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Virgin Mobile Australia (VMA) was a mobile telecommunications company based in Sydney.

Virgin Mobile Australia Pty Ltd
Subsidiary of Singtel Optus
Founded31 October 2000; 18 years ago (2000-10-31)
Key people
James Gully, CEO
ProductsPrepaid and Postpaid Mobile Phones, Broadband
Number of employees
400 (2014)
ParentSingtel Optus

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

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

In 24 May 2018, parent company Optus has announced it will be phasing out the Virgin Mobile brand, closing 36 Virgin Mobile retail outlets and 200 staff would be affected.[1] [2][3]Existing customers which numbers a million will be contacted about the change and options to their services.[1][2][3] It is expected to take two years to phase out the Virgin Mobile brand and move customers onto Optus.[1][2][3]


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.


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:

  • 3G Single Band (2100 MHz)
  • 3G Dual Band (900 MHz & 2100 MHz )
  • 4G under the '4G Plus' label (700 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz & 2600 MHz)


Virgin Mobile sell a number of telecommunications products:

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

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

They sell their products online, over the phone and throughout 35 branded retail outlets across Australia.

Mobile broadbandEdit

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.[4] 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.[5]

Each customer of Virgin Broadband is assigned a mobile phone number. The modem accesses the internet through Optus' mobile network.

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.[6]

Customer PerceptionEdit

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.[7]

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.[8]


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

  • 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 and Gold at Adfest, a Grand Prix and 4xGold at Spikes, a Gold effectiveness Lion, three Silver Lions, a Bronze Lion at the 2013 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. According to marketing media reports, it was Virgin Mobile's "most successful campaign to date" and the thirteenth most awarded campaign of 2013.
  • Making Mobile Better (2014) was a campaign run with the idea to "make mobile better".[9] The Campaign was endorsed by Jane Lynch

Corporate sponsorshipsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Optus cuts 200 jobs as Virgin Mobile brand goes". SBS News. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Optus pulls the plug on Virgin Mobile and its one million customers". Mail Online. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Optus will progressively close Virgin Mobile". iTnews. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Virgin Broadband poised to slaughter Telstra's landline profits". APC Magazine. ACP Magazines Ltd. 26 July 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2008.
  5. ^ "In-depth review: Virgin Broadband's home HSDPA broadband service". APC Magazine. ACP Magazines Ltd. 28 July 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2008.
  6. ^ "Optus jacks up broadband prices, introduces excess usage fees". APC Magazine. ACP Magazines Ltd. 4 December 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2008.
  7. ^ "Virgin Broadband expands coverage amid controversy". APC Magazine. ACP Magazines Ltd. 22 January 2008. Retrieved 22 January 2008.
  8. ^ "Virgin Broadband". 2 September 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2008.
  9. ^ "Virgin Mobile – Making Mobile Better".

External linksEdit