We’ve sent some of our customers a new SIM so they can carry on using our roaming services when they’re outside of the UK. If you’re one of them, remember to pop your new SIM in your phone before travelling outside of the UK. Remember you can also hop onto WiFi connections when they’re available. So you know, this won’t affect your mobile services in the UK. Keep roaming!
Off on your jollies? Lucky you. If you’ve got any questions about using your mobile abroad, you’ve come to the right place.
With Roam Like Home you can use your UK allowance of minutes, texts and data in the EU just as you would in the UK subject to fair use limits. What’s more, if you’re on one of our 4G plans, you’ll connect to a 4G service, when it’s available, while you’re over there.
If you’re travelling outside the EU you’ll need to check what charges apply to that specific country as they differ from place to place.
If you’re on a purple SIM there are a few places outside of the EU where you can’t use your Virgin Mobile.
Here’s the full list: Ethiopia, Falkland Islands, Guam, Guyana, Namibia, Northern Mariana Islands, Paraguay, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Vanuatu and Venezuela*.
From 1st September 2020 there’ll be some additional countries outside the EU where you can no longer use your Virgin Mobile services. These are: Brunei Darussalam, Lesotho, New Caledonia and Zimbabwe.
For guidance travelling overseas see during Covid, visit gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
Use our country search above to check roaming charges.
Set up your phone for travel abroad
Before you head off, there’re a couple of steps to check in Your Account to make sure you can use your phone abroad.
Log in to Your Account and head to Plan & Device
Select Manage Services
Find the Going Abroad section and set the slider to ON
Make sure International call barring is switched OFF
Just so you know, it takes up to 24 hours for these settings to be updated, and then you’re good to go.
Calls and texts Calls and texts
When you're abroad your phone will recieve calls and texts automatically. But to make calls or send texts when abroad, you'll need to check you've got an international dialling code as part of the number.
To add the international dialling code to a number, hold down the '0' key on your phone's keypad until you see '+' instead. Then you'll need to add the country code for the number. You'll need to do the same in your device's contacts for a saved number.
So for a UK number, drop the inital 0, then add '+' and then the UK country code 44 e.g. +44777 123 456.
For a non-UK number, drop the inital 0, then add '+' and then add the country code.
So you’ve got them handy, here are all the dialling codes for countries you might visit in the EU:
- UK +44
- Spain +34
- France +33
- Italy +39
- Germany +49
- Ireland +353
- Greece +30
- Netherlands +31
- Portugal +351
- Belgium +32
- Switzerland +41
NOTE: If you're using an app such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, then this will continue to work without the international dialling code.
What you pay for:
- In the EU you will be able to make calls, send texts and use data just as you would in the UK subject to our Fair Use Policy
- Outside the EU you will be charged to make and receive calls, and send messages
- Friends in the UK will pay the standard UK rate to call and text you
See Roaming Costs to see all how much your calls and usage will be.
If someone leaves you a voicemail, you can listen to it like normal. Receiving voicemail messages is free of charge. In the EU listening to voicemail will cost the same as it would at home, subject to our Fair Use Policy. Outside of the EU you’ll be charged listening to voicemail at the call rate for the region you’re in.
To pick up your messages, access your voicemail, press the # key, and enter your voicemail PIN (which you’ll have set up at home).
For details on how to set up voicemail and voicemail PIN, see Before You Go.
Mobile data Mobile data
Whether you want to check the weather, tweet a picture of the view or update your Facebook status and make everyone green with envy, it’s easy to stay connected.
Data cap limits
When roaming, we'll help you to avoid surprise mobile bills by capping your data use. We'll text you when you've reached 80% of the data cap, and we'll text you again once you've reached the data cap. Once you've hit the roaming data cap, you can text YES to 23457 to turn the data cap off. Or, to switch your roaming data cap on, just text NO to 23457. Our tariff guide lists the data cap values – check it out here if you're a pay monthly customer, or here if you're a PAYG customer.
Travelling in the EU
You can now use your UK data allowance with Roam Like Home. This means that while you’re travelling in an EU country you’ll be able to use data just as you would in the UK, subject to fair use limits. This includes any data rollover you have.
If you don’t have a data allowance, or your allowance has run out, you can still use Mobile Data wherever you are in the EU and pay no more than you would in the UK.
If you’re on one of our 4G plans, when roaming in the EU you’ll connect to a 4G roaming service where available, and benefit from data free messaging on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Twitter. Please be aware that some networks may block messaging apps. See Data-free messaging on Virgin Mobile for more details.
Need more data and on a Pay Monthly plan? Then get Virgin Mobile Pay Monthly Data Add-Ons and use your add-on when in the EU.
Going somewhere in a Roam Like Home country near the EU border? Sometimes your mobile phone can connect to a network from outside the EU instead, which means you’ll be charged extra for roaming. To avoid these extra charges, we recommend turning your roaming off while you’re there. Please also check any welcome SMS messages you get when you arrive in these areas and the relevant roaming prices stated.
Remember, all data usage in the EU is subject to fair use limits.
Travelling outside the EU
If you’re travelling outside the EU, you won’t be able to use your UK allowances.
All Virgin Mobile customers on our 4G plans benefit from 4G data while abroad on any of our roaming partners that support the 4G roaming service.
If you’ve switched on roaming, you’ll be charged for any calls, texts and data you use when abroad, and your data usage will be charged per Megabyte.
When roaming, we'll help you to avoid surprise mobile bills by capping your data use. We'll text you when you've reached 80% of the data cap, and we'll text you again once you've reached the data cap.
To find out how to control your roaming settings see Before You Go.
See our Roaming Costs for details on how much you'll be charged in each country.
Your phone won't get any network coverage on planes or cruise ships. It'll connect to a network once you're near land - just make sure your roaming is set up and ready to go.
If you don't want to use your data whist you're away you can stop it, just go into your phone’s settings and make sure data roaming is turned off.
Frequently asked questions
Why have you sent me a text advising me to order a new SIM to roam abroad? Why have you sent me a text advising me to order a new SIM to roam abroad?
We’ve tried to update your roaming settings recently, but unfortunately it didn’t work. To carry on using your roaming services after June 2021, you’ll need a new SIM. The text we sent you contains instructions explaining how to order your new SIM.
When do I need to order my new SIM by? When do I need to order my new SIM by?
You should order your new SIM as soon as you receive a text from us advising you to do so. Once it’s arrived in the post, you’ll need to pop it straight into your phone before travelling outside of the UK to continue being able to use your Virgin Media services when roaming abroad.
What happens if I don’t order/insert my new SIM? What happens if I don’t order/insert my new SIM?
You’ll need to insert your new SIM within 30 days of receiving it, otherwise you might not be able to use any Virgin Media services outside of the UK. Don’t worry, this won’t impact any of your Virgin Media services in the UK – you’ll still be able to make and receive calls, send texts and use data services as normal.
I’m not going abroad, so why do I need a new SIM? I’m not going abroad, so why do I need a new SIM?
It’s important you have the most up-to-date network settings to make sure you’ve got all the support your services need – just in case you ever do decide to use your SIM abroad.