The Update - 12/10/2016 WHAT’S HAPPENING TO THE 2G OPTUS MOBILE NETWORK? Optus is closing down the 2G network from 1 April, 2017. After this date you won’t be able to use 2G devices on the Optus mobile network with your Virgin Mobile service. 3G Single Band devices also use the 2G mobile network in certain areas, so if you have a 3G Single Band device and are outside the coverage of our 3G 2100 MHz network, you will lose mobile service in these areas when the 2G mobile network closes. For more information on 3G Single Band devices, please see our FAQ below. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? The 2G mobile network has been doing its thing for many years, but from 1 April 2017 it will be closing down. That means we are able to focus and invest in technology that offers better services for Virgin Mobile customers now and into the future. And so to stay connected and get the best possible coverage from that date, you’ll need to upgrade your device. Frequently Asked Questions WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MY 2G DEVICE? From 1 April, 2017, your 2G device will no longer work with Virgin Mobile on the Optus mobile network. 3G Single Band devices will also no longer work in 2G areas. It means you’ll need to upgrade to a 3G Dual Band or 4G device. WHAT FREQUENCIES DOES THE OPTUS 2G MOBILE NETWORK USE? The Optus 2G mobile network currently uses 900 MHz spectrum. HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M USING A 2G DEVICE? If you have a 2G device, you’ll only ever notice one of these symbols: 2G, Edge, E or GPRS in the top right hand corner of your phone’s screen (next to the signal strength bars) when it’s switched on. 2G phones are typically older phones that are basically best for talking and texting only. Also, older models only feature basic text screens – and that means you may not even see a 2G icon on your phone. If you see any of these icons: 3G, H+, 4G or LTE on your phone’s screen, then it means your phone is compatible with Optus’ newer network technologies. 3G Single Band phones will show “3G” when in Optus’ 3G 2100 MHz coverage areas, but fall back to 2G outside of these coverage areas. The latter coverage areas will be lost once Optus’ 2G mobile network is closed down. ARE ALL 2G DEVICES AFFECTED? Yes, any device that is 2G only will be affected by this change. WHAT IS A 2G HANDSET? The list below advises some of the most frequently used 2G handsets, please check to see if you are using one of these devices: Samsung GT – C3520 Samsung GT-E1205T Alcatel 2001X Nokia 2220s Nokia 101 Nokia 1010 Nokia 2630 Nokia 1208 Nokia 1112 Nokia 6300 Nokia 3315 WHAT IF I HAVE A 2G SIM? While 2G SIMs will continue to work in some 3G devices, older SIMs will not fit into new 4G devices. Virgin Mobile recommends upgrading your 2G SIM card. SIM replacement is free of charge at Virgin Mobile stores. Visit us in store or contact us here to order a replacement SIM, free of charge. HOW DO I KNOW IF I'M USING A 2G SIM? 2G SIM cards can be identified by the ICCID number printed on the card. If your SIM card starts with 896102 99, you'll need to get a new SIM card. Visit us in store or contact us here to order a replacement SIM, free of charge. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS ONCE THE 2G MOBILE NETWORK IS CLOSED? If you have a 2G device, you’ll need to upgrade to a 3G Dual Band (UMTS 900/2100) or 4G device. If you have a 2G SIM, you may also need to upgrade that SIM card. Virgin customers who are owners of Single Band 3G devices may continue to use the Optus 3G 2100 MHz mobile network, however your mobile network coverage will be reduced (depending on where you use the device) and your user experience may be degraded. If you’re currently using a 3G Single Band device, you may need to upgrade to a 3G dual band (3G3100/900MHz) or 4G device. We recommend checking your coverage at virginmobile.com.au/coverage. Stay tuned for further details on the 2G mobile network closure closer to 1 April 2017. WHAT IF I’M USING A 3G SINGLE BAND PHONE? 