Virgin Mobile South Africa, the country’s first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), has launched a three-month promotion which offers free on-net voice calls to all pre- and post-paid subscribers, in a bid to hit its self-imposed target of signing up one million susbcribers by 2017, TechCentral reports. For post-paid users, the free Virgin-to-Virgin minutes will depend on the value of the monthly contract: subscribers paying up to ZAR499 (USD45.25) per month will receive free minutes up to the value of their monthly subscription, while customers paying more than ZAR499 per month will get
1,000 free on-net minutes. Pre-paid users, meanwhile, are offered 100% back on the value of their top-up (e.g. a ZAR35 voucher includes 35 free on-net minutes). Virgin Mobile SA CEO Anton Landman said: ‘The industry trend is going towards free voice calls in the future and we are pre-empting the market by giving our customers what they are looking for right now’. The executive also added that the promotion ‘may potentially’ be extended beyond the initial three-month period, depending on its popularity.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, UK-owned Virgin Mobile signed a 50:50 joint venture agreement with Cell C in December 2005, creating a Virgin-branded MVNO using Cell C’s GSM network. Virgin Mobile South Africa commercially launched in mid-June 2006, targeting the country’s high-end market. Although Cell C sold its 50% stake in the MVNO for an undisclosed sum in February 2011, the network operator continues to act as Virgin Mobile’s network partner, under an updated network services agreement.