The deal is set to cover both data and voice services, and means that Virgin Media customers will be using the BT-owned EE network for at least the next five years.
New terms will allow Virgin Media to build what is known as a “thick” network, allowing them to take control of their own billing, SIM cards and the broadband links between the mobile masts. It is believed to be a direct response to Sky Broadband’s new mobile service, which announced the UK’s first “thick” network just last week.
According to The Telegraph, rival network Three had hoped they could sway Virgin Media away from BT, but were ultimately unsuccessful. Therefore this news will come as a major blow to the company.
Earlier this month we conducted our own tests to determine the highest data speeds in London, pitting BT on the EE network against Three.
Our results clearly showed that BT were able to maintain far more consistent speeds across the capital, with an average download speed of 21.68 Mbps. On the other hand Three averaged just 12.75Mbps. Data speeds in London and beyond may have impacted Virgin’s decision to continue with BT.
Speaking on the agreement, Managing Director of Virgin Mobile Peter Kelly said: “This winning combination with EE will give Virgin Mobile even more control and firepower to deliver innovative services to the UK mobile market. Virgin Mobile customers want fast speeds, flexibility and plans packed full of data – we’re going to continue to deliver.”
CEO of Wholesale and Ventures at BT Gerry McQuade said: “As the largest wholesale provider of telecommunications services in Europe, BT values the economy of scale that Virgin Media brings to our network.”