Virgin Mobile to launch LTE network, “just in time for new iPad”

Ian Hardy

March 9, 2012 7:46am

Virgin Mobile is going to bring LTE (Long Term Evolution) speeds to their Members. The internal doc we received states that this should be live “just in time for new iPad” (March 16th). Coverage will reach “6 million Canadians in 14 urban centers across Canada” and “peak speeds up to 75 Mbps (expected average speeds of 12 – 25 Mbps)”.

The 14 urban cities are not noted, but Virgin will piggyback off of Bell’s LTE network so you could expect to see Virgin light up LTE in some of these areas: Toronto, Halifax, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Belleville, Yellowknife, Montréal, Québec City, Ottawa, London, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

In addition, Virgin will be offering a LTE microSIM for free when they activate on the Flexi-Data Plan – starts at $5/month for 10MB and increases to $35/month for 5GB. Finally, seems that Virgin is also pushing Mobile TV, the doc highlighted that “Members get the hottest shows and events on the go. For $5 Members get 5 hours of Mobile TV data usage per month directly on their iPad. The best part is, their data is never touched when using Mobile TV!”

So now there are 4 carriers with LTE: Rogers, Bell, TELUS and Virgin. Soon SaskTel and MTS, but it’ll be interesting to see how quickly Rogers and TELUS will bring LTE to Fido and Koodo.

We’ll have more info soon!
(Thanks tipster!)

  • DoctorCell

    Nice. But here’s my question: aint the new ipad not compatible with big 3’s AWS frequency for LTE?(1700mhz)

    • Dono

      The iPad will be sold here with LTE bands 4 and 17 (AWS and 700 LSMH).

      Hell, Apple showed Bell,Telus,Rogers as partners for LTE when they launched the new iPad.


      QUESTION: whose going to buy the new iPad?

  • Alex Perrier

    What would be “kick-a*s” is if they offered better or promotional tiers. For example, instead of $35/month for 5 GB, make it end at $30/month for 6 GB. If Virgin Mobile Australia can offer tiers from 1 to 6 GB, so can Virgin Mobile Canada. Similar countries here.

    This looks like another nail in Solo’s coffin, and a competitive move from a flanker brand. Unfortunately, i don’t have any LTE-capable devices. i wonder how popular Virgin will be for mobile Internet!

    • Dr Green

      Alex good point now if WIND could offer the same plans they have overseas… But that would ruin them. Why do you keep posting trash really. Stick to your wind and get the terrible service you deserve.

  • Kid.Canada

    Why no LTE in Winnipeg yet??? One of major cities in Canada and we get nada…

  • J.R.

    Aren’t these the exact same plans that Bell offers? I mean, no surprise, I guess, since Bell owns them, but it just seems so pointless.

  • shaggyskunk

    I guess it’s in the US, but Virgin is advertising something like $35 for UNLIMITED Data & Text! UNLIMITED DATA, UNLIMITED DATA……
    So what’s the deal with some of these ridiculously small amounts of Data that are being offered in Canada? and I’m referring to those plans that are measured in MEGS. not even Gigs?

    • Alex Perrier

      shaggyskunk, Virgin Mobile USA’s plan, powered by Sprint, works a lot like T-Mobile USA and WIND Mobile. If you go over 2.5 GB, you’ll get throttled at 2G-like speeds for the rest of the month. On top of that, tethering is not officially provided by Virgin Mobile USA. All their handsets are CDMA as well, so they are “locked” to Virgin USA.

      The plans are pretty good, though, so i would consider their $35/month plan despite the CDMA technology. i’d rather have up to 3.2 Mbit/s with no overage worries, than only an overpriced small bucket of Internet usage with “LTE speeds” of up to 75 Mbit/s. They also give a lot of minutes: 300, 1200 and simply unlimited. Those are simple yet affordable pay-as-you-go plans.

      If you wish to see these kinds of plans at Virgin Mobile Canada, bug them! Talk to them on Facebook, Twitter, by phone and by email.

  • J.R.

    If it makes you feel any better, shaggyskunk, the iPad plans in the States are actually worse. It’ll cost $50 on either AT&T or Verizon to get the 5GB that costs just $35 up here.

    It’s a far cry from my first iPad on AT&T, which only cost $30 a month for unlimited data.

    • Alex Perrier

      Yeah, i’m pretty sure that AT&T throttles after you go over 3 GB. It used to be 2 GB. Throttling, though, is better than overage fees.

  • Crunch204

    Your move koodo…

    P.s virgin sims work in bell phones without an unlock, so all bell LTE phones can be used for virgins LTE

    • 2dfx

      Not completely true. There are some handsets on both Bell and Virgin that have both ‘network subsidy’ and ‘provider’ locks enabled which bar one sim from being used on the other.

  • shaggyskunk

    Ya I know & it’s not such a bad deal here, to get 6Gig for $30. I think Verizon have something like 4Gig @ $30….My issue is that that Actual cost of Data to the Carrier v. s. what gets charged to the consumer, is all over the map…. making it impossible for us to know when it really is a fair cost. or it’s a “fair” cost because the carriers SAY it is.

  • tbone

    If Virgin Mobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator MVNO and markets, packages and resells on Bell Mobility’s Network how are they launching an LTE Network. Should it not read Bell has agreed to release and make availiable their LTE Network to Virgin?

  • Bubbles

    Title should say Bell to allow its sub-brand Virgin Mobile customers to use LTE network. What are we kids?