Virgin signs six year extension with T-Mobile

The UK-based MVNO, Virgin Mobile, will launch HSPA-based services later this year following a renegotiation of its wholesale deal with T-Mobile. Virgin, which had been hampered by its inability to offer 3G handsets and services, had been in discussions with other operators but is now believed to have secured better terms with a new six-year deal with its existing partner T-Mobile.

While the two companies have had bitter disagreements in the past, T-Mobile would appear to have been keen to retain Virgin as an MVNO given the growing interest by other network operators to form similar partnerships. However, Virgin would have had a nightmare in switching to another network, which would have entailed all their existing customers changing their SIM cards.

The inclusion of HSPA will enable Virgin to compete with other mobile broadband offerings, including 3G dongles on prepay tariffs.

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