3G Single Band is the 3G 2100MHz technology that connects your device to the Optus mobile network. Today, when 3G Single Band devices are used outside of Optus 3G 2100MHz network coverage areas, their service switches to 2G. From 1st April 2017, 3G Single Band devices will lose coverage when moving into areas once covered by 2G. If you’re currently using a 3G Single Band device, you may need to change to a 3G Dual Band (UMTS 900/2100) or 4G device. Commonly used 3G Single Band phones include: Samsung Galaxy S2 (GT-19100): Please note that while most are 3G Dual Band U900 capable, there may be some that are not. Please check your Samsung S2 device. Samsung SM-G130H Apple iPhone 3GS Apple iPad 2 (A1396) Nokia Lumia 520 (RM-915) Nokia C2-01.5 Apple iPhone 3G Samsung Trend Plus (GT-S7580L) Samsung GT-S5310B ZTE F286 (This is 900/2100) I NEED A NEW DEVICE, HOW DO I UPGRADE TO A 3G/4G COMPATIBLE DEVICE? To get a new 3G Dual Band or 4G device to use on the Optus mobile network from 1 April 2017, visit a Virgin Mobile store or contact us here to discuss your upgrade options. WHAT BENEFITS WILL I GET AFTER UPGRADING? Of course, you’ll still be able to make and receive calls and texts. But it’s data where you’ll enjoy a much better experience. ARE PREPAID CUSTOMERS ENTITLED TO A REFUND? Refunds will be assessed on a case by case basis and will depend on individual circumstances. WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DON’T UPGRADE MY 2G PHONE OR SIM CARD? If you have not updated your 2G or 3G Single Band phone prior to Optus closing its 2G mobile network from 1st April 2017, your phone will display one of two messages in an area previously covered by the Optus 2G mobile network: “SOS only”, “Emergency Only” or similar message or symbol. In this situation, you can still make an emergency phone call (police, fire, or ambulance) by dialling “000” or “112”. Your phone will be unable to make or receive any other type of phone call, send or receive any SMS or data. “No service”, an antenna icon with a crossed-line through it, or other similar symbol. This means that your phone has no connectivity to any mobile network and cannot make or receive any phone calls (including emergency calls) or send or receive any SMS or data. NEED HELP? Our friendly team are here to help, contact us here.
What is VoLTE? We're glad you asked! It's 4G voice calling – it means you can make and receive voice calls on the 4G network. Does Virgin Mobile currently offer it? Right now 4G on the Optus network is for data only, but Optus are looking to launch this feature next year. Virgin Mobile customers can expect to get access to this feature later in 2016. What’s the benefit / difference between 4G VoLTE and 3G calls? With VoLTE, the main benefit is your call will connect more quickly on 4G than 3G, if both people have a VoLTE compatible phone. You will also stay on a 4G connection when browsing the web while simultaneously making a call (rather than drop down to 3G). Can I get VoLTE with my iPhone 6s and 6s Plus with Virgin Mobile? Right now the Optus 4G network is for data only, but they'll launch VoLTE on the Optus 4G Plus network next year - with Virgin Mobile customers getting access later in 2016. You can already enjoy 3G HD voice for Virgin Mobile to Virgin Mobile calls with iPhone 6s and 6s Plus as well as many other compatible phones. So should I get my iPhone 6s or 6s Plus with Virgin Mobile? Umm, only if you want the best deal in town! Only Virgin Mobile customers enjoy all these benefits and we offer great data inclusions to make the most of your new iPhone. We're the telco for you if you want a great deal on a great network to make the most of your new phone.
Virgin Mobile uses the Optus network, which reaches 98.5% of the population in Australia. Should you encounter issues with receiving mobile reception, we recommend following the below steps to determine the potential cause. Check for Outages/Planned Work Go to our coverage maps. Enter an address in the address field then click the search button. Select the phone you are using from the device list. At the bottom of the coverage map tick the box marked Outages In The Area. Clicking on an affected tower will open further information regarding the outage or planned work as well as the expected resolve date. If there are no outages or planned work that could be causing the reception issues, we recommend performing some simple phone troubleshooting to get you back up and running. Phone troubleshooting Power-cycle your phone. Switch your phone off then on again to try and reconnect to the network. Reset network settings: (this will delete WiFi and Bluetooth settings) For iPhone: Tap Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. For Android: Go to Settings > Mobile Networks > Network Operator > Select Virgin Mobile. Ensure your phone software is up to date. New software is often released to fix known phone issues and to improve the overall functionality of the phone. Try your SIM card in another phone. This will help isolate whether the issue is with the phone or the network. If you have tried all of the above and still cannot get sufficient signal on your phone, contact us for further assistance.
