5 years ago... Virgin enters mobile arena

...and now look at them...

...and now look at them...

16.06.99: Virgin Group has confirmed its intention to set up a UK mobile network. The service will be based in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, and is expected to launch by Christmas.

Virgin Mobile will set up a call centre for the service, creating 350 jobs before Christmas and a further 150 next year. The company said it hopes the service will create 1,000 jobs within three years.

16.06.04: Virgin Mobile - popular with children and the wider pay-as-you-go community - has been growing at a phenomenal rate during the past five years.

However, the story as first reported suggested Virgin would be setting up its own network. In reality, and with typically canny business sense, it piggy-backs on T-Mobile's network, eliminating a lot of the cost associated with running a mobile operator, (though it hasn't always been an amicable agreement).

Virgin Mobile is the UK's fastest growing mobile operator. During the first three months of 2004, the company signed up more than a quarter of a million new users, to take its total user base to 3,902,052. At the end of April, that figure broke through the four-million barrier.

The company has also won plaudits for its customer service.