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Virgin Media's new PAYG tariff nabs you unlimited data for £10

The Big Data tariff gets you 300 texts and a whole pile of data when you top up a tenner.

Virgin Media has revealed a new pay as you go tariff that bags you unlimited data when you top up £10 a month.

The 'Big Data' tariff comes with 300 texts, which you can also bump up to 'unlimited' status if you're willing to top up £15 per month. A second 'Big Talk' option gets you unlimited UK landline calls and 120 UK mobile minutes, but frankly that's much less interesting because it doesn't help you access funny songs about seals from your smart phone.

I asked Virgin Media whether the service really offered unlimited data or whether that was the kind of bare-faced lie operators and broadband-mongers have traditionally been fond of telling -- I was told it was truly unlimited, so you shouldn't find your Internet jollies cut short without warning.

To activate the tariff you need to call 789 from a phone with a Virgin Mobile SIM, press 3, and choose the tariff you want.

If you don't top up £10 every month you'll get a text telling you your unlimited offerings will soon expire. To keep the service on an even keel you'll basically need to activate it, then top up at least a tenner every month.

Unlimited data on a pay as you go tariff is appealing, because as well as delivering all the downloading, video streaming and on-the-move Facebook checking you could handle, you can ditch it at any time -- ideal if you're being tracked by a shadowy cabal of assassins and need to hop on a jet to another country.

Networks like Virgin will be scrambling to get customers addicted to their 3G data deals, as EE has just launched the UK's first 4G network. Our initial tests suggest you'll get speedy data, but you'll need to be made of money to afford EE's pricey tariffs.

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