UPC transformed into Virgin Media today, and announced a number of changes that are set to dramatically impact the Irish telecommunications market. We discuss the re-branding and explain 5 ways it is set to affect customers.
Ireland has a new telecommunication company! It’s called Virgin Media…you might have heard of it!
The world-famous brand is replacing UPC with promises to “shake-up the Irish market event further”.
The company’s launch in the RDS, which featured a certain Mr. Branson, got tongues wagging as to what the brand’s arrival will mean for Irish consumers.
Here are 5 things you can expect. (Also, if you skip to the bottom of this page, you'll see a video of us discussing Virgin Media's launch).
1 Virgin Mobile
The biggest change that comes with Virgin Media is a brand new mobile provider.
And the great news for existing UPC customers is that they can get three months of unlimited data, calls and text for free by signing up to Virgin Mobile. Wow! And it'll be just €25 a month thereafter.
Considering the fact that this is the company’s first step into the highly competitive Irish mobile market, we might have some competitive rates and packages for non-UPC customers to look forward to also.
The launch of Virgin Mobile comes hot on the heels of the arrival of Carphone Warehouse’s iD service last month. And this increased competition spells good news for Ireland’s smartphone-loving population.
Richard Branson and UPC CEO Magnus Ternsjö fly their flags at the Virgin Media launch party
The launch of the new mobile network means that Virgin Media joins eir as Ireland’s second Quadplay provider.
Getting your home phone, digital TV, broadband and mobile phone all from the one provider could have multiple advantages. Dealing with just one bill for four key services is nice and convenient, and there could be some attractive discounts offered to customers willing to bundle all of their services.
3 Customer Service
Remember Virgin Megastores on the quays? Do you miss it as much as we do? Well, Virgin Media won’t be selling copies of 'Tubular Bells' (as far as we know!), but it’ll be good to see the famous Virgin logo back around the place.
Existing UPC customers might also notice a change in the tone of customer service folks, who are now representing the Virgin brand, which is famous for its friendly, bubbly personality.
Richard Branson places incredible importance on this aspect of the Virgin brand and it’s a major compliment to the UPC team that he’s willing to slap the Virgin logo on what they’ve built here from day one. When Branson bought NTL in the UK, for example, he refused to add the brand before the customer service got up to Virgin standards.
4 Superfast Broadband
UPC currently boasts one of the fastest broadband speeds in Ireland. At 240 Mbps, the provider is serving an estimated 367,000 customers with its superfast fibre-to-the-building service.
And these speeds will continue under the Virgin brand. In the UK, Virgin Media “only” provides speeds of 200 Mbps, but we Irish are getting 240 Mbps.
UPC’s network actually has the capability to produce broadband speeds of 1.4 Gbps, so there could be even faster speeds coming down the line in the near future.
5 New TV Content
With its ‘My Prime’ streaming service, UPC is no stranger to the content game.
And considering that UPC and Virgin Media’s parent company, Liberty Global, recently purchased TV3 for €80m, there could be some new original Virgin Media TV content on the horizon. Watch this space!
Good News for Customers
Virgin Media brings with it a new mobile service, quadplay packages and a commitment to world class customer service. And this increased competition can only spell good news for Irish customers.
Céad mile fáilte, Richard!