6 November 2019
VIRGIN MEDIA AND VODAFONE STRIKE NEW MOBILE DEAL
Virgin Media has agreed a five year deal with Vodafone UK to bring innovative new services, including 5G, to more than three million mobile customers and provide further flexibility to grow its mobile operation.
The new Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement, which runs until 2026, will see Vodafone supply wholesale mobile network services, including both 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 expanding 5G network, enabling new product advancements and benefits for its customers.
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.
Lutz Schüler, Virgin Media CEO, said: "This agreement with Vodafone will bring a host of fantastic benefits and experiences to our customers, including 5G services in the near future. 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, said: "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."
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.
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For further information:
Vodafone UK Media Relations
Tel: 01635 693 693
Virgin Media Press Office
Tel: 0333 000 2900
About Vodafone UK
Vodafone UK connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line, broadband and the Internet of Things (IoT). We employ around 11,000 people across the UK, and operate more than 400 retail stores nationwide.
Having made the UK's first mobile phone call and sent the first text, Vodafone has a history as a tech pioneer. In 2018 we made the UK's first live holographic call using 5G, and were first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester.
Today we serve over 18 million mobile and fixed line customers in the UK, with 4G network coverage at 99%. Our customers voted us the UK's Best Mobile Network at the 2018 Trusted Reviews Awards for the second year in a row. To help deliver Gigabit UK, we are rolling out full fibre broadband across 12 towns and cities in partnership with CityFibre, reaching one million homes and business by 2021.
Our ReConnect programme is supporting women and men back into work after a career break, our IoT technology is working to create a low-carbon society, and our free Digital Parenting magazine is helping families across the UK to navigate the online world safely. For two years running, we have been named one of the UK's 25 Best Big Companies to Work For by the Sunday Times, and a Top 100 Employer by Stonewall.
We are part of Vodafone Group, one of the world's largest telecommunications companies, with mobile operations in 24 countries, partnerships with mobile networks in 42 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets. As of 30 June 2019, Vodafone Group had approximately 640 million mobile customers, 21 million fixed broadband customers and 14 million TV customers, including all of the customers in Vodafone's joint ventures and associates.
For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk
About Virgin Media
Virgin Media offers four multi-award-winning services across the UK and Ireland: broadband, TV, mobile phone and landline.
Our dedicated, ultrafast network delivers the fastest widely-available broadband speeds to homes and businesses and we're expanding this through our Project Lightning programme, which could extend our network to up to 17 million premises.
Our interactive TV service brings live TV, thousands of hours of on-demand programming and the best apps and games to customers through a set-top box, as well as on-the-go through tablets and smartphones.
Virgin Mobile launched the world's first virtual mobile network and offers fantastic value and innovative services with 4G connectivity. We are also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the UK and Ireland.
Through Virgin Media Business we support entrepreneurs, businesses and the public sector, delivering the fastest widely available broadband speeds and tailor-made services.
Virgin Media is part of Liberty Global, one of the world's leading converged video, broadband and communications companies. Liberty Global connects 11 million customers through operations in six countries across Europe, subscribing to 25 million TV, broadband internet and telephony services. It also serves six million mobile subscribers.