Virgin Media launches in UK

James Middleton

February 8, 2007

2 Min Read
Virgin Media launches in UK

Virgin Media, the combined service offerings of Virgin Mobile and NTL Telewest fixed line services, launched in the UK on Thursday.

Entrepreneur and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson unveiled the new brand at a conference in central London Thursday morning, backed by an advertising campaign starring Uma Thurman.

Customers will be able to subscribe to a range of quadplay products bundling fixed line telephony, broadband internet, on demand TV and video and mobile services.

Virgin Media offers a combination of two services for £20, three for £30 and four for £40. The top end package features a HD-enabled PVR, 10Mbps broadband, unlimited UK landline calls, and a mobile phone with 500 minutes of mobile airtime per month, 1,000 texts a month and £60 airtime for £125.

The merger with NTL Telewest raised some concerns about the level of customer service subscribers could expect. Virgin has a good reputation among users, while NTL’s was somewhat tarnished.

Branson sought to allay such fears by maintaining investments in customer service. In 2006, the company invested £10m, hired 300 extra customer service employees, 30 new trainers and implemented new training programmes.

According to today’s figures, 71 per cent of calls are now answered within 30 seconds compared to 37 per cent this time last year and the average speed of answer is now 40 seconds, compared to 176 seconds this time last year.

The company also announced plans to extend its reach by rolling services out into non-cable areas in 2007, reaching over 97 per cent of UK households by year end.

Virgin Media will also launch a major retail initiative, with 15 stand alone Virgin Mobile stores offering quadplay services, opening throughout the UK in 2007. This is in addition to existing promotional sites in over 100 major shopping centres.

The company will also be selling services via high street retail outlet partners and Virgin Megastores.

Steve Burch, chief executive officer of Virgin Media said “We’ve been working towards this day for a long time and the transformation of our business is already well advanced. Virgin values are starting to permeate all aspects of our company, from the culture to our product line up. Looking forward, we have a world of opportunity before us.”

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of | Follow him @telecomsjames

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