What’s happening? Optus are currently upgrading towers across the country to make them ready for super- fast 4G. Woo hoo! Unfortunately this means there may be some disruption to services for customers in and around the towers being upgraded. We apologise for the impact to our customers from this work. This is part of the 4G 700 and 2600 MHz network expansion, which will see the Optus network bring 4G to around 200 regional and holiday locations early next year once the new 4G spectrum is available. Will I be impacted? We will be listing all the upcoming work on our coverage page when we are notified by Optus at least 3 days prior. For more information about your area, search for your location and click “Outages in the area”. Are you telling customers about the work? We are endeavouring to contact customers who will be severely impacted by the works with as much notice as possible, to help minimise the inconvenience. Whilst we understand that it's frustrating when service interruptions happen, we hope customers with a compatible device will enjoy the benefits of Optus bringing 4G to the area with faster mobile internet. What will be the impact and what can I do? You can check the impact to a location based on the coverage map here - in many cases the network impact will just be a deterioration of service. Even without network coverage your phone will still work in an emergency. Calls to 000 will go through provided coverage is available on another network. You can also set up your phone to divert to another line using the guide here, and you can retrieve your voicemail from a landline by dialling 0411000212 then entering their phone number and voicemail PIN. If you have a fixed internet connection at home, you can use your Wi-Fi connection to make calls using internet calling applications like Skype. Why does the planned work have to happen during the day? Engineers need to install special new antennas (alongside other equipment), which means the work has to take place in daylight for occupational health and safety reasons. To complete the work, Optus need to take the tower offline. What is the benefit of this work to me? The upgrades are to bring super-fast 4G to areas impacted. This is part of the 4G 700Mhz and 2600 MHz network expansion, which will see the Optus network bring 4G to around 200 regional and holiday locations early next year once the new 4G spectrum is available. With more people moving onto the 4G data network, it will also free up 3G space which means those without 4G ready handsets will also benefit from this upgrade.
Virgin Mobile uses the Optus network; so when their network improves, our customers win. As part of Optus’ 4G network expansion, they have evolved their ‘4G Plus’ brand to encompass the entire 4G network. This is mainly a change in terminology. At the same time, the Optus 4G Plus network is growing fast and is set to reach 90% of the Australian population by April 2015. This is great news for our customers. What’s the difference between 4G and 4G Plus? 4G Plus is the new term for the superfast 4G network combining all of the Optus 4G spectrums: 1800MHz, 2300 MHz (previously the only spectrum referred to as “4G Plus”), as well as the 700 MHz and 2600 MHz frequencies which will bring even better 4G coverage and capacity. What devices work on the 4G Plus Network? As always, coverage depends on your device and your location. Existing 4G devices will continue to access the 4G Plus Network but coverage will vary depending on what frequencies your device supports. The very latest devices will fully enjoy the 4G Plus network wherever it expands by taking advantage of the 700MHz frequency, which is the main frequency Optus are using to expand the 4G Plus network to reach 90% of the Australian population. Will I be able to get 4G Plus network coverage in my area? To answer that question, check out our coverage maps. Just enter your address, select your device and tick an option at the bottom of the map to see what’s available today and how coverage is expected to look in 3 or 6 months’ time for that area. I bought a device with the 4G Plus symbols a few years ago. Is it useless now? Definitely not! Existing devices with the old 4G Plus symbol indicated compatibility with the 2300 MHz spectrum (most widely available in Canberra and parts of other major metro cities) as well as 1800 MHz network. As such, you will still be able to enjoy the 4G Plus network as you currently do, using those spectrums. To find out more about coverage in your area with your particular device, check out our coverage maps, select your device and type in your address.