Virgin Mobile Holdings and Carphone Warehouse plan to launch a mobile telecom service in France in the first half of next year, the two companies said yesterday.
Virgin and Carphone will jointly create and own a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), that will rent access on France Telecom's Orange network and offer mobile calling under the Virgin Mobile France brand.
It will also retain the regional Breizh Mobile brand in Brittany and Western France, a local MVNO created by Carphone's OMER Telecom unit in 2004.
"Virgin Mobile is going to benefit from our implantation in France, which will allow it to save a lot of time. On the other hand, we will profit from having a very well-known brand and a strong offering, and from the experience of a virtual operator that has over ten million clients in the world," said Geoffroy Roux de Bezieux, president of OMER Telecom.
Subscription terms and other details of the offering will be announced when the service is launched.
The French government has been pushing for the creation of MVNOs as a means of spurring mobile competition and lowering calling prices in France, where the market is dominated by three operators - Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom.