VIRGIN MEDIA has stepped into 2012 with the launch of its first 4G contracts.
Virgin Media, which piggybacks on EE's network, has decided it's finally time to jump on the 4G bandwagon, and is chucking in the added bonus of free messaging on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger in a bid to stand out from its well-established rivals.
This is good news for iPhone users on Virgin's mobile network, as WhatsApp has just added GIF support to its iOS app. However, Virgin Media has confirmed that this freebie offer won't include WhatsApp calls.
If that's not enough to convince you, Virgin Media's plans start at £6 per month with 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 300MB of data, and rise to £25 for 5,000 minutes, unlimited texts and 20GB of data.
As well as free messaging on WhatsApp on Facebook, these plans come with 'data rollover', allowing customers to bolt unused downloads onto next month's allowance.
As another perk, Virgin Media said that customers can use up to 250,000 WiFi hotspots with its dedicated WiFi app, including the 250 on the London Underground.
Peter Kelly, managing director of mobile at Virgin Media, said: "Virgin Media's new mobile plans are fast, flexible and filled with data.
"By offering free messaging on WhatsApp and Messenger we’re making sure that Virgin Media customers never have to worry about messaging friends or family, and if there’s data left over at the end of the month we’ve got that covered too. With 4G our customers have a quicker way to browse, message, stream and play wherever they are."
Virgin Mobile offers the new tariffs as Freestyle or SIM-only plans. The firm's O2-esque Freestyle tariffs let you pay separate monthly costs for the contract and the phone, meaning you can pay off the phone part of the plan early to upgrade to the latest device. µ
The week in Google in brief
Sega hedgehogging its bets
And not a purple duck in sight