Virgin Mobile Australia

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Virgin Mobile Australia Pty Ltd
Subsidiary of Optus
Founded 31 October 2000
Headquarters Sydney, Australia
Key people
David Scribner, CEO
Products Prepaid and Postpaid Mobile Phones, Broadband
Number of employees
400 (2014)
Parent Optus
Website www.virginmobile.com.au

Virgin Mobile Australia (VMA) is a telecommunications company based in Sydney, Australia.

It was founded by Richard Branson in 2000, and although it became a wholly owned subsidiary of Optus in 2006, it maintains its own brand identity, customer service, management structure and staff.

Virgin Mobile offers prepaid and postpaid mobile phone and mobile broadband services to approximately one million customers in Australia.

History[edit]

Virgin Mobile was founded in October 2000 as a 50/50 business partnership between Virgin Mobile UK and Optus, using the Optus network infrastructure but with Virgin management of all aspects of the customer experience including branding of products, customer service and billing. Virgin Mobile was Australia's first Mobile Virtual Network Operator.

In January 2006, Optus bought all other shares in the business, and Virgin Mobile became a wholly owned subsidiary of Optus. A long-term licensing agreement was established for the business to continue trading under the Virgin brand. Optus merged Virgin Mobile with its subsidiaries SIMPlus and M8 in April 2006.

Network[edit]

Virgin Mobile uses the Optus Network for all of its Australian-based services. This network reaches 98.5% of people in Australia and operates on the following frequencies:

  • 2G (900 MHz)
  • 3G Single Band (2100 MHz)
  • 3G Dual Band (900 MHz & 2100 MHz )
  • 4G (1800 MHz)
  • 4G Plus (2300 MHz)

Products[edit]

Virgin Mobile sell a number of telecommunications products:

  • Postpaid (i.e. billed monthly) mobile phone services
  • Prepaid mobile phone services
  • Postpaid (i.e. billed monthly) mobile broadband services
  • Prepaid mobile broadband services

They offer a range of mobile phones with their plans, including products from Apple, Samsung, Sony, HTC, Nokia and others. They also offer SIM-only services.

They sell their products online, over the phone and throughout 75 branded retail outlets across Australia.

Mobile broadband[edit]

Virgin's wireless broadband service was first launched in 2007, offering a package of 4GB of data at claimed speeds of up to 700kbit/s, and unlimited phone calls to landlines Australia-wide as well as Virgin Mobile mobiles.[1] It uses an Option Globesurfer 7.2 modem, which includes an RJ11 jack for the connection of a regular PSTN landline telephone, an Ethernet jack for connection of a computer, as well as inbuilt 802.11g WiFi for wireless access by multiple computers.[2]

Each customer of Virgin Broadband is assigned a landline phone number on which they can receive incoming calls (with callers being charged rates as if they were calling a regular landline number).[3] Although the modem accesses the internet and places calls through Optus' mobile network, it must still only be used within a zone around the customer's registered address. According to Virgin Broadband, this is because of rules from the Australian Communications and Media Authority that prevent geographic landline numbers from being assigned to mobile services.[1]

In late 2007, Virgin Mobile changed the Virgin Broadband offer for new customers, halving the data allowance to 2GB as well as comprehensively re-writing their acceptable use policy.[4]

Customer Perception[edit]

In early 2008, technology media reported that Virgin Mobile was having difficulty bringing problems with its parent company's network and its modems under control, and its customer call centres had wait times of 90 minutes or longer.[5]

Comments accumulating on customer-review websites through 2008 indicate that Virgin Broadband is failing to deliver on its promises. Users cite repeated drop-outs on the home phone service, poor performance and even complete lack of connection on the internet service, and long delays and conflicting information from the customer support line.[6]

Marketing[edit]

Since its inception, VMA has been associated with several award-winning advertising campaigns and is a company connected to a very strong international brand.

  • Warren (2004) was a reality-style dating ad featuring 'lovable loser' character Warren who got interest from a male called Richard, referencing Virgin founder Richard Branson. Won the Grand Prix Lion award at the 2004 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
  • 5c Campaign (2005) was a musically inspired campaign featuring a character known as 5c, a parody of rap artist 50 Cent. Won the Titanium Lion award at the 2005 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
  • Enjoy Our Rates Responsibly Campaign (2006) was a guerrilla marketing campaign featuring Jason Donovan. Won a Direct Marketing - Gold Lion at the 2006 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
  • Right Music Wrongs (2009) was an online audience-participation campaign featuring Vanilla Ice. Won an Online Marketing - Silver Lion at the 2009 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
  • Fair Go Bro (2013) was an integrated campaign featuring Doug Pitt (Brad Pitt's brother) in an attempt to show that you don't have to be famous to be treated like a star by Virgin Mobile. Won a Gold and Silver Clio, Best of Show at Adfest two Silver Lions – Direct campaign and Celebrity Endorsement plus a Bronze Lion – Best Integrated Campaign Led by PR at the 2013 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. According to marketing media reports, it was Virgin Mobile’s “most successful campaign to date”.[according to whom?]
  • Making Mobile Better (2014) Was a campaign run with the idea to make mobile better. with the main statement "We’re making the mobile industry better by keeping pressure on the big guys and we’re making mobile better for all of our customers through innovation and a fairer and better way to do business."[7] The Campaign was endorsed by Jane Lynch

Corporate sponsorships[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Virgin Broadband poised to slaughter Telstra's landline profits". APC Magazine. ACP Magazines Ltd. 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  2. ^ "In-depth review: Virgin Broadband's home HSDPA broadband service". APC Magazine. ACP Magazines Ltd. 2007-07-28. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  3. ^ "Virgin Mobile: home broadband and near unlimited calls for $60". APC Magazine. ACP Magazines Ltd. 2007-07-25. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  4. ^ "Optus jacks up broadband prices, introduces excess usage fees". APC Magazine. ACP Magazines Ltd. 2007-12-04. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  5. ^ "Virgin Broadband expands coverage amid controversy". APC Magazine. ACP Magazines Ltd. 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  6. ^ "Virgin Broadband". ProductReview.com.au. 2008-09-02. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  7. ^ http://www.makingmobilebetter.com.au/

External links[edit]