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Virgin Mobile 4G Coverage and Network Review

11th November 2021

Virgin Mobile Network Coverage

Virgin Mobile isn’t just any mobile network. It aims to stand out with low prices along with data allowances that roll over each month - so if you don't use all your data you get the remaining amount added on to your next month's allowance.

Plus, all customers can use WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter without eating into their data allowances, you can get unlimited data, 5G is available, and you get access to Virgin Mobile's network of over 3.5 million Wi-Fi hotspots across the UK.

So there’s a lot to like about Virgin Mobile, but it won’t be the best fit for everyone.




Data rollover

No Pay As You Go plans

Free WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger use


Unlimited data plans


Our Verdict 


Virgin Mobile is in the unusual position of having two network partners at the time of writing. Customers on 5G plans will be using Vodafone’s coverage and infrastructure, while those on 4G plans use EE’s.

However, Virgin Mobile will start switching 4G plans over to Vodafone from late 2021, with all customers expected to be moved by early 2022. So with that in mind we’ll be focusing on Vodafone here, though note that both Vodafone and EE have at least 99% UK population coverage with 4G anyway.

Through its use of Vodafone’s infrastructure, Virgin Mobile has 99% 2G coverage, 99% 3G coverage, and 99% 4G coverage. In other words then you’ll be able to get a connection – and usually a fast 4G one – almost anywhere in the UK.

Virgin Mobile Coverage

Network Type

Coverage by population


Now available in 124 locations







Use Virgin Mobile’s coverage checker above to find out more about Virgin Mobile 4G coverage in your area, including signal strengths and details on both indoor and outdoor coverage.

4G from Virgin Mobile is now available in thousands of towns, cities and villages. Locations with 4G coverage include but are not limited to the following towns and cities:

Basingstoke, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bradford, Brighton, Coventry, Dudley, Edinburgh, Epsom, Ewell, Folkestone, Gateshead, Glasgow, Hatfield , Hove and Hastings, Hemel Hempstead, Huddersfield, Jarrow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Maidstone, Newbury, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oldham, Pontefract, Portsmouth, Reading, Rotherham, Sheffield, Slough, Stockport, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Staines, Stourbridge, Swinton, Southampton, Tunbridge, Wakefield, Walsall, Watford, Wells and West Bromwich.

5G coverage

Virgin Mobile offers 5G in all the same places as Vodafone. That means that at the time of writing you can get it in parts of at least 124 UK towns and cities, including (but not limited to) the following:

Aberdeen, Alexandria, Ambleside, Aughton (Sth Yorks), Basingstoke, Bebington, Belfast, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bishopbriggs, Blaydon, Bolton, Bootle, Bournemouth, Bradford, Bristol, Bristol Airport, Cardiff, Cheadle and Gatley, Cheltenham, Chesterfield, Clydebank, Crawley (West Sussex), Crosby, Dewsbury, Dinas Powys, Droylsden, Dudley (West Midlands), Dundee, Eccles, Edinburgh, Eston and South Bank, Felling, Gateshead, Glasgow, Gloucester, Gosforth (Tyne & Wear), Guildford, Hebburn, Helensburgh, Horwich, Huddersfield, Huyton-with-Roby, Inner London, Isles of Scilly, Jarrow, Kingston upon Hull, Kingswood (Bristol), Lancaster, Leeds, Lisburn, Liverpool, Llandudno, Long Benton/Killingworth, Manchester, Mangotsfield, Middlesbrough, Morley, Mosborough/Highlane, Newbury, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newtownabbey, North Shields, Oldbury/Smethwick, Outer London, Paisley, Penarth, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Prescot, Prestwich, Pudsey, Rawmarsh, Reading, Rochdale, Rotherham, Salford, Sheffield, Shipley, Solihull, South Shields, Southampton, Stockport, Stockton-on-Tees, Stoke-on-Trent, Stranraer, Stretford, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Swansea, Swinton and Pendlebury, Tynemouth, Urmston, Wallasey, Wallsend, Warrington, Washington, Whitley Bay, and Wolverhampton.

To get 5G speeds you’ll need a 5G phone, but Virgin Mobile sells a number of these, including the Samsung Galaxy S21 and the iPhone 13.

Network Speeds

Opensignal – Mobile Network Experience, September 2021, and April 2020


Download/upload speeds

4G latency (ms)







Virgin Mobile (Vodafone)






As noted above, Virgin Mobile uses EE’s coverage for 4G customers and Vodafone’s for 5G ones. You can see speeds for both of those networks above, but we’re focusing on Vodafone’s, as all customers will eventually be moved to Vodafone’s infrastructure.

So then, according to a September 2021 report from Opensignal, Vodafone has an average download speed of 21.6Mbps and an average upload speed of 7.4Mbps.

Those are the third and second highest averages in the report respectively, as you can see above. Those speeds are for a combination of 5G, 4G, and 3G, so Virgin Mobile customers with access to its 5G service can probably expect similar speeds.

As for latency, that wasn’t included in the September 2021 report, but an April 2020 Opensignal report found that Vodafone’s averages 39ms. Lower is better here, so only Three’s is worse.

