The recent launch of 4G services in the UK by EE has attracted much criticism from consumers, with many decrying high price plan costs and paltry data allowances as major barriers to adoption of 4G. EE’s rival carriers – who have been shut out of the 4G party until next year – have been rubbing their hands with glee at this, particularly those who offer unlimited data packages, including Three and Telefónica’s giffgaff.
The case that such networks are pitching to consumers is that a cheaper package with unlimited data on 3G is better than a more expensive 4G plan that vaults you at breakneck speed into the brick wall of your data cap. Virgin Media is another UK carrier that’s adopted this position, and having already launched its “Unlimitacular” pay monthly plans earlier this year, it’s now bringing uncapped data packages to pay-as-you-go customers.
Virgin Media has in fact completely overhauled its PAYG offerings, simplifying them around two basic packages, each with two options:
Big Data & Texts
For a £10 top-up, you’ll get unlimited data, 300 text messages and £10 airtime credit. A £15 top-up gets you unlimited data, unlimited texts and £15 of airtime.
For a £10 top-up, you’ll get unlimited calls to UK landlines, 120 minutes of calls to UK mobile networks, and £10 of additional airtime. A £15 top-up gets you the same deal on landline and mobile calls, plus unlimited texts and £15 of additional airtime.
The company says that it’s introduced these plans after seeing a 100% increase over the last twelve months in the amount of data that its PAYG customers consume. “Unlimited data is a must to get the most out of the amazing smartphones available today,” said Jamie Heywood, Virgin Media’s director of mobile. “People want to be connected wherever they are, so we’ve introduced unlimited data…whether you’re willing to sign up to a new contract or not.”
Source: Media Centre at Virgin Media