There’s a number of “virtual” operators to choose from when you’re looking to get a new mobile or a SIM. You really shouldn’t shy away from them either, because they’re as good as the “big four” for the most part.
Under the hood though, they’ll use the masts and the infrastructure of one of the bigger operators. As an example, giffgaff and Sky sit on O2, Lebara Mobile is on Vodafone, iD Mobile and SMARTY are on Three and Asda, BT Mobile & Virgin Mobile are on EE.
However, that last one is about to change because Virgin Mobile has signed an agreement to now use Vodafone masts.
A new five year mobile deal will see Virgin Mobile services, including 5G, hosted on the Vodafone network. It officially ends the EE / BT agreement, which started in 2017 and expires in late 2021. Although everything will move across on this date, Virgin Mobile will be offering 5G on Vodafone masts ahead of this.
More than three million Virgin Mobile will be moved across.
Lutz Schüler, Virgin Media CEO, tells us..
This agreement with Vodafone will bring a host of fantastic benefits and experiences to our customers, including 5G services in the near future. Twenty years ago Virgin Mobile became the world’s first virtual operator and this new agreement builds on that heritage. It will open up a whole new world of opportunity for Virgin Media as we focus on becoming the most recommended brand for customers and bring our mobile and broadband connectivity closer together in one package for one price.