Mixed results for Virgin Mobile, hints at US acquisition

Virgin Mobile U.K. has announced a lackluster set of financial results, the only highlight being an increase of nearly 60,000 to its contract subscriber base. This was balanced by a near 30,000 drop in its prepay customer base, and a decrease in ARPU to £10.04 in Q1/08 from £10.07 a year ago. The company attempted to explain away these numbers by claiming that the decrease was caused by improved contract offers, but mainly due to increased competition.

Meanwhile, Virgin Mobile U.S. is said to be talking to the rival MVNO, Helio, with a view to a merger. Since both companies use Sprint's network, any merger would be seamless at the infrastructure level, and the deal would give SK Telecom a way to keep Helio going as it tries to gain a foothold in the U.S. market.

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