Policy
Within the UK, Virgin Mobile doesn’t have a fair usage policy on their unlimited data plan. The main restriction is it needs to be for your own personal usage and the SIM card can’t be used for business or commercial reasons. This is detailed in Virgin Media’s acceptable use policy:
3.1 Make sure you use our services and SIM cards for private, personal and legitimate consumer purposes only. As such, you must not use our services in any way that is not in keeping with that reasonably expected of a private individual. You must not use our services or SIM cards for business purposes
In addition, Virgin Media says the SIM card is intended for use in a “personal mobile or mobile broadband device”. This can include mobile broadband dongles and mobile wi-fi hotspots, but it doesn’t include 4G home broadband routers:
3.7 Your mobile SIM card is for use in a personal mobile or mobile broadband device, such as a dongle or mobile Wi-Fi device. It is not intended for use in any other type of device, including 4G routers. We reserve the right to suspend your services if we believe abuse is taking place and if you are using an unlimited tariff, we may ask you to move to a plan with a fixed data allowance.
If you’re travelling abroad to another European country, a fair usage policy will apply to how much data you can use. You should use Virgin Media’s online calculator to determine the fair usage limit for your plan. At the time of writing, it’s 11.07GB/month on the £20 unlimited data plan and 13.84GB/month on the £25 unlimited data plan.
Comparison to Alternatives
At present, it’s possible to get unlimited data for just £20/month on Virgin Mobile. This compares favourably to the prices on Vodafone, which powers all of the underlying coverage for Virgin Mobile.
On Vodafone’s unlimited data plans, you’ll currently pay £30/month for unlimited data without speed limits on 5G. Meanwhile, if you’re happy to have a speed restricted plan, you can get unlimited data from £22/month on Vodafone.
The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of unlimited data plans on Virgin Mobile and Vodafone:
Other Mobile Networks
If you’re happy to look at a broader range of mobile networks, it’s currently possible to get unlimited data for just £16/month on Three. This comes with access to 5G coverage on Three’s network in 154 UK locations.
Alternatively, there’s an unlimited data plan available from SMARTY which gives you unlimited data at 4G speeds without a contract or credit check.
The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of unlimited data plans on UK mobile networks:
3 months half price
Network & Coverage
2G, 3G & 4G Coverage
On Virgin Mobile’s SIM-only plans, you’ll have access to 99% population coverage on 2G, 3G and 4G. Behind the scenes, the coverage for Virgin Mobile is provided by Vodafone. This means you’ll get a signal from Virgin in all of the same places you can get a signal from Vodafone.
To check the availability of coverage in your area, use the Virgin Mobile online coverage map. Simply choose the type of plan you’re signing up for and then enter your postcode to see a map of the coverage in your area.
If you’re on a Virgin Mobile 4G unlimited data plan, you’ll currently be receiving coverage from EE instead of coverage from Vodafone. Your existing plan will migrate to using Vodafone’s network some time before early 2022.
At present, you’ll have access to 5G coverage from Virgin Mobile in a total of 100 towns and cities across the UK. This gives download speeds that are around 4.5 times faster than Virgin’s 4G network.
Virgin Mobile’s 5G network is currently available in the following towns and cities:
|Now Live||100 towns and cities are live on Virgin Mobile 5G (February 2021)|
Aberdeen, Alexandria, Ambleside, Aughton, Basingstoke, Bebington, Belfast, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bishopbriggs, Blaydon, Bolton, Bootle, Bournemouth, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheadle, Cheltenham, Chesterfield, Clydebank, Crawley, Crosby, Dewsbury, Dinas Powys, Droylsden, Dudley, Dundee, Eccles, Edinburgh, Eston and South Bank, Felling, Gateshead, Glasgow, Gloucester, Gosforth, Guildford, Hebburn, Helensburgh, Horwich, Huddersfield, Hull, Huyton-with-Roby, Isle of Scilly, Jarrow, Killingworth, Kingswood, Lancaster, Leeds, Lisburn, Liverpool, Llandudno, London, Longbenton, Manchester, Mangotsfield, Middlesbrough, Morley, Mosborough, Newbury, Newcastle, Newtownabbey, North Shields, Oldbury, Paisley, Penarth, Pendlebury, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Prescot, Prestwich, Pudsey, Rawmarsh, Reading, Rochdale, Rotherham, Salford, Sheffield, Shipley, Solihull, South Shields, Southampton, Stockport, Stockton-on-Tees, Stoke-on-Trent, Stranraer, Stretford, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Swansea, Swinton, Tynemouth, Urmston, Wallasey, Wallsend, Warrington, Washington, Whitley Bay, Wolverhampton, York
|1 towns and cities planned|
Tethering & Personal Hotspot
Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with another device (e.g. with your laptop or tablet). It’s often used as a convenient way of getting access to mobile broadband on other devices.
