What will Virgin Mobile’s closure mean for its customers?
Optus has confirmed that the Virgin Mobile brand will be shuttered over the next two years, but what does that mean if you're already a customer?
The Virgin brand has been associated with numerous products in Australia over the decades, including Optus subsidiary Virgin Mobile, but its days are numbered. Optus has confirmed rumours that have been rumbling around for several months now that it will close down Virgin Mobile, although it won't do so overnight.
Instead, the plan is to gradually close Virgin Mobile operations over the next two years with some staff said to be transferring to Optus operations instead.
"For Virgin Mobile employees, our policy is always to talk to those who may be impacted by these changes first," according to an Optus spokesperson as reported by SBS.
Virgin Mobile commenced operations in Australia in 2000 as a joint venture between Optus and Virgin Mobile UK, but since 2006, it's been wholly owned by Optus.
Virgin Mobile has slowly been winding back its range of products of late, having dropped prepaid plans entirely from its offerings back in October 2017, and it's not hard to imagine that you won't see too many new phones or new plans from the MVNO over the next two years.
What does this mean if I'm a Virgin Mobile customer?
Optus says that it will contact all Virgin Mobile customers to discuss their options, so the telco should contact you. If you've been existing on a grandfathered prepaid plan, now would be an ideal time to shop around for a new mobile plan, whether through Optus or another carrier or MVNO.
Customers on contract plans should have enough time to work through those deals, given the two year time frame for Virgin Mobile's closure, but again it would be wise to consider your options, especially depending on how long your plan has to run.
In theory, since Virgin Mobile operations will continue for two years, you could sign up to a new deal, but the fast-moving reality of the mobile market means that it's almost certainly not in your best interests to do so.