Virgin moves United Kingdom mobile services from BT to Vodafone network

Joanna Estrada
November 8, 2019

Virgin Media's mobile network will be powered by Vodafone's infrastructure from 2021, switching from the BT-EE network it has used for the past two decades. Even after the transition, Virgin Mobile will retain control over its products and services. There are now three million Virgin Media mobile customers, and a portion of them will have even chosen Virgin as they know it uses the EE network - with its coverage and performance in mind - accompanied by very some competitively priced packages.

The world's first Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) launched in 1999 under the guise of Virgin Mobile and using what was then One2One's network. This means that the transition from BT Enterprise to Vodafone UK will be seamless for customers, who won't even need to swap out their SIM card.

Virgin Media and Vodafone UK announced Wednesday that from 2021 they will combine forces to offer users a variety of products.

Virgin Media has agreed a five year deal with Vodafone UK to bring new services, including 5G, to more than three million mobile customers and provide further flexibility to grow its mobile operation.

In January, the media and broadcasting regulator Ofcom said Virgin Mobile generated11 complaints per 100,000 customers, the highest number in the pay-monthly mobile category. "As a result, they have chosen us to work with them in the next phase of their development".

The British cable TV and broadband company, owned by US group Liberty Global, pioneered the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) model, when a company offers own-branded mobile services on an established partner's network. "We are combining our strong heritage in innovation to create a world without limits for our customers through unlimited data offers and 5G".

Commenting on the deal, analyst Paolo Pescatore of PP Foresight, said: "This cements the growing relationship between both parents in other European markets".

The new partnership between Virgin Media and Vodafone UK comes at a critical point for the UK's network operators, with 5G providing a host of new opportunities.

It is understood that the United Kingdom was never a market under consideration, but former Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao refused to rule out future talks. "This latest deal will give the MVNO more flexibility to compete with rivals".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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