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The Virgin Mobile service is Britain's first virtual mobile phone network. It has no masts, lines, or exchanges of its own as it uses the one2one network as its backbone.

Virgin's declining costs price plan has been shamelessly ripped off by Vodafone since it was launched.

Mobiles bought from Virgin cost more than they would from other networks. According to the staff this is because "you are buying the phone outright and are not tied to our service" however Virgin mobiles are actually simlocked making it impossible to take your phone to another network without first paying a release payment.

Virgin Mobile also hit stateside in June of 2002. Like the UK service, it's a prepay service. From what I've heard from our customers hailing from the UK it's not too different from the original idea in England, though the phones aren't nearly as advanced as over there. Currently Virgin Mobile USA uses two phones, their Party Animal (A Kyocera 2119b) and the Super Model (Kyocera 2255). The rate is a .25/.10 plan, which means the service is 25 cents a minute for the first 10 minutes of the day, and 10 cents a minute after that. The really cool part about the USA service, as compared to other stateside prepay plans, is that they don't try to fuck you over by erasing whatever money you have at the end of each month. The only way you'll lose the money is if you are a moron and try to commit credit card fraud, or if you just forget about the phone and don't put anything into your account for 90 days, at which point the phone is suspended. Even then, you still have an additional 60 days to get the phone activated again. You still can't take the phones to another service without having them flashed though, due to Virgin Mobile USA's deal with Kyocera, which let them put their own programming into the phone. Either way, as far as prepaid service goes, I can honestly say it's the best in the USA that I have found, and working for Virgin Mobile's Central Intelligence (their little name for customer support) is the coolest job I've ever held.

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