Family sitting on a couch watching TV with Virgin Media logo in front

Virgin Media and Virgin Mobile have launched in Ireland

Virgin Media has launched quad play broadband bundles, with TV, landline and SIM-only mobile

UPC has transformed into Virgin Media, and today all UPC operations, products and services - residential and business - rebranded to Virgin Media.

The announcement was made at the company launch in the RDS last Thursday which was attended by Virgin founder, Richard Branson. Here, we take a closer look at what the business transformation means for consumers.

Virgin Media success

Virgin Media was launched in 1999 as an extension of Richard’s world famous brand. Within a year of its launch, it boasted 500,000 UK customers and by 2001 had one million, making it the first UK mobile communications company to hit this landmark within the shortest time. Virgin Media was also the first quad play provider in the UK.

In addition to the UK and its recently launched Irish business, Virgin Media also operates in India, Australia, Canada, South Africa, the United States and France.

Virgin Mobile

Ireland has a brand new mobile phone provider. Virgin Media has success in winning new customers in highly competitive mobile markets. The company said it is going to provide Irish consumers with a new choice, simplicity and the best prices available in the market.

Virgin Media’s first mobile offer is an attractive one. It’s new SIM-only Unlimited Plan offers infinite data, calls and texts. To celebrate the launch, Virgin Media is offering three months of the Virgin Unlimited Mobile plan for FREE exclusively to its 500,000 existing customers.

Virgin Mobile Unlimited (existing customers)

  • Unlimited call minutes, texts and data
  • 30 day contract
  • FREE for 3 months, €25 per month thereafter
  • Call 1890 940 294

Virgin Mobile 1GB (existing customers)

  • 250 call minutes, 250 texts and 1GB of data
  • 30 day contract
  • €15 per month
  • Call 1890 940 294

Virgin Mobile Unlimited (new customers)

  • Unlimited call minutes, texts and data
  • 30 day contract
  • €30 per month
  • Call 1890 940 294

Virgin Mobile 1GB (new customers)

  • 250 call minutes, 250 texts and 1GB of data
  • 30 day contract
  • €20 per month
  • Call 1890 940 294

Switching is to Virgin Mobile is easy - you can keep your current mobile number. Once you receive your new SIM, you can go online and move your mobile number to your new Virgin Mobile SIM.

Virgin Mobile uses the Three mobile network, which is one of the biggest in Ireland, with 99.6% population coverage (plus 97% coverage for 3G data services). There are plans to upgrade to 4G in 2016. Virgin mobile numbers have an 089 prefix.

Quad play

Virgin Media has launched a new range of quad play bundles, which offer SIM-only mobile services along with broadband, home phone and TV. The company has joined eir as the second quad play provider in Ireland.

Quad play packages are relatively new to the Irish market, but they no doubt will appeal to an increasingly digital world. As competition heats up attractive discounts could be on the way for customers willing to bundle all of their services on the simplicity of one bill.

Superfast fibre broadband and digital TV

Up until recently Virgin Media could lay claim to providing Ireland’s fastest broadband speeds. In September the newly named eir put its foot on the broadband speed accelerator and announced speeds of up 1000Mb for 23,000 households and businesses in 15 communities around Ireland.

Virgin Media will still feel they are ahead of the competition, as its fibre-to-the-building network can reach speeds of up to 240Mb and is available to an estimated 367,000 customers.

One of the main attractions of Virgin Media’s digital TV service is the My Prime streaming service. My Prime is like Netflix, without the extra cost, and features thousands of movies and popular shows. Liberty Global is the parent company of Virgin Media, and it recently purchased TV3 for €80 million, so there will undoubtedly be upgrades to existing service and channel selection coming soon.

Best Broadband Provider

For the second year running, UPC, now Virgin Media, was named Best Broadband Provider at the annual Switcher Broadband Awards in April 2015. UPC was also named as the provider of Fastest Home Broadband, Best Customer Rated Home Broadband and Most Recommended Broadband.

With Virgin Media, the sky is not the limit

Speaking at the launch event in the RDS last week where he arrived on a Virgin branded juggernaut truck, Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson said: “This is a fantastic day for me and everyone at Virgin Media. I’m thrilled to bring our brand to homes and businesses all over Ireland. Virgin Media is going to shake up the market with an unbeatable service - we have a great foundation to build on and there are no limits to what we want to achieve for our customers.

We wouldn’t put our name on a brand unless we thought it was really good, so watch this space. With Virgin Media, the sky is not the limit.

Magnus Ternsjö, CEO of Virgin Media in Ireland said: “As we have done time and again, we’re making what’s great even better. Transforming the UPC business into Virgin Media will keep our customers at the heart of everything we do. It will bring magic to our overall offerings and change the Irish telecommunications market for good. I’m thrilled that we’re also simultaneously launching a mobile service with a great offer for existing customers. As Virgin Media we’re going to provide new choice and simplicity to help people to do more with the best products, prices and services available in the market.

“We’ll continue to break barriers with Ireland’s best broadband and the best connected entertainment. As well as digital TV, ultrafast broadband and phone, we now have the most competitive mobile service and an overall market leading offer for our customers. This all forms part of our strategy to build locally while serving our customers using the many advantages of our global presence as part of the world’s largest international cable company.”

Virgin Media provides the fastest broadband speeds to more homes and businesses than anyone else in Ireland. But that’s now just one of the many reasons why you might want to sign up for its service.

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