Virgin Media and O2 launch Volt, their first joint product which offers to boost mobile data and broadband speeds for customers of both firms – how it works
Newly merged O2 and Virgin Media have launched a new product called Volt, allowing eligible customers to get their mobile data allowances doubled and their broadband speeds boosted to the next level at no extra charge. To get it, you need to have Virgin broadband and an O2 mobile contract. While decent for existing customers, for most it's not worth switching to the firms just for the perks – we've full analysis below.
This is the first product launched by the joint brand (VMO2) since it merged earlier this year, and will mean new or existing customers of both Virgin Media broadband and O2 pay-monthly (not pay-as-you-go) can unlock a number of benefits if they activate them when signing up with Virgin, or through their My O2 account.
However, Virgin Mobile customers with Virgin broadband won't qualify for any Volt benefits, as its mobile network still runs off the EE network for some customers, and Vodafone for others, but not O2.
What benefits are being offered?
- Broadband speed boosts. You'll get double the broadband speed for the same price, providing it is possible at your address. For example, Volt customers will get 200Mbps broadband for the price of 100Mbps.
- Mobile data boosts. The same principle will apply to O2 pay-monthly users, who can get double the amount of data for the same price. Those with 250GB/month data will be offered unlimited data. If you already have unlimited data, then you won't be eligible for a boost.
- Free Wi-Fi boosters. Customers can claim up to three Wi-Fi pods for no extra charge (they are usually £5/mth) to help if you have a patchy signal in some parts of your home.
- Data roaming to 75 countries. Customers will get roaming outside of Volt's 'Europe zone' (which is already free), including Australia and the USA at no extra cost (normally £4.99/day).
How do I get 'em?
You must be or become a customer of both Virgin Media broadband and O2 to claim these benefits (you must take out a pay-monthly plan with O2). The benefits do not get added automatically, so you must ask for Volt benefits when you sign up or register through your My O2 account. You will still be billed separately for both services, and they both must be registered in your name.
VMO2 says if you ditch the O2 Sim-only plan after the 12-month contract, you'll still keep the benefits you'll get with Virgin Media broadband.
Are the perks worth switching to O2 or Virgin Media for?
If you happen to be a Virgin Media and O2 customer already, Volt will offer you additional benefits at no extra cost, so make sure you activate the service in your account.
If you're currently only either a Virgin Media broadband or O2 pay-monthly customer – or not with either firm – and you're considering switching to benefit from Volt, then you'll need to weigh up if it's worthwhile for you. If you don't have a need for speed on your broadband or if you don't use much mobile data each month, then it's unlikely you'll save any money with Volt, as there are cheaper deals currently available for low data Sims and standard broadband speeds.
If you do want to sign up to either service, there is no stipulation that you need to get the products directly from O2 and Virgin Media to be eligible for Volt – and it's usually a lot cheaper to go through comparison sites such as our Broadband Unbundled tool and Cheap Mobile Finder, as you'll often get extra switching incentives you won't get direct, which bring the overall cost down. Do note Virgin is only available to 52% of the country – our tool will tell you if you can get it in your postcode.
How do the deals compare?
Currently, the cheapest Virgin Media package is available via our Broadband Unbundled tool and offers 100Mbps speed for an equivalent £19.84/mth (including a £75 voucher, which you must claim) over an 18-month contract. The cheapest O2 pay-monthly Sim in our Cheap Mobile Finder tool offers 10GB/mth for £8/mth on a 12-month contract. With Volt, this would become 200Mbps broadband and 20GB/mth of mobile data for a total of '£27.84/mth'.
In contrast, the cheapest similar deal with other providers is an equivalent £15.74/mth for 63Mbps superfast broadband with Shell Energy (including £75 cashback), and an equivalent £6.59/mth for a 10GB/mth Sim with Lebara (discounted for the first four months) – a total of '£22.33/mth'.
However, you could save even more if you are happy with regular fibre and a 3GB/mth Sim (enough for most according to our last poll). The cheapest deal on the market for 38Mbps fibre is a Vodafone deal for an equivalent £15.34/mth (including a £100 voucher, which you must claim), with an equivalent £4.09/mth for a 3GB/mth Sim with Lebara (the deal in our tool gets it half price for four months) – a total of '£19.43/mth' factoring in the incentives. You'll find these deals in our tools.
It's worth noting that if your property has never had Virgin Media before, you will need an engineer to come out and install a Virgin line, which could leave you without internet for a period.
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