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Virgin Media O2 Update on 4G and Broadband Progress in Wales

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022 (3:43 pm) - Score 2,952

The two sides of VMO2 – O2 and Virgin Media – have today issued somewhat of a progress update on their various fixed broadband and mobile deployments across Wales, which among others things reveals that they’ve boosted 4G network capacity in 5,800 postcodes during 2021 and 412,000 premises can now get gigabit speeds.

Just for some context. VMO2 currently expects to extend their ultrafast 5G (mobile broadband) network coverage to reach 50% of the UK’s population in 2023 (not to be confused with geographic coverage). Meanwhile, their gigabit-capable fixed line broadband network covers 15.6 million UK premises (14.3 million via Hybrid Fibre Coax) and by 2027/28 this is expected to reach c.23 million – all via FTTP (here).

However, the latest progress summary is focused specifically on Wales, which may include some useful data. Most of this is wrapped up in a strong degree of the usual PR spin, so we’ve opted to cut all of that out and just focus on the core data points below.

VMO2’s Network Progress in Wales (Fixed and Mobile)

4G capacity was boosted for 5,800 postcodes over the past year.

➤ Cardiff now has 5G mobile coverage that reaches more than 66% of the population (thanks in part to the recent adoption of low-band spectrum, such as the 700MHz band).

➤ Since 2015, Virgin Media has invested £61m to expanded its fixed network in Wales by connecting 104,000 additional homes and businesses (Project Lightning).

➤ More than 412,000 homes across Wales now have access to fixed gigabit broadband speeds following the recent completion of their DOCSIS 3.1 network upgrade.

➤ The fixed wholesale connectivity arm of Virgin Media Business has more than doubled its capacity across the M4 Prince of Wales Severn Bridge, connecting subsea landing stations to the M4 corridor and London, which has already been used to upgrade Vantage Data Centers CWL1 Campus.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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18 Responses
  1. Bent says:

    Not interested in virgin media virgin mobile both crap companies that rip you off .

    1. Bent says:


      Yes I agree… I mean who wouldn’t pay £38 a month for their Gig1- like we do! :::rollseyes:::

      You gullible sheep and ass licking to virgin media I can get them speeds on 5g home broadband for less than £16 a month just got myself a 5g home broadband router and a unlimited data sim on a mobile network and the 5g mast is less than 500 meters from my flat so I’m laughing at you paying 38 quid for 1 gigabit from virgin media you absolutely mug !!! :::rollseyes::: Yes I’m being sarcastic to your ass licking boot licking reply to virgin media you mug !!

    2. ELL says:

      Well done for yet another troll remark, *slow clap*

      It might escape your attention but not everyone is in the same position as you where they can get access to 5G Broadband as there isn’t yet full universal roll out of the technology unless you are lucky enough to live in a area served by 5G Broadband.

      So making pointless and childish comments, oh look at me I pay £16 for 5G Broadband while you pay £38 for similar speeds doesn’t actually help those unlucky enough to be stuck between VM02 technology or Openreach’s FTTC technology and that’s not just because I happen to be a VMO2 customer but rather the fact that not everyone is lucky enough to be in the same position you find yourself in.

      If Three had actually bothered to extend their 5G coverage to my location, I most likely would have moved to Three but the chances of them doing so is remote to zero so I get stuck with unreliable and constantly failing FTTC or a reliable VM02 connection – no guesses which is used.

      As it is, the only company who provides 5G technology in my location is VM02 but they don’t provide 5G Broadband only 5G Mifi and that’s not acceptable for what I need from it.

      Who knows, maybe by 2030 5G coverage will be universal geographically available to everyone and not just a minority…

    3. Bent says:

      Repy to ELL comment :I am feeling smug at virgin media customer I’m paying less than 20 quid a month whilst new or existing customers pay over 30 quid for it .

      For fast broadband. Bollux to virgin media money grabbing business model .

