A few years back, Virgin America airlines had gone away owing to its takeover by Alaska Airlines. Well, it looks like the virtual cellular network that was founded by Sir Richard Branson would soon become history. If reports are to be believed, Sprint is most likely planning to do away with Virgin Mobile USA from February 2 onwards. All the existing customers would be moved to Virgin Mobile’s sister brand, Boost Mobile.
A notable feature here is that Sprint has decided to merge both of its prepaid mobile services 18 months post its merger with T-Mobile US Inc. Earlier in July, this merger had got approval from the Justice Department on the following grounds – both Sprint and T-Mobile should plan on updating Sprint’s prepaid businesses, which is inclusive of Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile and then, both these firms should plan on introducing a new mobile carrier in the market.
Sprint and T-Mobile are reaching an end of an antitrust lawsuit that has been filed by 14 attorneys general. Apparently, they were not quite satisfied with the $26.5 billion merger. The trial ended last month, and the states and companies were given time till January 8 to present all the facts. The US District Judge Victor Marrero has scheduled January 15 as the date for hearing the final arguments. A decision can be expected sometime around February.
In August 2018, T-Mobile employees had stated to the FCC that the newly merged company would be keeping all of their prepaid brands. The top management of T-Mobile stated that there were plans of retaining the pay-as-you-go brands of both Sprint as well as T-Mobile. These brands would include MetroPCS, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile, as they attract all kinds of customers.
As of now, there is no specific date as to when Virgin mobile services would be totally shut; however, customers can shift over to Boost Mobile in case they wish to, with immediate effect. According to a statement made by a Sprint spokesperson, customers are free to use the same handset and can also continue paying the same amount of money. In fact, these customers, in spite of shifting over to Boost Mobile, would continue to remain on the Sprint network only. Apparently, it would be quite difficult for customers to spot any notable differences when switching between these two mobile services.
The spokesperson has stated in an email, “We regularly examine our plans to ensure that we’re offering the best services in line with our customer needs. In most circumstances, customers can keep their current phone and will receive a comparable or better Boost Mobile service plan with no extra cost.”
However, there could be a change in the payment modes when paying for Boost Mobile. Apparently, this is not likely to offer support to PayPal accounts or 45/90 Day top-ups.
Interestingly, Sprint doing away with Virgin Mobile does not signal the end of the prepaid brand carrier. Although Virgin Mobile no longer exists in Australia as it has been taken over by Optus, it is very much existent in the UK. Coincidentally, Sir Richard Branson also happens to be from the UK.
Image Source: The Verge