For 5G, Vodafone’s average download speed is 143.6Mbps according to Point Topic results from September 2020, while Ookla data from the first half of 2021 found that its median 5G download speed was 159Mbps, so Virgin Mobile’s speeds are likely to be similar.


Virgin Network Frequencies


Frequency Band



Band 20 4G


Band 8 2G & 3G

1400MHz SDL

Band 32 4G


Band 3

2G & 4G


Band 1

3G & 4G


Band 7



n78 5G


n77 5G

As Virgin Mobile is a Vodafone MVNO it presumably uses all the same 4G spectrum bands as Vodafone. That means it should have access to all the bands in the chart above. Between them, Virgin Mobile is equipped to deliver reliable 4G signals both in urban and rural locations, over long distances and through walls, while still being able to deliver the capacity needed in busy areas.

It's also equipped to deliver 5G signals via the 3400MHz and 3600MHz frequencies. As with other aspects of Virgin Mobile’s network though, the available bands differ if you’re on a 4G plan, as for those it uses EE. That network uses all the same bands except the 900MHz and 1400MHz ones.

Find out more in our 4G and 5G frequencies guide.

Planned improvements

Virgin Mobile is primarily reliant on Vodafone for improvements, and that network seems focused on continually improving its 5G coverage.

Traffic management

Virgin Mobile states that 4G plans are not subjected to any traffic management policies, meaning your upload and download speeds won’t be limited other than by the overall speed caps of the network, which stand at 85Mbps for downloads and 35Mbps for upload – of course, your actual speeds may vary, but that will be due to things like your distance from the nearest mast, rather than any policy in place.

Virgin Mobile doesn’t appear to have published a traffic management policy for 5G plans at the time of writing, but we’ll update this section if that changes.


Virgin Mobile offers a range of Pay Monthly and SIM Only plans with 5G offered as standard. Its plans also include Data Rollover, so you can keep your unused data, and free messaging on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter, so you can keep communicating even if you’ve used up your data for the month. Plus, you can make use of free Wi-Fi at over 3.5 million hotspots.

Pay Monthly Plans


Mobile Phones

SIM Only

Plans Available

Max Data



Contract lengths

24 or 36 months

12 or 24 months



Wi-Fi Calling

Data Rollover

Spending Caps

EU Roaming


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Virgin Mobile has a number of Pay Monthly plans with different allowances. They top out at unlimited data and can last 24 months, however interestingly you can also opt for a 36-month plan, which isn't something many networks offer. You can also change your plan up or down every month, making it quite flexible.

Virgin Mobile also has a number of SIM Only plans, each of which lasts for 12 or 24 months, so they’re optionally shorter term. They’re also cheaper than its Pay Monthly plans as there’s no phone included, and they also top out at unlimited data.

Virgin Mobile’s SIM Only plans come with 5G as standard, and you’ll also get 5G if you opt for a 5G phone.

The upshot of all this is that Virgin Mobile’s plans are good if you want lots of data or lots of flexibility in terms of plan length.

Pay As You Go

As of August 2019 Virgin no longer offers Pay As You Go plans.


Although Virgin Mobile didn’t used to allow tethering it now does, however, the network doesn’t appear to have published whether there’s any cap to how much data you can use while tethering – presumably that means there are no restrictions.

Wi-Fi Calling

Wi-Fi Calling lets you make and receive calls and get SMS messages over a Wi-Fi network. You still use your normal phone number, it just means you can essentially get a signal in places where there’s no 2G, 3G or 4G coverage. This comes as standard on Virgin Mobile, but is only supported by select handsets, including many recent Samsung and Apple phones. Head here for full, up to date details.


VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE and is sometimes called 4G Calling. It refers to making and receiving calls over 4G and is notable as typically a 2G or 3G signal is required. The main benefit to VoLTE is that it lets you call in places where you wouldn’t be able to otherwise, as they only have a 4G signal. VoLTE is supported on Virgin Mobile on a range of devices, primarily Samsung and Apple ones. You can find a full list of supported devices here.

Roaming Destinations

Virgin Mobile lets you use your minutes, texts and data at no extra cost across the EU, but not beyond. Having said that, there is a fair usage limit for data when roaming which varies depending on your plan. You can use Virgin Mobile's Data Calculator to find your fair usage limit.

Customer service

While customer service can be hard to judge, based on the available evidence Virgin Mobile’s doesn’t look all that strong.

In an Ofcom report from 2021 the network was found to have received 25 Ofcom complaints for every 100,000 customers. This might not sound like much, but Virgin Mobile's is the highest and therefore worst of those networks reported on.

The report also found that 56% of customers were satisfied with the way complaints were handled – that’s middling compared to other tested networks. On top of which 13% of customers had a reason to complain (which is more than most but not all tested networks), and 88% of customers were satisfied with the service overall.


Virgin Mobile has strong 4G coverage and some near-unique extras, like data rollover and free WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook Messenger messaging. Its prices aren’t too high either, making it a strong overall choice of mobile network. With 5G too, plus unlimited data plans and Wi-Fi Calling, there’s a lot to like.

However, the network no longer offers Pay As You Go, so if that’s what you're looking for you need to look elsewhere, and customer service looks like it might also be a weak link.

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