Virgin Mobile shutting down postpaid service in May

Virgin Mobile USA and Sprint Nextel have been notifying current Virgin Mobile postpaid subscribers that Virgin will cease being an independent postpaid brand by May 25. Sprint, which completed its acquisition of Virgin Mobile in November, is laying out a series of incentives to get remaining Virgin Mobile postpaid subscribers to switch over to the Sprint brand in a bid to boost its own subscriber base.

Virgin Mobile spokeswoman Jayne Wallace told Phone Scoop that no current Virgin Mobile postpaid subscribers will be automatically converted to Sprint's postpaid service. However, she said that current Virgin postpaid customers will be given a $50 credit toward a Sprint postpaid handset with a new two-year contract, which is in addition to any rebates that may apply. "Postpaid customers moving from Virgin Mobile to Sprint will also receive $150 off of handsets as part of Sprint's standing new customer offer," she said. "Activation fees will also be waived." If customers want to keep their current number, they need to notify Sprint or Virgin before May 25.

Sprint has been very clear about how it wants to handle the integration of Virgin's prepaid customers into its overall operations, but it has been less clear about the postpaid subscribers. During Sprint's fourth-quarter earnings conference call, Dan Schulman, the new head of Sprint's prepaid business, said that by the end of the second quarter the carrier will launch revamped prepaid offerings under the Boost, Virgin and Assurance Wireless brands, which will be aimed at specific market segments with different value propositions.

Sprint in its fourth-quarter earnings announcement counted the addition of 104,000 retail postpaid customers due to its acquisition of Virgin Mobile. Virgin spokeswoman Corinne Nosal told FierceWireless that the carrier currently had around 86,000 postpaid subscribers remaining under its brand.

For more:
- see this Phone Scoop article

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