Virgin Mobile subs up, ARPU down


Virgin Mobile has increased its contract customer base by around 75 per cent in 12 months, but recorded a drop in ARPU as customers migrate from prepay onto low-cost SIM-only deals.

It now has 578,600 customers on contract, compared with 328,800 in the third quarter of 2007. It also had a record net contract additions figure of 78,300 up from 29,700 year on year.

However, the number of prepay customers went down in the quarter to 3.687 million from 4.102 million last year.

Virgin Mobile’s ARPU also went down in the quarter compared to last year from £11.11 to £10.93. It put the reduced ARPU down to the reduction in prepay subscribers.

Virgin Media’s total revenue for the quarter was £991.1 million of which £145.5 million came from the mobile division of the company.

Virgin Media chief executive Neil Berkett said: “Within Mobile, we have enjoyed record success in the quarter in growing our contract mobile base, mainly through cross-sell to our cable customers. 
“Our business is showing good resilience as we successfully target churn, drive further efficiencies across the group and enhance our compelling product suite.” 

He added that since the launch of mobile broadband in October the company has 2,000 subscribers. Said Berkett: “We see mobile broadband as being an attractive product to bundle with our fixed line broadband products.

“The new wholesale rates [agreed with T-Mobile] mean we should be able to price more competitively in the growing mobile data usage market, which should be more attractive for higher value customers.”