Virgin Media O2 has kicked off its expected broadband and mobile data battle with British Telecom, with analysts welcoming the increased competition.
Customers of both Virgin Media and O2 will see their pay monthly mobile data allowance to be doubled, while broadband speeds will be upgraded to the next available tier, free of charge.
It is Virgin Media O2’s first joint product since the two company’s £31bn merger earlier this year to take on BT.
The firm is hoping its Volt offering will lure new customers who may only have one service but not the other, as well as those not currently using either.
“This is the first product collaboration between the two telecom giants since the merger. The substantial speed boost and data package will be desirable for the growing internet demands of remote workers, gamers and families,” commented Matt Powell, Editor at BroadbandGenie.co.uk.
“However, not everyone will require these generous data limits and blistering speeds. An entry-level fibre package will be more than enough for a small household with basic internet demands and you won’t notice the difference in speed,” he said.
If you’re switching to Virgin Media you will need to inform your current provider that you intend to leave your contract, because they operate outside of the BT Openreach network used by most other providers.
“However, this process is going to become much easier over the next few years as a new switching process will be introduced that will make it simple to move between networks,” Powell pointed out.
The O2 mobile service included in this bundle should also prove valuable for travellers as O2 is the last major network operator to offer free international roaming, he added.
“After EE, Vodafone and Three all made u-turns with their free roaming policy, it’s refreshing to see that O2 Travel remains in the contract. It will undoubtedly come in handy as international travel continues to steadily return to pre-pandemic levels,” Powell stressed.
Also zooming in on Virgin Media O2’s new offering, Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com, said this morning that “Virgin Media O2 has had six months to shake up the industry, and deliver a better service to existing customers while enticing new ones to sign up.”
“The Volt bundles are the first step in ‘supercharging’ customers by rewarding them for using multiple broadband, TV and mobile offerings from the merged businesses,” he explained.
Doubling customers’ mobile data allowances and bumping them up to the next tier of broadband speeds is a great statement of intent, Doku stressed, and “will give existing users an immediate boost.”
“Virgin Media O2 hopes to challenge the BT and EE partnership, which already offers monthly discounts to users who link their account, he continued.
“People should generally be mindful of getting their broadband and mobiles deals from a sole supplier, as they may be able to get better mobile coverage or a more stable broadband connection from different providers.
“However, if you are already using Virgin Media O2 for one of your services, switching to both could both save you money and improve your connections.
Supercharged customers will get up to three Virgin Media Wi-Fi pods free of charge to help eliminate broadband blackspots in their home.
Hidden in the announcement is a commitment from the O2 network to continue its roaming policy that allows you to use your phone in 75 destinations.
“This is welcome news to consumers, following a summer of several major networks reintroducing roaming charges,” Doku said.
“O2 has built up a strong reputation for their customer rewards, so it will be interesting to see if this continues to be a key part of the combined brands’ strategy.”
“Bringing together O2’s mobile network and Virgin Media’s entertainment offering is a marriage made in heaven, and their customers are currently enjoying a honeymoon period.,” he concluded.