back to article Virgin Media to beef up mobile-data backhaul

Three, T-Mobile and Orange customers will find it quicker to use the internet on their phones thanks to a new deal between the operators and Virgin Media Business. But the effects may take a couple of years to kick in. Virgin Media has sold use of its UK-wide network of cables to the three carriers in an eight-year £100m deal …


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  1. Andy Barker


    You say "compared to the 1-3Mb/s available on 3G" - isn't that low range generally because of the backhaul?

    1. zerocred

      low end

      Yes, but that could be due to all sorts of reasons (other users, coverage, radio conditions, backahaul not to mention other bottlenecks etc).

      It is fantasy to believe LTE will delver 100Mbps everywhere.

      Sure it is a /bit/ more efficient and uses more bandwidth at a site - but it isn't magic, it's still radio it won't work worth shit if there is no signal or bad interference.

  2. Richard 45
    Thumb Down


    "We're still stuck with the 3G network for the second stage of the process: getting internet content from mast to phone aerial."

    Ha ha, that's hilarious. Where is this mythical 3G?

  3. Alex Brett

    Don't they use them already?

    I thought they used them already in some places, I've certainly had problems where both my Virgin Media cable broadband has failed, and I've not been able to pass any data on my Three 3G stick, so I had always assumed there was some shared backhaul somewhere (I live very close to a mast)...

  4. HMB

    Better than rural BT ADSL?

    I live in a rural setting (but right next to exchange) and BT needlessly limit the exchange to ADSL1 with an additional limit of 448Kbps on the upload. I can pull my phone out my pocket, wifi tether my desktop to it and attain 4x the upload rate on my phone with Three HSDPA.

    The latency isn't bad either.

    Bring on the wireless Internet. :D

  5. ph0b0s


    So as well as having to compete with other Virgin customers, I now have to compete with mobile users from other carriers, for the poor ISP service I get. Great news.

    That is unless the backhaul part of the network is not something that affects ISP customers. Maybe the extra customers and revenue will encourage network improvements though, if I am pushed to think of a silver lining.

  6. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Everything Everywhere?

    So does this mean they will finally sign up to Everything Everywhere for their mobile customers? Mind you it turns out that us older VM customers might not benefit anyway. Apparently the older PAYG sims (even if now switched to contract) are throttled to 300kb/s.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Virgin Mobile

      Virgin Mobile is a virtual operator using the T-Mobile part of the Everything Everywhere network (and always has done).

      I don't think VM subscribers are limited to 300Kb/s (I'll check), but if it is a SIM card setting then it might be worth asking customer services for a SIM replacement, as newer SIMs don't have that limitation.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge

        Er, no.

        >Virgin Mobile is a virtual operator using the T-Mobile part of the Everything Everywhere network (and always has done).

        Not true.

        "Bigger, Better Coverage

        Virgin Mobile customers enjoy coverage here, there and just about everywhere. We’ve always used the T-Mobile network, which covers over 99% of the UK population, to provide our service. But from this Autumn, we’ll use the Everything Everywhere network (the company formed by Orange and T-Mobile). So, in some areas where the coverage might otherwise dip, you’ll automatically be able to use the Everything Everywhere network at the same great Virgin Mobile rates. Wherever you are, we’ve got you covered."

        As for the 300kb/s throttle I agree that's a bit less clear but consider this thread:

        I have never seen my Desire report more than 300kb/s except when connected using wifi.

  7. Dave Jones

    T-Mobile do limit..

    My new tmobile sim (3 months ago) was limited to 300k. Took numerous phone calls to get sorted, i can now get 1MB. From what i've read online if you get your phone direct from tmobile you're not restricted, if it's through a third party it's limited to 300k. Of course there's no mention of this on their website. I'm guessing VM classifies as a third party, hence the 300k

  8. Dave Jones

    Tmobile speed

    T-mobile limit speed on sims sold via third parties, which i guess includes Virgin Media. My new tmobile sim was limited to 300k, took numerous phone calls to get sorted but i now get around 1MB. There's no mention of this on their website but there was definitely a limit on my account.

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