Virgin Media extends MVNO deal with BT

Mobile-phone-user virgin mediaVirgin Media has extended its deal with BT to use the latter’s EE network to power its mobile offering for the next five years.

The new Mobile Virtual Network Operator deal replaces an existing MVNO wholesale agreement between the two companies and covers voice and data services until the end of 2021.

The agreement was reached despite reports that Virgin, which claims three million mobile customers, had held talks with rival UK mobile operators O2 and Three.

“This winning combination with EE will give Virgin Mobile even more control and firepower to deliver innovative services to the UK mobile market,” said Peter Kelly, managing director of Virgin Mobile.

Gerry McQuade, CEO of wholesale and ventures at BT, said: “This has proven a successful relationship for both parties for many years and, as we enter a period of further technological change in the mobile market, we are very pleased to renew and extend our 17 year old relationship.”

Virgin Media claims to have been the “world’s first virtual mobile operator” having launched its mobile services in 1999.