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Virgin Review

Virgin Mobile is a virtual mobile network (ie a mobile network which uses another existing network infrastructure), run by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. Virgin Mobile launched back in 1999 and was the UK’s first virtual mobile provider taking advantage of the Everything Everywhere network (Orange and T-Mobile merger). In the early days Virgin Mobile only offered pay-as-you-go mobile services with a no-frills approach and competitive pricing and marketing, since then, Virgin Mobile has carved out a respectable market share and today employs 1,700 people in the UK.

Virgin Mobile is the UK’s leading virtual network. The advantages of virtual networks is that they are often  cheaper than the main networks (Orange, Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2 and 3). However, Virgin Mobile is not the only virtual network in the Uk and some of the other networks can offer better value on some tarrifs. The Simply tariff is very competitive with other virtual networks however at 8p per minute (texts are also just 8p each) but you do have to be a current Virgin Media customer. This tarrif competes well with other budget virtual networks like ASDA Mobile and Giffgaff.

There have been criticisms of Virgin Mobile customer service due to the fact they operate call centres in India and South Africa, however their technical support is regarded the best in the business. Today Virgin Mobile offers competitive tarrifs on PAYG and pay monthly contracts. The pay monthly deals start from just £7.50 a month on 12 or 24 month contracts.

One of the most popular PAYG services is the "Addict Tariff" which offers great rewards whenever you top up. For instance if you text a lot the Virgin Mobile on the "Addict Tariff" will give you unlimited free texts and 1GB Mobile Web for topping up for £15 in a month. Uniquely they also offer five free "Call Back" texts every month, so you can ask people to phone you back if you are out of credit! In addition for every £100 you spend on calls and messages or bundles on your PAYG phone, Virgin Mobile will give you £10 towards your next phone (up to a maximum of £100 off your next phone).

For heavy data users Virgin Mobile offers 1GB Mobile Web for just £5 a Month on Pay As You Go, this is enough to - download 100 MP3 music files, 100 hours using Instant Messenger services, download and reply to 2000 emails or to browse online for 250 hours! This service also applies to Virgin Pay Monthly tariff customers that do not have Mobile Web included on their tarrif (or if they have exceeded their allowance) where they can pay an extra £1.69 per day for unlimited data.

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