  2. anonymous says:

    Not greatly impressed. Using their 5G, but not in Cardiff, and more London, East Anglia and South East areas, I’ve had highest speeds of 200mbps in daytime, and a lot of other places no better than their 4G at around 8mbps-15mbps.

  3. Richard Branston says:

    They can shove it – and I’ve told them to do just that.

    We’ve had Gig1 for 16 months and our experience has been:

    – slow connection for 3.5 months from the outset due to an “area fault” – downloads of <10Mbps
    – regular outages lasting a day or two
    – repeated buffering in the evenings
    – a 6 week complete outage due to what they said was a cable fault and I said was a router fault. It took them 6 weeks to replace the cable, it's still not working and now they are still arguing about whether it's a router fault.

    Compounding their useless network reliability is their very reliable approach to customers – which mainly consists of lying at every opportunity, repeatedly promising compensation that is never credited to the bill and wasting huge amounts of the customer's time having to explain the same problems hundreds of times.

    1. CarlT says:

      You’re still a customer, though. That’s on you.

    2. CarlT says:

      ‘– slow connection for 3.5 months from the outset due to an “area fault” – downloads of <10Mbps'

      = Immediately leave them before the cool-off period. If that's missed leaving them due to them not providing anything like the service advertised easy.

      A smooth 40 Mbit FTTC/P connection is far superior to VM's Gig1 in many applications. Literally all they have is, in theory, higher bandwidth. If they aren't even providing that why wouldn't you cancel immediately?

      Genuine question. I see a ton of people on their forums talking about how they've had slow speeds for many months but still stay with VM as they can only get 80 Mbit FTTC. The experience of functional FTTC is way better than that of malfunctioning cable and even functional cable for everything bar large downloads and uploads.

      Unless customers punish companies that aren't delivering by leaving them they'll continue to not deliver – if they get paid either way why would they worry?

    3. Ian says:

      Virgin media were also terrible for me. Lying conniving scam artists.

      It Carl its obviously not that simple. They dangle over your head that you have contract with them and literally say you cant leave.

      I had to threaten to sue them for lack of service for them to allow me to leave.

    4. Bent says:

      Ian says:

      Virgin media were also terrible for me. Lying conniving scam artists.

      It Carl its obviously not that simple. They dangle over your head that you have contract with them and literally say you cant leave.

      I had to threaten to sue them for lack of service for them to allow me to leave.

      Go cable free if you live in a 5g enabled area get a 5g router from amazon and get a unlimited sim only contract

      Stuff virgin media money grabbing business model and stuff 02 aswell

      Pay £62 a month for 1 measly gigabit from vmo2 no thanks . I rather poke my eyes out or slit my wrist than go back to them greedy cun*ts

    5. Scott says:

      @Bent I get you have had a bad experience with VM but not everyone has had the same experience as you. Some areas will be better than other as with all ISP’s

  4. Stephen Barnes says:

    Like how it says Wales but they only mentioned Cardiff.There areas of Wales aswell always seem to forget about north Wales.

    1. CarlT says:

      Given it’s PR fluff it’d be pretty strange to say ‘We’ve zero 5G coverage in x village in North Wales’ would it not? They’re going to pick the best coverage in the largest metropolitan area.

  5. Kane says:

    Get 1gig virgin if you want but in all likelihood you won’t be able to watch any streaming video beyond SD quality. Their network just doesn’t deliver especially when it comes to streaming and gaming.

    1. Scott says:

      I have Gig1 and always stream in 4k with regular gaming and I don’t have an issue. Granted the VM hubs are nothing special so I use it in modem mode. Maybe their CPE is more of an issue than the network

    2. Bent says:

      You both mugs going with virgin media 02 in first place .rollseyes.

    3. Kane says:

      I bought an Asus router and used that with virgin. It didn’t improve my experience at all.

  6. Matt says:

    Same old, Same old, in the sesspit that is Virgin Medias customer reviews ….

    Amazing how people react when they don’t have a choice about something.

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