Optus will progressively close Virgin Mobile

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Optus will progressively close Virgin Mobile

Up to 200 staff impacted.

Optus is set to phase out its Virgin Mobile brand over the next two years and will contact customers “in the coming days” to outline their options.

The telco finally confirmed a plan to close the brand that first leaked over a month ago

Virgin Mobile Australia became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Optus back in 2006.

It acts a low-cost option for users that want services on the Optus mobile network.

Rivals like Telstra also run a similar business model; its low-cost option is branded Belong.

An Optus spokesperson said in a statement that Virgin Mobile customers “can continue to use their service in the same way they always have”.

“We will be contacting them in the coming days to let them know more about the changes and their future options,” the spokesperson said.

The decision affects about 200 Virgin Mobile staff, though some could be offered jobs elsewhere within Optus.

The spokesperson said Optus would talk with impacted employees and discuss with them “potential options for redeployment within the wider Optus business”.

Virgin Mobile largely predates the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) boom, which has brought about enormous competition and pressure on mobile prices, particularly for cost-conscious users.

The closure also comes at a time when a fourth mobile network operator - TPG - is readying its launch in Australia, with monthly fees of as little as $10.

Its presence is likely to kick off a new wave of discounts as existing mobile operators and MVNOs alike try to keep their user bases intact.

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