Virgin Media hopes ‘freestyle’ contracts will entice customers

5 Jul 2016

At the launch of the first Virgin Media mobile contracts in October 2015

Virgin Media Ireland is making its latest stake in the mobile telecoms sector, with the launch of both its range of phones and contracts it promises offer greater freedom to customers.

Virgin Media Ireland first announced it was to enter the mobile market back in October last year as part of an MVNO arrangement with Three, and now the company has revealed its latest pricing and contract options.

Until now, the new network has been slow to get off the ground due to the limitation of having 3G services only on the network, but the company revealed at its launch event this morning (5 July) that customers can now avail of free 4G connectivity.

A number of phones have been announced as being available for customers to buy on a contract basis, including Apple’s iPhone 6s and SE, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and the Sony Xperia X.

Older generation phones will also be available down to the iPhone 5s, Galaxy S6 and Xperia Z5 compact.

Better transparency

Virgin Media also appears to be putting forward the idea that its new contracts offer something different from the other major mobile networks with what it is calling its ‘freestyle’ contracts.

The idea is that customers signing up for one of these contracts will be offered a bill split into two payments: one for payment for the phone, the other for the plan, with Virgin Media claiming this offers greater transparency about what you’re actually paying for.

Once the phone segment of the bill has been paid off, this will then disappear, leaving just the payment plan.

Non-Virgin Media customers pay €5 extra a month

There’s a slight caveat, however, for those of you who might be interested in picking up one of its contracts but are not currently Virgin Media customers, as the company has confirmed it will cost you an extra €5 if this is the case.

Speaking at the announcement this morning, Ronan McEvoy, Head of Mobile at Virgin Media, said: “Since the launch of Virgin Mobile last October, our mission has been to shake up the market by offering simple, good value offers – starting with Virgin Mobile Unlimited.

“With 4G data, we wanted to give all of our customers the best data experience we can – but at no extra cost.  No need to opt-in, or change your plan, or pay more.”

Main image via William Murphy/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic