Australian operator Optus has announced it will phase out its Virgin Mobile brand over the next two years, and will stop taking new connections in two weeks.
The Singtel subsidiary will soon start closing its Virgin Mobile branded retail stores and will offer existing Virgin Mobile customers tailored plans for if they stay on the Optus network after the shutdown.
Optus managing director of marketing and product Ben White said the company will aim to make the transition as painless as possible.
“As they are already connected to the Optus network, Virgin Mobile customers can continue to use their service in the same way they always have. We have a special transition plan in place to make sure the impact to customers is minimal, and the experience they have during this time is a positive one,” he said.
Virgin Mobile Australia started life as an MVNO on the Optus network based in Sydney. It was founded in 2000 as a 50/50 joint venture between Virgin Mobile UK – a subsidiary of Richard Branson's Virgin – and Optus.
Optus acquired Virgin Mobile UK's stake in the venture in 2006 for A$100 million ($75.7 million), but maintained the company's brand identity as well as its own staff and management structure.