6/4/2008 12:47:00 PM
Virgin enters mobile broadband with its own dongle
Virgin is to significantly boost its 3G offering by entering the mobile broadband race with the launch of its own dongle, Mobile can reveal.
The MVNO is developing a USB modem proposition which it hopes to launch in the second half of 2008, in time for the Christmas rush.
The mobile broadband plan will mean a dramatic improvement of Virgin Mobile’s 3G services, which haven’t been as strong as the main operators.
UK dongle sales now surpass 100,000 per month and continue to rise at a significant rate, and Virgin is keen to get in on the action.
The service will be supplied through its existing network partner, T-Mobile, which has been making strong inroads into the mobile broadband market. However, Virgin entering the fray will put the two companies in direct competition in more areas.
It is understood that Virgin bosses are looking to make their dongle appear different from existing propositions in a bid to find a niche in the market. One source close to the plans said: ‘Virgin has decided it is time to offer its own mobile broadband. The launch will be later this year.
‘The new dongle will look different to those currently on the market. Virgin will try to offer something that appears unique in a bid to compete.
‘They want something which really distinguishes itself from the competition.’
Virgin’s mobile wing falls under the Virgin Media arm, which already offers fixed-line broadband services.
The company’s most recent results revealed 88,400 net new additions to its broadband service, bringing the total base to 3.78 million.