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Virgin Mobile to get 4G in 2012

As Optus had hinted last year, its subsidiary discount mobile company Virgin Mobile will get 4G services by the end of the year.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor on

As part of a plan refresh — details of which can be found over at CNET — and the launch of a new advertising campaign, which gets rid of the polarising "Robin Da Hoodie" character and replaces him with Brad Pitt's actual brother Doug, Virgin Mobile today revealed plans to launch 4G services by the year's end.

The company, which is a wholly-owned Optus mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), is currently working on plans for 4G services, but could not reveal much more at this stage.

Optus launched trial 4G services in the Hunter region in April, and is expected to expand to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth soon, but the telco hasn't offered the services to the general public thus far. Optus CEO Paul O'Sullivan indicated last year that, unlike Telstra, Optus would make its 4G services available to its wholesale customers at the same time as its own commercial 4G service is launched.

The fact that Virgin has to work on new plans, added to O'Sullivan's previous indications that Optus sees 4G as a premium service rather than an update to its current service, seems to indicate that Virgin will be marketing 4G as a separate product to its 3G service, with potentially higher prices.

This is in stark contrast to Telstra's pitch for the 4G market, where the company has offered 4G devices, but has charged the same amount for data on its 4G network as it does on the Next G network.

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