Virgin Mobile sees modest gains in Q2

Virgin Media added 16,000 new mobile customers during the second quarter of 2018 as total subscriber numbers remained static at three million.

Mobile revenues rose by 16.1 per cent thanks to higher revenue from handset sales, but this was partially offset by lower mobile subscription income.

Two thirds of all mobile customers are now using 4G, while a third have now been migrated to Virgin’s “full” Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) platform.

Virgin Mobile UK

Virgin Mobile was the first MVNO when it launched in 1999, using what was then One2One’s network to power its services. It renewed its wholesale deal with EE last year, allowing Virgin to build a ‘thick’ MVNO with greater control over billing, SIM provision and other network components.

This means it’s easier for Virgin Media to rollout new services, avoiding a repeat of the delayed launch of 4G, which only took place in late 2016.

It was a successful quarter for the UK’s largest cable provider, whose fixed network now reaches 14.2 million premises. Total customer ARPU rose 1.6 per cent to £51.11 thanks to new and existing customers taking out 112,000 new services during the three months – a record for the company.

A particular highlight was the addition of 31,000 broadband subscribers.

Total revenues increase by 4.1 per cent to $1.6 billion, which helped boost parent company Liberty Global’s income by 2.7 per cent to $3 billion.

“Enhanced broadband speeds and the continued roll out of our V6 set top box helped deliver a substantial increase in our triple-play acquisitions, improved growth on our existing footprint and increased ARPU,” said Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.