12/3/2008 11:07:00 AM
Virgin considered pulling out of T-Mobile deal
Virgin’s mobile internet deal comes after it renegotiated better terms with its wholesale partner, T-Mobile, in June 2008. The agreement now covers 3G services and will last for the next three years.
Virgin Mobile’s managing director, Graeme Oxby, said discussions took place with other networks, with the possibility that Virgin would have to re-issue its Sim cards to customers if it were to switch network partner.
Oxby said: ‘We were talking to other networks and there was a lot of interest.’
The operator launched its dongle service in September, with the strapline ‘from the people who brought you the mother of superfast broadband’ – a reference to the high speed of Virgin Media’s unique cable infrastructure.
Asked if Oxby thought it was misleading to use the tagline in connection to Virgin’s mobile broadband proposition (since it was piggy-backing on T-Mobile’s network), he said: ‘I don’t think there is that implication [that speeds will be comparable to its home broadband service]. Mobile is always going
to be complementary. I don’t feel uncomfortable with that positioning. We are a multi-platform broadband business.’
Oxby referred to T-Mobile’s network share deal with 3, which promises to have the broadest and fastest HSDPA network in the country. Oxby was previously marketing director at 3.
He added: ‘T-Mobile has a very good data network, and with their [network] partner, 3, they have a very good network.’