Virgin Mobile Australia has begun winding down operations as its owner and host operator Optus starts helping Virgin customers transition off the service (and ideally to Optus).
Optus – which announced its decision to close the MVNO last week – said it will phase out use of the Virgin Mobile brand over the next two years. On June 15, Virgin will stop selling service plans and signing on new customers, although existing customers will still be able to use their existing service until 2020 when Optus’ Virgin Mobile brand license expires.
In the meantime, Optus is already making moves to target Virgin users with transitional plans to migrate them off Virgin and onto Optus.
Ben White, Optus’ MD of Marketing & Product, said the operator will offer Virgin customers “specially tailored plans for those choosing to stay on the Optus network after Virgin Mobile closes its doors in Australia.” White didn’t offer details on the plans, except that they will be “suited to the way these customers are already using their mobile service” with Virgin.
White also said the impact of transition will be “minimal”.
Optus retail stores will also step in to provide in-store customer support for Virgin customers as Virgin Mobile’s 36 retail stores close down for good on June 30.
Virgin Mobile first launched in Australia in 2000, with Optus already holding a stake in the company. Optus took full ownership of Virgin Mobile Australia in 2006 in a A$30 million deal.
Optus decided to shut down Virgin Mobile to save costs – the closure of the Virgin retail stores will eliminate 200 jobs, according to Australian Financial Review.