According to FierceWireless, Sprint is finally killing off Virgin Mobile and moving its customers to Boost Mobile.
Virginia Mobile was founded in 2001 as a joint venture between Sprint and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, before Sprint became sole owner of the carrier in 2009. In recent years, however, Sprint has been letting the brand languish. The most recent nail in the coffin was in October when Sprint terminated Walmart’s distribution rights, the last place Virgin Mobile could still be purchased outside of its online store.
T-Mobile and Sprint are currently in the process of trying to merge and are defending their proposed merger in court against a coalition of states trying to stop it. As one of the concessions to win FCC and DOJ approval, the two carriers agreed to divest Sprint’s prepaid services and sell them to Dish Network. This would, of course, include Boost Mobile.
The timing of this decision is not particularly surprising. On the one hand, if T-Mobile and Sprint win their court case, consolidating prepaid customers under a single brand will no doubt make a hand-off to Dish Network that much easier. On the other other hand, if the two companies lose their case, Sprint has made it clear it would likely not have the resources to compete nationally as it has in the past. In that scenario, consolidating its brands to conserve resources makes sense.
A spokesperson told FierceWireless via email: “We regularly examine our plans to ensure that we’re offering the best services in line with our customer needs. Beginning on the week of Feb. 2, we will be moving Virgin Mobile customer accounts to our sister brand Boost Mobile – consolidating the brands under one cohesive, efficient and effective prepaid team.”