Virgin Mobile cuts tariffs - TechCentral

Virgin Mobile cuts tariffs

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Mobile virtual network operator Virgin Mobile South Africa has cut the price of its prepaid price plans, with its new standard rates matching the retail tariffs charged by Cell C, on whose network the company roams.

Virgin has launched two prepaid plans under the “1, 2, Free” banner. The first offers “free” talk time. The second provides free Internet access with bundled text messages. Both work by making each third of a call, set of text messages or megabyte of data free.

Under the new plans, Virgin has cut the price of its per-minute call rate to 99c/minute, exactly matching Cell C’s standard call rate for prepaid customers. The new rate plans give customers an effective rate of 66c/minute on the talk plan, or 66c/MB and 33c/SMS on the data and text plan.

“A lot of competitive offers appear at face value to be in the consumer’s favour, but have restrictions to access, such as being dependent on a certain value of recharge, expiration or for use only in the middle of the night,” says CEO Jonathan Marchbank in a prepared statement.

Customers must choose either the talk plan or the data and text plan; they can’t choose both.

The new plans will be launched on 1 May. New Sim cards will default to the new talk plan. They can then change to the data and text plan and may change again once every 30 days.

Virgin Mobile has struggled to gain traction in the South African market. The company, which was once 50% held by Cell C, is now owned by the Friendi Group of the Middle East. Richard Branson’s Virgin Group continues to hold a minority stake in the business.  — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media

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