With the recent economic downturn, Virgin Mobile has made some radical changes to its marketing plan in an effort to widen its customer base. With offers including reductions in monthly tariffs, Pay As You Go offers, free minutes and SIM-only deals, Virgin Mobile is securing its market position by drawing on its flexibility as a mobile virtual network operators (MVNO).

The result is a broad range of deals that are available to existing and new Virgin customers. It is certainly a very different landscape to a few years ago, when the company was focusing its promotional efforts on select niches.

The Samsung Galaxy SIII, the most current handset to be released under Google’s Android OS, is the centrepiece of Virgin Mobile’s monthly tariff range of phones. With a lightning fast Quad Core 1.4GHz processor, 1080p graphics processing and a huge 4.8 inch screen, it’s possible to watch full Blu-Ray quality movies while still benefiting from an immense battery life.

The SIII is available for £29 a month under the Starter tariff. This handset comes with unlimited calls and texts to other Virgin mobiles, as well as 200 free minutes to non-Virgin mobiles, 500 free texts and 500MB of data download per month. If this fails to satisfy your data needs, the £34 a month Starter tariff offers unlimited texts to any network, 600 minutes to any network and 1GB of data. An upfront charge of £49 for the phone is required.

Another special offer targeted at the economy conscious customer is centred on ‘the fabulous four’ handsets, namely the BlackBerry Bold 9790, Windows Phone 8S by HTC, Motorola Razr I or Samsung Galaxy SIII Mini. These are available for £19 a month and come with 1000 extra minutes, in addition to the other benefits associated with the standard Starter tariff. If the ‘fab four’ fail to appeal to you, the BlackBerry Curve 9320 is available for £7.50 a month for 6 months and £15 a month after that.

Virgin Mobile is endeavouring to ensure that limited spending power will not stop any customer from joining them. The current SIM-only deals, available for customers with their own handsets, are available as both PAYG and monthly tariffs. For avid texters who are minding their expenditure, Virgin’s SIM-only monthly tariff starts at £7 and comes with unlimited texts to any network and 150 minutes call time.

Virgin Mobile’s existing customers with the company’s broadband, TV or home phone services are eligible for SIM-only deals at £5 a month, while Blackberry contract holders benefit from deals starting at £10 a month, with a one-month restriction on customer wishing to change tariffs.

The current recession’s effect in forcing businesses to become more competitive has clearly triggered this dramatic expansion of offerings from the company. Astute marketing has resulted in far more entry points for new customers, together with an attractive enough collection of tariffs to keep existing customers loyal. By focusing on a larger yet lower yield market slice, Virgin is taking the long view and relying on economic recovery stimulating higher returns on its current investment. For now, it’s you, the customer, who is winning.

For more information, visit http://www.virginmobile.com/vm/genericContent.do?contentId=all.special.offers.shop.sm018

Written by: Nathan Morgan has been a technology professional for 16 years and has diverse hands-on experience starting off with a couple of years of mobile phone SMT repair. That was followed by three years as a freelance Visual Basic developer and then a decade dedicated to Linux server security, ecommerce site management and coding in a variety of languages including PHP, SQL and Java.

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