UK multiplay operator Virgin Media is refreshing its bundle line-up, suggesting it is offering customers greater value with faster broadband, flexible TV picks and data-packed mobile SIMs.
New and existing customers can take Virgin Media’s M500 Fibre broadband with any package: from broadband-only to a bundle which includes TV, home phone and a mobile SIM.
According to the operator, M500 – which has an average download speed of 516Mbps and an average upload speed of 36Mbps – is seven times faster than BT and Sky’s fastest widely-available speeds. The ultrafast broadband tier was previously only available as part of Virgin Media’s Ultimate Oomph bundle.
“We’re adding the racing stripes to our entire bundle line-up by making our M500 Fibre broadband available with all of our packages,” commented Jeff Dodds, Virgin Media’s Chief Operating Officer. “It means our customers can live life in the fast lane and do everything they want online. Whether that’s streaming Spotify, binging a box set in 4K, gearing up for an epic gaming session or joining a work Zoom call – with our incredible connectivity you can do it all in the same home at the same time.”
Virgin Media’s next-generation Gig1 broadband service, which offers gigabit speeds and is currently available across Birmingham, Coventry, Manchester, Reading and Southampton, has been given a new, lower price point across many of its bundles. By the end of 2021 Virgin Media’s entire network will have gigabit speeds available.
Virgin Media is introducing 18 month contracts across its packages – suggesting that customers can get even greater value as introductory offers match the length of their contract, and can benefit from offers for longer and have confidence in the cost of their monthly package price.
Customers can also get even more value with Virgin Media’s Oomph bundles – which combine ultrafast broadband and a mobile SIM in one package. From £8 extra per month, a customer can take a SIM and boosted broadband speeds – which are faster than those included as standard in Virgin Media’s cable bundles.
According to Virgin Media, the enhanced bundles offer outstanding value for customers who take cable and mobile services directly from Virgin Media in one package.
As part of its new bundle line-up, Virgin Media has more than doubled the mobile data allowance that is available with many of its Oomph SIMs. Customers can now choose between SIMs that are loaded with either 5GB, 15GB, 40GB or unlimited data. Customers have the freedom and flexibility to change their data allowance each month, too. All SIMs come with unlimited texts and minutes.
By taking one of these SIMs in an Oomph bundle, average broadband download speeds will increase from 108Mbps to 213Mbps, 213Mbps to 362Mbps and 362Mbps to 516Mbps. All Virgin Media’s broadband bundles come with its Intelligent WiFi service which helps to improve connectivity around the home.
“With our Oomph bundles you get the best of both worlds: unrivalled ultrafast connectivity for when you’re at home, and do-it-all SIMs so you can stream, scroll, TikTok and talk with all the data you need,” said Dodds. “Plus, with our Service Promise, you’ve got the peace of mind that you can always stay online and connected to everything you love, even if there’s a hiccup with your connection.”
Virgin Media says its Personal Picks now offer even better value so customers can build a personalised TV service for less. Personalised picks now start at £7 and each subsequent pack costs £5 per month. Personal Picks were previously priced at £10 for the first pick with each subsequent Pick costing £7 per month. The Picks are available with Virgin Media’s Big bundle where customers can pick and mix a variety of channel packs – from entertainment and lifestyle, to drama, documentaries and sport. Picks can be added to a bundle instantly, and customers have the flexibility to remove them by simply giving 30 days’ notice.
“Our Personal Picks offer the best way to watch the best TV on a budget – where you’re in control of what’s on the box – with the freedom to add Picks whenever you want and the flexibility to change them each month,” added Dodds. “So if you fancy Family Guy on Fox, want to dive in to the Deadliest Catch on Discovery or want to be entertained on E! by the Kardashians, you can pick and mix your Picks and build a top telly line-up.”
Customers can also add a range of premium TV packs to their bundle such as Sky Sports, Sky Cinema HD and BT Sport, as well as subscribe to Netflix, Prime Video and Starzplay.
All customers can enjoy their favourite shows included in their bundle on the move with the Virgin TV Go app which can be accessed across multiple devices such as mobiles, tablets and laptops. Customers can watch live TV, catch up and on-demand box sets and Bigger and Ultimate Oomph customers can also download a host of shows to watch offline.
“People are always wary of signing into long term deals as they want to have flexibility and be in control,” notes Paolo Pescatore, TMT Analyst at PP Foresight. “More so for those who have been burnt in the past. This seems to be a good compromise and one that should resonate with users as they can still enjoy the discounts for the entire period,” he adds.
According to Pescatore, the move is timely as the latest and sudden change in behavioural patterns underlines the growing importance of connectivity. “With most users having been stuck at home (for very good reason), they’ve started to realise their current set-up is not up to the task to meet with this surge in demand of working/studying/entertaining the household,” he observes.
“Over the coming months, expect users to rethink their current household and TV needs,” he advises. “Some will be happy to pay more by upgrading their fixed line broadband services towards faster (gigabit) fibre connections as well as 5G. In turn, this might lead to longer contracts in order to get the best deal. Users have and will continue to be more demanding and have high expectations,” he says.
“Ultimately, the move to faster speeds and longer contracts seems inevitable,” he concludes.