Ultimate Volt: At a glance
|Price||£85 per month|
|Broadband||Gig1 Fibre (1,130Mbps)|
|TV||Maxit TV + Sky Sports HD + Sky Cinema HD + Kids Pick: 230+ channels, incl. BT Sport, Sky Sports & Sky Cinema & Netflix|
|Phone||Inclusive anytime calls to UK landlines and mobile|
|Installation||£0 setup fee|
|Contract length||18 months|
|Mobile||O2 SIM (with unlimited data, minutes and texts)|
*Prices correct as of June 2022
Virgin Media Broadband
Mega Volt Bundle
516Mb / second
£85.00 / month
£0 upfront fees
Ultimate Volt: Broadband
With an average download speed of 1,130Mbps, Virgin's Gig1 Fibre broadband will handle pretty much anything you can throw at it.
An HD film will download in around 15 seconds, and a 10GB video game update will take just over a minute. A large house full of people all separately streaming HD films at once will be able to do so without interruption or noticeable slowdown.
However, Ofcom data suggests that despite Virgin Media's claim of an average download speed of 1,130Mbps, the actual average speed experienced by customers on Virgin's Gig1 line is 831Mbps, according to November 2020 data from Ofcom - 25% below the officially stated average. However it's worth noting that the sample size will be small, as the Gig1 connection is pretty new.
The average upload speed on the Gig1 connection is just 52Mbps, however, but unfortunately this isn't far off the norm for ultrafast connections - not many providers offer fully symmetrical lines.
The question really isn't whether or not the Ultimate Volt Bundle's ultrafast broadband is fast enough, but whether it's too fast. Most users will rarely need speeds higher than 100Mbps, and would generally save a bit of money by downgrading slightly from the Gig1 breakneck connection.
The Ultimate Volt Bundle comes with every channel Virgin TV offers. (You might be sensing a theme here).
In Virgin-speak, this means you get their 'Maxit TV' base package, along with the following add-ons:
- Sports (this adds Sky Sports HD channels to the BT Sport HD channels that already come with the Maxit TV package)
- Cinema (that's the full range of Sky Cinema channels)
- Kids Pick (things like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network)
All in all it comes with 261 channels, giving you pretty much everything you could want, except for Sky Atlantic, which is only available through Sky or BT.
To get the same TV coverage on the next package down (the Bigger Bundle), you'd actually be paying the same amount as you would for the Ultimate Volt bundle, but with slower internet, a more limited landline calls package, and no mobile SIM.
If your TV can handle it, you'll be able to watch Virgin TV and BT Sport in crystal-clear 4K Ultra HD.
Here's how the Ultimate Volt bundle stacks up against Virgin's other packages in terms of coverage for key channels:
|Channel||Big Bundle||Bigger Bundle||Ultimate Volt|
|BT Sport 1, 2, & 3||-|
|Sky Sports channels||-||-|
|Sky Cinema channels||-||-|
More info: Virgin TV
Tech: Router & TV box
As with any of Virgin's broadband and TV deals, you'll get their 4K-ready Virgin TV 360 set top box to watch, stream, and record TV on. For an extra £15 a month you can add in two Mini Boxes which you can use to get similar functionality in other rooms in your house. The 360 box works like most other set top boxes, and isn't really a selling point in and of itself, but it's a good bit of kit.
Virgin's Hub 3 router is similarly effective, but is unlikely to be a deciding factor when you're picking between this and other deals from other providers. It works much like any other router, although the Intelligent WiFi functionality, which moves devices between different channels to ensure consistently reliable service, is a nice addition.
Most of us don't use a landline any more, and so this section won't be of much interest. Nevertheless, with the Ultimate Volt Bundle you will get one, and you'll have unlimited calls to any UK number.
This might seem frivolous if you're not going to use it, but even without it, the price of the package is pretty good considering what else you get.
One of the biggest selling points of the Ultimate Volt package is the mobile SIM that's thrown in, courtesy of Virgin Media's partnership with O2. The O2 SIM comes with unlimited data, minutes and texts, and 5G capability should you need it.
Since a SIM-only contract with the same allowance would set you back somewhere in the region of £20 a month from a standard mobile network, getting it as part of your broadband tariff is pretty good.
The issue with the SIM is that it's quite unlikely that the start of your broadband tariff lines up perfectly with the end of your current mobile tariff. Even if it is a good deal, you probably don't need two mobile tariffs at once.
If you've only got a few months left on your mobile plan though, it might be worth letting them overlap for a bit before switching to the O2 SIM and cutting out your monthly phone bill.
Is it worth it?
The Ultimate Volt package, previously known as the Ultimate Oomph bundle, costs £85 a month, which is not cheap. However, considering everything you get for that money, it's actually a pretty good deal.
To get similarly fast broadband on its own from another provider, you'd be looking at around £35-50 a month. But the only providers you'll get a similar TV package on top from are BT and Sky.
Sky's broadband speeds don't get faster than 900Mbps. And while BT do offer a 910Mbps package, it's not available to many households. Moreover, by the time you've added the channels you want to your bundle, you could easily pay more than the Ultimate Volt's £85 monthly cost while only getting a 67Mbps connection.
And that's all before you add on the mobile tariff.
Who is it for?
The ideal Ultimate Volt customer lives in a relatively large household, loves films and is an avid sports fan, and has a mobile contract that's just about to come to an end.
However really, even if just a couple of those are true, it's still probably a good deal to go for. As we've said above, for the TV alone it's probably worth the cost, since you'll struggle to find a cheaper equivalent elsewhere even without the bells and whistles.