Virgin Media strikes 5G mobile deal with Vodafone
November 6, 2019 10.36 Europe/London By Julian Clover
Virgin Media has agreed a five-year mobile deal with Vodafone UK for the hosting of 5G and other mobile traffic on the Vodafone network.
The new Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) deal replaces the existing contract with BT Enterprise that is due to expire in late 2021.
Virgin’s new contract with Vodafone runs until 2026.
Virgin Mobile services will begin the transition to Vodafone at this point, however there will be an early launch for the next generation 5G services. Virgin says this will be in the “near future”.
Lutz Schüler, Virgin Media CEO, 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.”
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.
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.”
A complementary wholesale agreement has also been struck between both parties in relation to the supply of network services by Virgin Media Business to Vodafone.
Vodafone has worked closely with Virgin Media’s parent Liberty Global, it is it’s joint venture partner in the Netherlands, and acquired its German business.