Virgin Media adds mobile phones to TV/broadband bundle
Virgin Media has announced a new package that adds a mobile phone deal to its usual bundle offering of broadband, television, and landline services.
The so-called 'quad-play' bundle is the first time all four services have been provided by the same provider in the UK, after the company teamed up with mobile network EE.
The 'one-stop shop' deal is available to existing Virgin Media customers from this week and to new ones from the end of the month at prices from £30.
The Big Kahuna package includes 152Mb broadband, TiVo, BT Sports and a landline service for £45 a month. Customers can also choose a mobile SIM with 250MB of data, unlimited texts and minutes for another £5 a month. The Big Bang bundle includes 100Mb broadband, TiVo, landline and the mobile SIM offering for £35 a month.
Customers will still have to pay separately for line rental from Virgin at £15.99 a month.
Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms expert at broadbandchoices.co.uk said Virgin Media's offering could be "very tempting" for consumers: "There are a lot of customers paying £30 or more per month already just for their mobile phone, so to get mobile phone, broadband, TV and home phone for £35 to £50 per month, excluding line rental, is a compelling offer."
However, he added: "Anyone considering taking a quad-play bundle should do their homework and compare the stand-alone prices with the bundled cost before signing on to an 18-month contract."
Moneywise asked Broadbandchoices to take a look at some current triple-pay bundles to see how they compare.
Talk Talk Essentials TV bundle:
- Offers truly unlimited data, speeds of up to 16Mb, and inclusive evening and weekend calls.
- 59 Freeview channels are included in the package, with additional channels also available.
- Costs £21.95 per month (including line rental) for the first six months, and then costs £24.45 per month thereafter.
- No installation or delivery fees, which means the first year cost is £278.40. This deal is on an 18-month contract and is exclusive to broadbandchoices.co.uk.
Sky NOW TV Entertainment pass, broadband unlimited and Talk Weekend bundle:
- Offers truly unlimited data with speeds of up to 17Mb, and inclusive weekend calls with 10 channels included in the TV deal.
- Costs £27.90 per month (including line rental) for the first year and then up to £35.39 per month. There is also a charge for the box of £6.95, meaning the first year cost is £341.75.
- It is a 12-month contract and as it uses broadband to deliver programmes, a satellite dish doesn't need to be installed.
The Moneywise verdict
You'll be spending £65.99 a month (including line rental) if you take the Virgin Kahuna package with the Sim-only mobile deal – a significant price increase on the Talk Talk and Sky packages. But remember, you'll have quicker broadband speeds, many more television channels – including BT Sports – and your mobile thrown in too if you go for the Virgin Media package.
If you're not after a comprehensive, all-in-one deal, and you don't need the 230-plus channels that TiVo offers, then you may want to consider the cheaper options.
But if you're after a deal which covers all of your entertainment and phone needs, then the Virgin packages do offer a lot and you'll get be getting a lot more for your money. As Baliszewski said, he expects other providers to follow Virgin Media's four-pronged offering quickly.