Virgin Media has decided to abandon BT as its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) platform provider and instead team up with Vodafone.
The five-year deal, which runs from 2021 until 2026, will see Vodafone supply wholesale mobile network services, including voice and data, to Virgin Mobile and Virgin Media Business. Virgin Media will have full access to all of Vodafone’s current services and future technologies, such as its 5G network, which began operating in the UK in July 2019.
Virgin Media’s current MVNO agreement with BT Enterprise, which has been in place since January 2017, ends in late 2021, when Virgin Media’s mobile offering will move to Vodafone. Virgin has three million mobile customers supported by BT in a £200m-a-year deal.
Virgin Mobile 5G services will launch on the Vodafone network before the transition takes place and a “complementary and extensive” wholesale agreement has been struck between both parties in relation to the supply of network services by Virgin Media Business to Vodafone. Virgin has confirmed it will continue to work with BT in a number of other areas.
“This agreement with Vodafone will bring a host of fantastic benefits and experiences to our customers, including 5G services in the near future,” said Virgin Media CEO Lutz Schüler (pictured above left).
“Twenty years ago, Virgin Mobile became the world’s first virtual operator and this new agreement builds on that heritage. It 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.”
Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffery (above right) added: “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.”
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