Virgin Media launches ‘smart pods’ to rid Irish houses of Wi-Fi black spots

7 Feb 2022

Image: Virgin Media

The new Wi-Fi Guarantee service includes smart pods that connect to the cloud to optimise home internet connections.

Virgin Media has launched a new service that uses ‘smart pods’ with the aim of eliminating Wi-Fi black spots and guaranteeing internet speeds in Irish households.

The company’s Wi-Fi Guarantee service uses smart pods working on mesh technology, which can connect to the cloud to understand how each household uses wireless internet. It then uses this data to optimise internet connections around the house.

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The company said that the new smart pods connect with the main Virgin Media hub to ensure at least 30Mbps speed in every room for activities ranging from working and gaming to streaming TV shows and movies.

Orla Kelly, proposition manager at Virgin Media, said that wireless internet black spots “in those hard-to-reach places” such as a new home office in the attic are a “real source of frustration for many households”.

“Thanks to our smart Wi-Fi pods, we can make working, gaming or simply browsing seamless. No more running cables across the landing or sitting on the stairs to get a signal for your Zoom call,” she added. “Virgin Media’s Wi-Fi Guarantee gets Wi-Fi everywhere in your house, so you don’t have to.”

Users of the new service will get up to three smart Wi-Fi pods for an additional €5 to their existing Virgin Media broadband plan. If a customer does not see improvement in the black spots in their house, they are eligible for a €50 credit from Virgin Media.

The company said that the smart pods work best when they are plugged into a socket somewhere “halfway between your black spot and your modem” to help extend the Wi-Fi to hard-to-reach areas of the house.

Virgin Media has been expanding its internet services in Ireland. In November, it announced plans to invest €200m to upgrade its national broadband network of more than 1m premises to full fibre, enabling speeds of up to 10Gbps.

Gavin Murphy, head of operations at Virgin Media Business in Ireland, told last month that connectivity is the “backbone” of the company. “The introduction of hybrid working models, along with the increased capabilities of telecommunications and ‘always on’ connectivity, is driving the future of work,” he said.

Virgin Media isn’t the only company in Ireland looking to provide more reliable home broadband connections in a world of hybrid working. Vodafone said last month that it is rolling out a new product that combines mobile and broadband networks and can switch between them when connections are down.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic