Let’s not beat around the bush here, we know there’s a few crazy rumours out there around our plans and network and it’s not helping anyone get the great service they really want. So we’ve decided to set the record straight.
Does Virgin Mobile only use some towers?
No, Virgin Mobile customers have exactly the same network access (including all the towers) as Optus customers. As such we cover the same percentage of the population as the Optus network - 98.5% of the Australian population.
Are Virgin Mobile customers de-prioritised against Optus customers for network access? Absolutely not. At a network level, with most Virgin Mobile customers using Optus APN settings, the network has no ability to even distinguish the difference between a Virgin Mobile customer and an Optus customer. They’re treated exactly the same. The part where customers are distinguished is on the application level where billing and data rating occur. This allows us to have customer benefits like Free Virgin to Virgin, Free Voicemail and Rollover on your unused included calls, text and data (on selected plans).
Can you access 4G with Virgin Mobile? Absolutely. As Optus continues to roll-out 4G and 4G Plus coverage across the country, this will become available at the same time to Virgin Mobile customers. All you need is a compatible handset. If you already have one and you’re not on the 4G or 4G Plus network, you can dial 275 to enable. You can check your coverage here.
How come you weren’t charging for social media sites and now you are? We never offered social media sites for free as part of any of our plans. The way our systems were set up meant that when some customers used social media sites and apps this didn’t count towards their data usage when it should have. What we do offer for free though is voicemail, calls and text Virgin to Virgin on postpaid plans, calls to essential community services (like Lifeline and Kids Helpline) and calls to us.
Your plans seem about the same as everyone else, but you say you’re better value. Prove it. We’re definitely competitive if you compare our monthly access price on postpaid mobile with our competitors. And you’re right, you can probably find a comparable plan in terms of monthly call allowance, text and data. But that isn’t the full story and many fees that the other telcos charge eat up your monthly allowance – much like the banks do with ATM and “account keeping” fees. A great example of this is voicemail. Most Aussies eat up about $30 a month of their credit accessing voicemail, with Virgin Mobile, this is free.
Another consideration is that a lot of people have 10% of their contacts accounting for 90% of their talk and text usage (for example, your family and close friends). With Virgin Mobile Postpaid, if you and your friends are all with Virgin you can text and talk as much as you want. All these features, which might not seem much, add up to big savings for our customers. You can find the full list of Virgin benefits here.
If the network is the same, why is it cheaper with Virgin Mobile? Virgin Mobile has wholesale access to the Optus network and, as such, pays a wholesale rate in line with that which allows us to set our pricing independently of Optus.
Sir Richard Branson works there, so why won’t you put me through to him? Actually, while Sir Richard has visited us on a number of occasions and we keep in touch via email, he calls the UK home and isn’t available for us to transfer your call.