Virgin Mobile rolls over to data demands

Rollover data
Apparently you can teach an old telco new tricks

The promise of a world without data bill shock is at least one step closer today, as Virgin Mobile introduces data rollover for its post-paid plans.

Virgin Mobile customers who sign up for the new plans will have any unused data each month rollover to the next month, giving a nice cushion from any unexpected data blowouts.

Virgin customers have been able to rollover unused talk and text for a while, so the addition of data rollover is a neat fit for the telco following its drop in excess data charges last year.

Too much is never enough

In making the decision to switch on data rollover, Virgin Mobile noticed a definite trend towards data consumption over voice.

"It's fair to say that voice usage is declining," explains Derek Cummins, Director of Proposition and Strategy at Virgin Mobile.

"I think it's an industry trend people are seeing that they're using less and less voice. What we know though is that when we've modelled rollover on our base for data, almost half our customers, had they had rollover, would have saved money."

When asked why offer rollover rather than just increasing data across the board, Cummins explained that rollover is designed to be more of a safety net, rather than a blanket cover.

"No matter how much data you put into the caps, there are always people who are going to use more than that data from time to time. So we've got plans with really generous data inclusions, and people are at times going over those inclusions, so rollover gives you that second chance when things go a bit crazy," he told us.

Training customers to rollover

Current Virgin Mobile customers won't automatically get the rollover features added to their plan. Instead, they need to contact the telco to upgrade to the new plans.

On the upside, there's no requirement to lock in new 24-month contracts to get the new rollover features for existing customers.

Also worth noting is that rollover data isn't used up first – included data is counted first, then add on packs, before finally rollover data. So best to avoid back-to-back months of excess data consumption then.

Having spent the past decade editing some of Australia's leading technology publications, Nick's passion for the latest gadgetry is matched only by his love of watching Australia beat England in the rugby.