Virgin Media Joins Vodafone in 5-Year Deal
Virgin Media has linked up with Vodafone UK, after not renewing its agreement with long-time partner BT owned EE.
Back in 2017, BT and Virgin Mobile agreed to extend their agreement which allowed Virgin Media to run a MVNO. In this arrangement, Virgin Media to control SIM cards, billing and other network elements. The agreement will end in late 2021.
An MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) allows third-party companies to lease phone and data spectrum from main operators. In other words, mobile phone operators don’t own a physical network (cellular transmitters, antennas, etc.). Instead, companies, such as Virgin Media, can lease some of another company’s (like Vodafone) network capacity and sell this to customers.
MVNOs are usually able to provide lower prices on mobile services since they have lower overhead. These are usually good for both the customers and the company’s involved.
Vodafone & Virgin Media MVNO Deal
Virgin Media and Vodafone have come to an agreement on an MVNO deal, which will begin late in 2021 and extend to 2026. With this agreement, Virgin Media will gain complete access to Vodafone’s telecom infrastructure and services, which will include 5G service. In fact, the 5G service will be available before Virgin Mobile’s deal with BT ends.
Lutz Schüler, Virgin Media CEO, has responded, “This agreement with Vodafone will bring a host of fantastic benefits and experiences to our customers, including 5G services in the near future.”
“We’ve worked with BT to provide mobile services for many years and will continue to work together in a number of areas. We want our customers to have a limitless experience – it’s now the right time to take a leap forward with Vodafone to grow further and faster.
“It [the deal with Vodafone] will open up a whole new world of opportunity for Virgin Media as we focus on becoming the most recommended brand for customers and bring our mobile and broadband connectivity closer together in one package for one price.”
He went on to say, “Twenty years ago Virgin Mobile became the world’s first virtual operator and this new agreement builds on that heritage.”
Vodafone UK CEO, Nick Jeffery also responded, “We are delighted that Virgin has recongised the huge investments we’ve made, and continue to make, in building the UK’s best mobile network and our role in challenging the market with new commercial services. As a result, they have chosen us to work with them in the next phase of their development.
This is an exciting deal between two great British brands. We are combining our strong heritage in innovation to create a world without limits for our customers through unlimited data offers and 5G.”
What Can Customers Expect from the Vodafone & Virgin Mobile Agreement?
From late 2021, Virgin Mobile will begin to move their services to the Vodafone network. In this agreement, Virgin will keep control over its products and services; as a result, existing customers don’t have to worry about getting new SIM cards.
The move is expected to be smooth and without disruption, so customers can be sure they’ll have access to their current services, in spite of the move to Vodafone’s network.
Details on the new offerings from Virgin are as yet not fully determined. These details will be released at a later date. Virgin’s 3,000,000 are expected to benefit from updated experiences and services, including access of 5G services very soon.
A Merger in the Air?
Some telecom experts are saying that there’s been speculation in the air the two companies be joined by a merger. The view of the industry experts seems to agree that this step seems to add credibility to these conjectures.
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