Virgin Media plans to expand through Vodafone UK partnership

News

Virgin Media agreed a five-year deal with Vodafone UK to bring new services, including 5G, to more than 3 million mobile customers and grow its mobile business.

The new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement will run until 2026.

Under the agreement, Vodafone will 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 Vodafone’s 5G network.

Virgin Media’s current MVNO agreement with BT Enterprise, which has been in place since January 2017, will come to an end in late 2021, at which point Virgin Media’s mobile offering will transition to Vodafone.

Virgin Mobile 5G services are set to launch on the Vodafone network before the transition takes place.

Converged services

Lutz Schüler, CEO, Virgin Media (pictured above, left) said: “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.”

He added: “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.”

Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK CEO, (pictured above right) commented, “We are delighted that Virgin has recognised 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.”

The full MVNO

As a ‘full MVNO’ Virgin Mobile has control over the products and services it offers, which means existing customers will not need to change their SIM cards as part of this agreement. Further details on product offerings and network transition will be provided in due course.

A complementary and extensive wholesale agreement has also been struck between both parties in relation to the supply of network services by Virgin Media Business to Vodafone.