Cell C terminated the provision of network services to Virgin Mobile South Africa at 5pm on Wednesday, signalling the death of the country’s first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).
Initially, data connectivity was terminated, followed by voice services at 5pm on 16 September and SMS services at 5pm on Friday, 17 September. “This phased approach ensures that consumers have time to secure new connectivity services,” Cell C said.
TechCentral reported on 3 September that Virgin Mobile had decided to shut its doors after 15 years in business in South Africa. The decision came after it was placed into voluntary business rescue in November last year. Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is understood no longer to be a shareholder, though departing MD Zak van de Merwe has previously declined to comment on the shareholder makeup.
“We are aware that some users may turn to your platform to find out the reason for no connectivity,” Cell C said in an e-mailed statement to TechCentral.
“Cell C is committed and ready to continue to provide connectivity to Virgin Mobile subscribers. A number of offers have been packaged and are open to all consumers for the next 14 days exclusively via Cell C’s website, without any credit checks, contracts or extended commitments,” the operator said.
When it announced its decision to close its doors earlier this month, Virgin Mobile said: “As part of the business’s new strategy, it will be completely rebranded as its new go-to-market strategy is implemented. As such, the business will cease trading as Virgin Mobile from 30 November 2021.”
It now appears that process has been accelerated by Cell C’s decision to terminate all services provided to the MVNO. — (c) 2021 NewsCentral Media