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Stevenrw
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Switching to 5G - conflicting info from Virgin

Can somebody please give me the lowdown on Virgin Mobile 5G?

The situation is that I have been with Virgin Mobile on a SIM only pay monhly plan for some years and as I needed/fancied a new handset I thought I would future proof things by opting for a 5G enabled model. After much deliberation I went for a Xaiomi Mi11 Lite 5G

So, I whilst 5G is not really available locally I often (in normal times) travel to central London so I expect to pick up a 5G signal up there.

Now I understand that I am currently using EE's network and this will change to Vodaphone if & when I decide to change my plan.

Now here is where the confusion occurs.

I thought I would find out what I had to do and initially contacted Virgin Mobile via the online chatbox.

Having explained the situation to the guy the first thing he told me was that my handset of choice was not currently approved for 5G on theVirgin/Vodaphone network.

He went on to say that I would be notified by text when this was added to their "approved" list and that my existing plan would stay the same in terms of cost, data airtime etc, it would just automatically switch over to Vodaphone and would give me access to 5G service where available.

This sounded doubtful to me so I thought I would give them a call to confirm/clarify.

Unsurprisingly, the guy I spoke to on the phone gave me a completely different story. he said:

Handset is fine as it is 5G enabled

I have to change my plan to a 5G plan at a different cost/data allowance etc on a new 12/24 month contract

Changing plan will switch everything over to Vodaphone for voice and data but I don't need a new SIM.

All currently rolled over data will be transferred to new plan so I don't lose what I have rolled over so far.

So.. can somebody who has actually done this please tell me which version is correct. The first lot doesn't seem like it is ever gonna work, I can't see them offering an "upgraded" 5G to a 4G plan without a cost increase, but I am concerned that my handset will not work on their 5G system at the moment as I bought it externally (ie not via Virgin Mobile)

 

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enlli
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Re: Switching to 5G - conflicting info from Virgin

Bit of a mess, but that's Virgin's way of doing things.

Basically it boils down to this: Take out a new 5G plan with Virgin and tie yourself up for the next 12 months or, wait till you are moved over to Vodafone automatically sometime in the next 6 months.

As the phone you have bought works fine on Vodafone 5G there should be no problem. You can check everything out by getting a Voxi SIM for a month which will give you 5G VoLTE and WiFi Calling and, more important, give you an idea of reception where you normally travel

 

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BenMcr
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Re: Switching to 5G - conflicting info from Virgin


@enlli wrote:

As the phone you have bought works fine on Vodafone 5G there should be no problem. 


Worth making clear that the Xaiomi probably won't work for Virgin Mobile's 4G Calling (VoLTE) or WiFi Calling, although I'm pretty sure 5G data itself should work.

For WiFi Calling and 4G Calling on third party purchased devices with a Virgin Mobile SIM, then you'd need one of the device listed here https://www.virginmedia.com/help/mobile/wifi-and-4g-calling

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enlli
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Re: Switching to 5G - conflicting info from Virgin

Yes, should have mentioned VoLTE and WiFi Calling. Of the two VoLTE (the ability to make calls over 4G and 5G) will be essential in the future when 3G closes down) otherwise your phone will fall back to 2G.

My advice is don't do anything that ties you into a long contract at this stage

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Stevenrw
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Re: Switching to 5G - conflicting info from Virgin

Thanks for your response and for the heads up about Wifi calling. I have to say that I have never yet found the need to use it so it may never be an issue for me. That said, according to Vodaphone's website the Xiaomi Mi11 Lite 5G that I now own looks to be OK with wifi calling anyway, or so this article suggests
https://deviceguides.vodafone.co.uk/xiaomi/mi-11-lite-5g-android-11-0/calls-and-contacts/turn-wi-fi-...
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Stevenrw
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Re: Switching to 5G - conflicting info from Virgin

Thanks enlli

I absolutely agree that it would not be a smart move to commit to a 12 month contract unless I was sure of coverage. I'm obviously thinking along the same lines and have ordered a £10 PAYG 1 month SIM from Vodaphone directly. I'd never heard of Voxi before you mentioned it and read a quick comparison online between Vodaphone "Proper" and VOXI and their seemed to be little in it.

As I only need it for a month it was a no-brainer. The difficulty I may have is if Vodaphone coverage is bad in my area or my usual stamping grounds.

I think I will park that little problem for the moment, but it seems upon reflection, little point in switching to a new plan if I am going to be migrated over to Vodaphone in the not too distant future anyway. I can live with a good 4G service for the time being, secure in the knowledge that I can add 5G as & when it is more widely available. (Unless of course VM have one of their periodic flash sales and I can get a better deal than they are currently advertising)

 

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Re: Switching to 5G - conflicting info from Virgin


@Stevenrw wrote:
Thanks for your response and for the heads up about Wifi calling. I have to say that I have never yet found the need to use it so it may never be an issue for me. That said, according to Vodaphone's website the Xiaomi Mi11 Lite 5G that I now own looks to be OK with wifi calling anyway, or so this article suggests
https://deviceguides.vodafone.co.uk/xiaomi/mi-11-lite-5g-android-11-0/calls-and-contacts/turn-wi-fi-...

Each network has their own version of WiFi Calling and 4G Calling. So a device may work with those on one network but not another, as each device needs to know the settings for each network. And those will only be in devices that are sold by each network and have had manufacturer support to add them in.

Virgin Mobile's version is not the Vodafone one, as although they share the same radio network, everything else like billing systems and those that run the WiFi Calling and 4G Calling are completely separate.

I'd hope eventually that we do get to a point where all new devices work across all UK networks for both WiFi Calling and 4G Calling, but we're not there yet.

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Stevenrw
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Re: Switching to 5G - conflicting info from Virgin

OK, I now have the complete picture and I thought I'd post it here to close out the thread. Thanks again to everybody who took the time to respond.

So...first I bought a 30 day Vodapohne PAYG SIM to see how the coverage compares, and for the areas that I frequent in fact the general coverage is way better than the current EE carrier with Virgin.

So, having bought a 5G phone I thought that I would actually speak to somebody about upgrading my plan. As is usually the case (not just with Virgin) the best outcomes invariably happen when you get through to "Disconnections" or "Customer Retention" etc. The guys there usually have more stripes on their sleeve and can offer better deals that the first level support.

I was fully expecting to have to sign up to a new plan on a 12month contract for more ££ but this was NOT the case.

Apparently the new SIMs are 5G enabled by default at no extra charge so all I needed was a new SIM which would be using Vodaphone network in place of the old EE carrier. No extra charge, no change of plan, no new contract period or increase in cost. All carried over unused data is still there. Just a new SIM and I'm all set. SIM should arrive in next day or so.

I did the same for 'her indoors (although she only has a 4G phone), same deal. Simply a replacement SIM to migrate her over from EE to Vodaphone in advance of the auto switchover which might be 6 months or more down the line.

So, all this confusing info from their chat box and sales team was nonsense.

I'm a happy bunny right now

I just wish things were this easy with their Fibre Broadband service but that's a whole different story......😞

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Serena_C
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Re: Switching to 5G - conflicting info from Virgin

Hi @Stevenrw

 

Thank you very much for coming back to us to let us know what happened. I'm glad to hear you're a happy bunny now! I hope your new SIM has arrived and you are getting on well with the 5G services.

 

I'm really sorry to hear that you received mixed messages from the chat box and our sales team, that is not the high standard of service we aim to provide.

 

If you wish for us to look further into your broadband issues please do post in the appropriate topic and we will investigate any issues you are experiencing with this.

 

Kind regards,

Serena

 

 

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