I moved one of my mobile numbers from Vodafone to Virgin Mobile just before VM announced that they were moving network from EE to Vodafone. Having now merged with O2, it is unclear which underlying network VM customers will end up on in both the short and long term.
My understanding, thus far, is that VM have a five year contract with Vodafone, that they are currently only putting 5G customers on the Vodafone network and that 4G customers will remain on the EE network until at least the end of 2021.
However, what is to happen in the longer term? For me, in the short-term, the issue is one of coverage and signal strength. Despite living in a built-up area where new housing is being constructed apace, being near a major road artery, a hospital, school and supermarket, coverage in my locale is extremely poor on all of the main networks. There are also some other locations that I have to visit for long periods where the signal situation is the same or worse.
I have another phone on the Three network but rely on a Home Signal Unit / Femtocell connected to my broadband to guarantee me a reliable 3G signal. I don't currently have that luxury on my Virgin Mobile phone which is my business number.
If Virgin Mobile were to migrate to the O2 network, I could possibly get an O2 BoostBox / Femtocell to at least give me a reliable 3G signal but if it continues to operate on EE for existing 4G customers, I am left with an erratic, unreliable signal when I am at home, which I mostly am these days, and at the few alternative locations where I sometimes have to be.
Is there a timeline for the switch from EE to O2? Are current customers likely to be ported from EE to Vodafone for at least the next five years? What is the long-term plan for 5G customers on Virgin Mobile should I choose to go that route?
Plans for the eventual merger of the mobile networks have not been made known. However, gleanings from statements to the trade press they are in no hurry. Merging O2 core network with Virgin's will take time to achieve properly.
The five year contract with Vodafone still stands and the migration of customers has started, and not just those on 5G and this will be an ongoing process. They don't inform customers when they have switched which is causing problems, but that is the way of Virgin
If you are on a 2 year contract expect to be on Vodafone for most, if not all of it
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As per @enlli I would advise there have been no plans to break our current deal we have in place in the short term. It's completely understandable for you to raise this query. All I can advise is, watch this space.