Virgin opens up 900 Bitbuzz Wi-Fi hotspots for free to mobile users

11 Aug 2016108 Shares

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Shauna Lindsay uses Virgin Media's Bitbuzz free mobile Wi-Fi hotspot at Insomnia, Chatham Row

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In news that will no doubt be welcomed by those obsessed with Pokémon Go, among others, Virgin has revealed that it is giving free and unlimited Wi-Fi access to all Virgin Mobile customers at 900 Bitbuzz Wi-Fi hotspots across Ireland and the UK.

In 2014, Virgin Media, then known as UPC in Ireland, acquired Ireland and UK Wi-Fi provider Bitbuzz for between €5m and €6m.

Last year, Virgin Media launched its new mobile brand Virgin Mobile in Ireland as part of a MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) arrangement with Hutchison Whampoa-owned Three Ireland.

‘Our mobile offer is growing, having launched free 4G for all mobile customers, introduced a new range of handsets and now offering free Wi-Fi hotspots to all our mobile customers’
– ELAINE MCCARTHY, VIRGIN MOBILE

The new mobile brand launched initially with 3G data services before moving to 4G this year.

The wireless buzz

Virgin opens up 900 Bitbuzz Wi-Fi hotspots for free to mobile users

Peter Manley of Insomnia, Shauna Lindsay, and Elaine McCarthy, Virgin Media Ireland

From this week, Virgin Mobile users will have free access to Wi-Fi in Bitbuzz locations such as Insomnia and Costa Coffee, as well as various hotels and pubs around the country, following a once-off registration.

The move follows Virgin Media sparking a new phase of competition amongst broadband providers last week with a new 5GHz wireless hotspot that it claims surpasses the abilities of rival ISPs.

Elaine McCarthy, manager in charge of Mobile Product Development at Virgin Media Ireland, said that the timing of the free wireless hotspot network chimes in perfectly with the Pokémon Go buzz among smartphone users.

“Our mobile offer is growing and, having launched free 4G for all mobile customers, introduced a new range of handsets and now offering free Wi-Fi hotspots to all our mobile customers – it’s impossible not to enjoy free, speedy Virgin Media Wi-Fi on the go,” said McCarthy.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com