On Virgin Mobile’s unlimited data plan, you can use tethering and personal hotspot without any restrictions. This means you can share your unlimited data allowance with other devices. In fact, Virgin Mobile’s acceptable use policy even says you’re able to use the SIM card in a mobile broadband device. However, they say it’s not intended for use inside a 4G home broadband router.
If you’re travelling abroad to one of 43 European destinations, you’ll be able to use your Virgin Mobile plan allowances at no extra cost. A fair usage policy will apply for usage abroad, however. At the time of writing, the monthly fair usage limit is 11.07GB on the £20 unlimited data plan and 13.84GB on the £25 unlimited data plan.
If you’re travelling abroad to a country outside Europe, you’ll need to pay international roaming charges. This is because you won’t be able to use your inclusive plan allowances. You can check the international roaming rates for your destination on the Virgin Media website.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re switching from another network to Virgin Mobile, it’s easy to keep your current phone number.
To start off, get a PAC Code from your old network. It’s really easy to do this: simply request it through your mobile network’s website or app, or text PAC to 65075. It’s always free to get a PAC Code from your old network.
When you order your new unlimited data plan on the Virgin Media website, you’ll be given the option to enter your PAC Code during sign-up. Alternatively, you can wait until your service is live before you give the the PAC Code to Virgin. Once you’ve submitted your PAC Code, your phone number transfer will normally take place on the next working day.
For a step-by-step guide on how to transfer your phone number to Virgin Mobile, please select your current mobile network from the drop-down menu below:
Frequently Asked Questions
|How much is unlimited data on Virgin Mobile in the UK?|
|What download speeds are available on Virgin Mobile’s unlimited data plan?||
You’ll have access to 5G speeds on Virgin Mobile’s unlimited data plan without any throttling or download speed restrictions. If you’re connected to Virgin’s 5G network, you can expect an average download speed of around 177Mbps. Meanwhile, if you’re connected to Virgin’s 4G network, you can expect average download speeds of around 37Mbps.
|Does Virgin Media have a fair usage policy for unlimited data?||
No. Virgin Mobile doesn’t have any hidden fair usage limits for unlimited data in the UK. Their acceptable use policy simply states that it needs to be for your own personal usage. In addition, the Virgin Mobile SIM card isn’t designed to be used in a 4G router.
|Will I need to be a Virgin Media broadband or TV customer to get unlimited data?||
No. There’s no need to be a Virgin Media home broadband or TV customer to sign up for this plan. In the past, it was an exclusive deal for Virgin Media broadband and TV customers but this deal is now available for anyone to sign up.
|Does Virgin Mobile offer unlimited data with 5G?||
Yes. Since the 25th January 2021, it’s been possible to get a 5G unlimited data plan on Virgin Mobile. If you took out your unlimited data plan before this date, you might only have access to 4G.
|Can I keep my current phone number?||
Yes. It’s easy keeping your current phone number when you join Virgin Mobile. Ask your current network to provide you with a PAC Code. You can get one through your mobile network’s website or app, or by texting PAC to 65075. The PAC Code should be provided to Virgin Mobile after you sign up.
For more information about the unlimited data plan on Virgin Mobile, please see the official Virgin Media website. You may also find it of interest to read our guide to unlimited data plans in the UK.