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Virgin moves to mobiles

INTERNATIONAL giant Virgin is taking on the Australian mobile phone market.

After shaking up the domestic airline market with its cheap fares, the UK-based company is set to continue its cut-price rampage across Australia with its latest national venture – the Virgin Mobile network.

Although no details have been released, Virgin’s Sydney executives admitted this week that Virgin Mobile (Australia) Limited was in “start up mode” and was preparing for a launch in late October.

It is the latest surprise initiative by entrepreneurial Virgin chief Richard Branson with his innovative international airline transport and records empire following the price-cutting war with Ansett and Qantas.

Virgin’s move follows the phenomenal success of its UK launch last November that resulted in 300,000 sales in just six months.

Australia spokesperson Nicki Ramsay said the new Virgin mobile network service and sales would be available throughout the country, including WA.

“We know there are already a lot of mobile carriers here but we are ready to challenge these markets,” she said.

“We aim to do what Virgin always does – the Virgin philosophy – break all the rules in the market and give the consumers a fair go.

“It gives us a lot of scope here. We will launch in October and certainly be up and running by the end of the year.”

She said the industry was “very cluttered and very inflexible”.

“We don’t feel a lot of providers are very upfront and honest. But we are starting in true Virgin style – challenging the market on behalf of the customer and aiming to give them value for money.”

Virgin said the mobiles would come in all the bright and cheerful rainbow colours with which Virgin has become internationally identified, splashed on their planes and multi-striped trains across the world.

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