Virgin Media O2 switches on residential 2Gbit/s broadband service and launches symmetrical speed options

Via Virgin Media O2

Feb 7, 2024

  • Gig2 from Virgin Media O2 is the first residential 2Gbps service from any major UK provider to go live for sale, with broadband speeds more than 28 times faster than the UK average.
  • The operator’s latest broadband speed upgrade will revolutionise in-home connectivity and help to power future technologies from AI to immersive and cloud gaming.
  • Gig2 uses XGS-PON technology across a full fibre network thanks to Virgin Media O2’s partnership with nexfibre. This technology has the capability to support 10Gbps speeds in future.
  • Virgin Media O2 is also introducing symmetrical download and upload speeds on its full fibre footprint across all product tiers – the first major UK provider to offer this as an optional add-on.
  • Initially available across the nexfibre network, approaching 1 million premises at launch, customers in towns and cities across the UK including London, Cardiff, Milton Keynes, Sheffield, Manchester and Glasgow will be the first to benefit.

Virgin Media O2 has become the first major UK provider to publicly launch a residential 2Gbps broadband service and introduce symmetrical download and upload speeds across all of its speed tiers as an optional add-on for customers.

Gig2 is Virgin Media’s latest speed upgrade, offering enhanced broadband speeds twice as fast as its predecessor, Gig1.

The service, available across the nexfibre network which is approaching availability to 1 million homes in suburban and semi-rural areas across the UK, including Belfast, Cardiff, London and Glasgow, will help power the technology and devices of today and of the future – from AI applications to the metaverse and cloud gaming.

Initially trialled last year, Gig2 is powered by the latest XGS-PON technology and will operate on a full fibre network courtesy of Virgin Media O2’s wholesale partnership with nexfibre – a fibre network joint venture.

Customers in full fibre areas will also be able to boost their connectivity with a major upload speed add-on, providing them with symmetrical speeds so they can upload as fast as they can download.

This upgrade is available across all of Virgin Media’s speed tiers – from 50Mbps to 2Gbps – and marks Virgin Media becoming the first major UK broadband provider to offer this optional service.

Those that sign up or upgrade to Gig2 will receive Virgin Media’s Hub 5x router – its first to support XGS-PON technology. The Hub 5x is Virgin Media’s most energy efficient router to date, made from 100% recycled plastic, and will help to boost in-home WiFi performance by supporting WiFi 6 devices.

Gig2 is available for £84 per month with the option to add symmetrical speeds for an extra £6 per month across all speed tiers.

Both Gig1 and Gig2 customers can also enjoy Virgin Media’s market-leading WiFi guarantee, WiFi Max, at no extra cost, offering a minimum download speed of 30Mbps in in every room or £100 one-off credit back. For other speed tiers, Virgin Media’s WiFi guarantee can be added for £8 extra per month.

Those looking to enhance their connectivity line up even further can Volt their package for an additional £6 per month, adding an unlimited O2 SIM.

With Volt, customers can benefit from a host of added perks at no extra cost including a broadband speed boost on selected broadband tiers and inclusive roaming in 75 international destinations.

Those looking for some extra entertainment can add TV to their package with by Stream from Virgin Media. The pocket-sized box lets users seamlessly watch the telly they love at home and on the move for the ultimate entertainment experience.

Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Media O2, said: “Virgin Media O2 has always been at the forefront of innovation to provide hyperfast and next-generation connectivity to homes in the UK, and Gig2 is our latest speed venture which will unlock endless opportunities for future technologies and the ever-changing digital needs of our customers.

“Gig2 will operate across nexfibre’s XGS-PON, full fibre network which will support symmetrical download and upload speeds – a first for a major UK broadband provider as an optional add-on – and will enable users to send and receive data, files and much more at the blink of an eye. With our heritage in providing cutting-edge technology and hyperfast broadband speeds, which saw us complete the UK’s first national gigabit rollout programme, we are looking forward to taking Gig2 to more areas in the near future.”

The true power of Gig2 and XGS-PON technology

Virgin Media’s Gig2 service offers download speeds of 2Gbps and operates on a full fibre network, powered by XGS-PON technology, enabling customers to download video games, films, music and large files in seconds.

File type and size Gig2 (2Gbps) UK average (69.4Mbps)
Call of Duty Modern Warfare III (240GB – PS5) 16 minutes 7 hours 41 minutes
Oppenheimer (66GB – 4K/UHD) 4 minutes 25 seconds 2 hours 7 minutes
Traitors Season 2 (7.6GB – HD) 30 seconds 14 minute 36 seconds

Source: Virgin Media Download Calculator Tool

With technology and innovation continuing to evolve at such a rapid rate, from the metaverse to AI and immersive and cloud gaming, Gig2 connectivity will underpin new technologies and applications.

XGS-PON also uses a passive optical network so energy consumption is lower and, coupled with Virgin Media’s new Hub 5x router, will help the operator meet its ambitious net zero goals that support better outcomes for customers, communities and the planet.

The Hub 5x also comes with a 10Gbps port which will be able to support even faster speeds in the future.

Rajiv Datta, Chief Executive Officer of nexfibre, said: “nexfibre’s full fibre network, powered by XGS-PON technology, provides a platform for progress, as demonstrated by Virgin Media O2’s exciting new Gig2 service with symmetrical speed options. As our roll-out continues at pace, we’re looking forward to empowering more consumers and businesses with the benefits of our significant investment in the UK’s digital infrastructure.”

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