Virgin Media is ending its partnership with BT and will switch to Vodafone’s mobile network from 2021, the firm has announced.
The broadband and mobile provider has agreed a five-year deal with Vodafone UK, which will allow Virgin Media mobile phone customers to use new services including 5G between 2021 and 2026. Around 3 million UK customers will be affected by the new deal between Virgin Media and Vodafone, reported to be worth around £200 million.
Currently, Virgin Media has a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) deal with BT which started in 2017 but expires at the end of next year. Virgin Media have reassured their customers that they will not need to change their SIM cards once the new deal with Vodafone takes effect.
“This agreement with Vodafone will bring a host of fantastic benefits and experiences to our customers, including 5G services in the near future,” said Lutz Schuler, chief executive of Virgin Media. “Twenty years ago Virgin Mobile became the world’s first virtual operator and this new agreement builds on that heritage.
“It will open up a whole new world of opportunity for Virgin Media as we focus on becoming the most recommended brand for customers and bring our mobile and broadband connectivity closer together in one package for one price.
“We’ve worked with BT to provide mobile services for many years and will continue to work together in a number of areas. We want our customers to have a limitless experience – it’s now the right time to take a leap forward with Vodafone to grow further and faster.”
Nick Jeffery, chief executive of Vodafone UK, said: “We are delighted that Virgin has recognised the huge investments we’ve made, and continue to make, in building the UK’s best mobile network and our role in challenging the market with new commercial services. As a result, they have chosen us to work with them in the next phase of their development.
“This is an exciting deal between two great British brands. We are combining our strong heritage in innovation to create a world without limits for our customers through unlimited data offers and 5G.”