Virgin Media has launched the UK's first 'quad-play' bundles, selling home phone, broadband, digital TV and Sim-only mobile services under a single package. But if you're in the 50% of the UK that can get them, are they worth switching to?

To get them, you need to live in an area that Virgin Media supplies fibre-optic broadband to and sign up for 18 months, although the Sim-only mobile service comes on a 12-month contract.

After the first year, you can either allow the mobile contract to roll over and continue paying the same monthly bundle price, or you can downgrade to just home phone, broadband and digital TV and pay £5 less each month.

You also don't have to pay an installation fee, except for the basic Big Easy bundle, where it costs £49.95. But line rental costs extra with all bundles, at £15.99/month, or the equivalent of £13.33/month if you can pay £144 for a year upfront.

Virgin Media is currently selling each bundle at a reduced price of between £10-£35 per month for the first six months.

How much do the bundles cost?

Our table shows the equivalent monthly cost of the bundle over 18 months. Our calculations assume you get the six-month discount, you keep your mobile contract for 18 months and that you pay line rental upfront. We've also factored in the installation fee on the Big Easy bundle.

It's impossible to do a like-for-like comparison of Virgin Media's products with rival offerings. It doesn't offer the same services individually and the other major providers don't offer the same fibre speeds or the same TV service. Different products also have different contract lengths.

We've tried to match the bundles by making our own with as similar services as possible, but bear in mind it's usually cheaper to get more services from a single provider. This is because providers make it impossible or very expensive to take out standalone services as they push customers to take bundles instead.

Quad-play bundles
Bundle
Unlimited fibre broadband speed Digital TV (i) Home Phone Sim only mobile (ii) Bundle price incl line rental (equiv./month) Cheapest equivalent DIY bundle (equiv./month) (iii)
Big Easy

50MB

60+ channels  (incl Dave and Film 4)

Unlimited wkend calls (iv)

Unlimited mins/texts + 250MB

£37.66

£53.47

Big Bang

100MB

130+ channels (incl Sky 1 and Cartoon Network)

Unlimited wkend calls (iv)

Unlimited mins/texts + 250MB

£45.99

£70.87

Big Kahuna

152MB

230+ channels  (incl BT Sport and Nickelodeon HD)

Unlimited wkend calls (iv)

Unlimited mins/texts + 250MB

£59.32

£82.47

Big Daddy

152MB,

260+ channels (incl Sky Sports and Sky Movies)

Unlimited wkend calls (iv)

Unlimited mins/texts + 250MB

£104.32

£123.47

(i) 500GB Tivo box (ii) 3G only on 12 month contract.You can upgrade to 1GB of data if you pay additional £3/month. (iii) Products used below. (iv) Includes free Virgin Mobile calls.

Here's a breakdown of the deals we used to get to the cheapest equivalent DIY bundle price in the table above. The TV and mobile contracts only come with a 12 month contract, but our calculations assume they last 18 months.

The calculations also include Virgin Media's line rental based on paying a year upfront and then paying the standard monthly price for the next six months. We've also factored in the connection fee of £25 for Sky TV. Virgin Media currently doesn't charge a broadband or home phone set-up fee as long as you sign up online.

DIY bundles
Unlimited fibre broadband speed Digital TV Home Phone Sim-only mobile (i) DIY bundle price incl line rental (equiv./month)

Virgin Media: 50MB

Sky: The Original Bundle (275+ channels)

Virgin: Unlimited wkend calls (ii)

Vodafone: 900mins/unltd. texts + 500MB

£53.47

Virgin Media: 100MB

Sky: The Variety Bundle (320+ channels)

Virgin: Unlimited wkend calls (ii)

Vodafone: 900mins/unltd. texts + 500MB

£70.87

Virgin Media: 150MB

Sky: The Family Bundle (320+ channels incl Sky 3D and Sky HD channels)

Virgin: Unlimited wkend calls (ii)

Vodafone: 900mins/unltd. texts + 500MB

£82.47

Virgin Media: 150MB

Sky: The Family Bundle (320+ channels) + Sky Sports and Sky Movies

Virgin: Unlimited wkend calls (ii)

Vodafone: 900mins/unltd. texts + 500MB

£123.47

(i) Prices for 3G. (ii) Includes free Virgin Mobile calls.

Martin Lewis
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So are Virgin Media' deal any good?

Analysing Virgin Media products alone, and taking into consideration the additional cost of line rental and installation fees, you can make a big saving by getting all four products as a bundle rather than buying them separately.

If you make your own bundle of products from rival providers, the only way to get a lower-cost deal is to take TalkTalk's considerably cheaper TV service, which isn't comparable to Virgin Media or Sky TV, which offer many more channels.

There's also no way of getting a cheaper comparable deal by getting standard, as opposed to fibre, broadband.

See our Cheap Home Phones, Cheap Broadband and Cheap Mobiles guides for our best buys and tips on cutting costs.

Should I get a Virgin Media quad bundle?

There are a number of factors you need to take into consideration when thinking of getting one of Virgin Media's new bundles. Here are our pros and cons.

Pros:

  • We can't calculate a like-for-like comparison. But using similar products, Virgin Media's bundles are the cheapest of the big telecoms providers if you want an extensive digital TV service.
  • Virgin Media offers the fastest internet of all the big providers.
  • The option to upgrade Virgin Mobile's data to 1GB/month for an extra £3/month is the cheapest Sim-only deal we've seen for that allowance, working out at £8/month.
  • A quad bundle allows you to pay for all Virgin Media's services under one bill, which is more convenient than paying for four separate bills and is easier for budgeting.

Cons:

  • Virgin Media's fibre-optic broadband is only available to 50% of the UK.
  • The bundles all require a lengthy 18-month subscription for all services barring mobile, which is a 12-month contract.
  • Virgin Mobile doesn't offer 4G services.
  • The basic Virgin Mobile service only comes with a meagre 250MB of data each month. It's an extra £3/month to upgrade to 1GB.
  • The bundles require you to take all four services, when you may have existing contracts with other providers and only want two or three services.