Virgin Media has launched free WhatsApp and Facebook messaging, including the transfer of pictures and videos on the social network platforms, for customers signing up to its new 4G tariffs in the UK.
It is the first UK operator to ‘zero rate’ the two services.
In tandem, it is allowing users to “rollover” unused data from one month to the next, as part of its new 4G plans, which attend its launch of 4G services for the first time.
Virgin Media is making 4G available on either SIM-only deals or its new ‘Freestyle’ plans. Both allow customers to move between plans each month, as their funds and requirements determine.
The Freestyle plans also allow customers to split the plan and handset elements of a contract over a 24-month period. Virgin Media said the flexible payment facility will allow customers to pay off their handset fee early, and use upgrade to the latest devices.
Its 4G plans range from £6 per month for a 30 day rolling contract with 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 30MB of data, to £25 per month for a contract with 5,000 minutes, unlimited texts and 20GB of data.
Virgin Media, which has three million mobile customers, uses EE's network in the UK to provide mobile services.
Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Mobile at Virgin Media, said: “Virgin Media’s new mobile plans are fast, flexible and filled with data. By offering free messaging on WhatsApp and Messenger we’re making sure that Virgin Media customers never have to worry about messaging friends or family and if there’s data left over at the end of the month then we’ve got that covered too.”
Meanwhile, Virgin Media’s parent Liberty Global said revenue at its UK and Ireland business fell 11.3 percent in the third quarter to $1.6 billion.
Adjusted for exchange rates, it claimed rebased revenue growth of 2.8 percent in the market, compared with a year ago.
In the UK, Virgin Media generated 92,000 new subscriptions, or ‘revenue generating units’ (RGUs), in the period, its best seasonal result for seven years.
Across all its operations, Liberty Global claimed 284,000 new RGUs in the quarter, with operating income 60 percent higher in Europe, and 108 percent higher in Latin American and the Caribbean.
It said rebased growth in operating cash flow was above five percent across the board.