Wednesday, 23 September 2009

New Virgin chief sets ambitious agenda – South Africa

South African MVNO Virgin Mobile is looking to sign-up some 500,000 post-paid subscribers by mid-2011, helped by its recently introduced simplified tariffs, MyBroadband has reported.

The company claims to have doubled its post-paid subscriber base since the beginning of the year and now has around 230,000 active Virgin Mobile subscribers - a much lower figure than previously suggested by both insiders and analysts suggesting a pretty flat subscriber base of around 100,000 for the last two years.

The company is also getting closer to being cash-flow positive. Chief Executive, Steve Bailey, hopes that the company will move into the black within the next 12 months. Bailey is reported to be focusing on costs and has already reduced staff numbers from 450 to less than 200 claiming to have cut overheads by two thirds since taking over.

Bailey added that he is keen to reduce rates for all calls from Virgin Mobile and not just on-net or off-peak calls. High interconnect rates remain a problem and Bailey said he was pleased that the Government is dealing with the issue.

Virgin Mobile launched nationally in June 2006 and has experienced a series of leadership changes. Founding Chief Executive Sajeed Sacranie left at the end of November 2006 and was replaced by Peter Boyd. Boyd in turn left the following year and was replaced by current Chief Executive Steve Bailey.