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Virgin Mobile offers cheap festive Web and IM

In the run-up to Christmas, Virgin Mobile has announced a few deals that offer cheaper Internet access and instant messaging for your phone

Like a team of perma-tanned elves, Virgin Mobile has been hard at work in its plasticky red grotto, announcing deals for the pre-Christmas shopping rush. The first to catch our famed eye for a bargain was the company's new Web access pricing scheme, which allows pre-pay customers to surf the Internet at 30p per day.

The Internet deal is aimed at those not signed up to flat-rate data plans and isn't exactly pricey but -- and like Santa, this is a big but -- it's capped at 25MB and after reaching this limit, you'll be charged £2 per MB. If you're planning on doing all your Christmas shopping on the mobile Web, this clearly isn't the deal for you, but if you just want to check Facebook every so often, it could work out quite well.

Virgin is also offering six months of free instant messaging on selected handsets, with the plan being to roll it out on further mobiles in the future. The phones starring in this deal are the Samsung U600, the Samsung G600, the Nokia 6300 and the Sony Ericsson W910i. For more information, visit the Virgin Mobile Web site.