Virgin Mobile pre-empts drop in interconnect with lowest peak rate in SA


On Saturday 14 November 2009, Virgin Mobile South Africa is launching a new prepaid product at better than post-paid rates. The 99’er’s rate of 99 cents per minute, all day, every day, to all networks after the first five minutes of calls per day at R1.99 per minute, pre-empts the drop in the peak interconnect rate expected in February 2010. This is a reduction of over 32% on Virgin Mobile's current prepaid tariff.

The 99’er will initially be launched in partnership with Pick ‘n Pay, rolling out to other outlets early next year. Customers can pick up their Virgin Mobile 99’er Starter Pack from Pick ‘n Pay outlets countrywide for only 99 cents and also enjoy the benefit of 9 free 'Please Call Me’s' each day.

The 99'er is the first prepaid product specifically designed to meet the needs of active prepaid customers who call a lot during the day. For example, no other mainstream product can offer 15 minutes of peak period off-network calling during the day for less than R20!

In the words of Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson, "The question we asked ourselves when we came to South Africa was why a consumer's average monthly cellular spend always ended up so high when our competitors were supposedly already offering amazing deals? Then we found our answer - these deals are always focused on great prices for services you hardly ever use or only apply when you least want to use them - like after hours or on weekends. Now, with the drop in the interconnect rate, we have found a way - the Virgin Way - to offer the active South African consumer great cellular value: Best value for the cellular services that you use the most, when you actually most need them!"

Virgin Mobile's new 'best value' prepaid rate of R1.99 per minute for the first five minutes of use in a day, dropping to 99 cents per minute for the remainder of the day complements Virgin Mobile's other 'best value' post-paid offering which includes 1000 free SMS's per month for every month of a 24 month contract (valued at R14,400 over the life of the contract).

"As previously stated, we have always been in favour of reduced and asymmetrical interconnect rates as way to enhance competition. We are now demonstrating our commitment to this by introducing a peak rate below the current interconnect rate.” said Steve Bailey, Virgin Mobile South Africa's CEO, “Going forward, we expect that the 99'er's great drop-down rate will form the basis for all Virgin Mobile's new products. Soon all our new Contract, Top-Up and Prepaid products will include the same simple, 'best value' underlying tariff."