Posts filed under ‘Virgin Mobile’
The UK-based Virgin Mobile group has denied reports that it is looking to team up with New Zealand wireless licensee NZ Communications to help launch that country’s third cellular network. Virgin Mobile marketing manager Nikki Lambert told New Zealand newspaper The Dominion Post; ‘I can confirm that Virgin does not have any current plans regarding New Zealand and is not in any discussions with any operators out there.’ As a reseller Virgin Mobile has launched pre-paid mobile services in markets such as the UK, the US, India, Australia, Canada and South Africa.
Virgin Mobile has lost its two biggest distribution channels following the collapse of retailers Zavvi and Woolworths. Zavvi went into administration on 24 December, threatening at least 3,400 jobs. Five of the 22 stores closed by Zavvi’s administrators, Ernst and Young, last week – in Torquay, Liverpool, Gillingham, Chatham and High Wickham – contained Virgin Mobile concessions.
The company currently has just 20 Virgin Media standalone shops and 83 branded concessions in Zavvi stores. A Virgin Mobile spokesman said the 11 Virgin staff that worked in the five stores have been redeployed within the Virgin Media group. The remaining 92 stores will stay open for the time being, with a 50% off sale that began last Friday (9 January). It is not known what will happen to the 270 Virgin Mobile staff that still remain. Zavvi, formerly Virgin Megastore, was formed after a management buyout of the Virgin Group division in 2007. It is the UK’s largest independent entertainment retailer.
Virgin Mobile USA announced it added 216,000 new customers in the fourth quarter of 2008, taking its subscriber base to a total of 5.38 million. The churn rate was 4.8% for the three months to 31 December. CEO Dan Schulman said, ‘Our hybrid plans continue to grow in popularity, accounting for over 50% of our gross adds in October and November and 29% of our subscriber base at the end of November.’
Meanwhile Leap Wireless International announced that it added in the region of 385,000 net customers during the fourth quarter of 2008, including approximately 79,000 broadband net additions. Leap ended the year with approximately 3.84 million customers, up 34% year-on-year. Total company customer churn for the fourth quarter of 2008 was 3.8%. Doug Hutcheson, Leap’s CEO and president said, ‘Strong performance in the company’s existing markets reflects the success of our market enhancement strategies, and our broadband customer additions were strong and within our guidance.’