It’s official. Sprint has decided to shut down its Virgin Mobile prepaid brand in the U.S. This decision comes as a move to get ready for its merger with T-Mobile. The merger has been talked about by the wireless carrier industry for months now and it looks like it could go in Sprint and T-Mobile’s favor.
So now that Virgin Mobile is shutting down, what will happen to its customers? According to Sprint, the existing customers of the prepaid brand will be transferred to Boost Mobile, which will be acquired by Dish Network under its agreement with the New T-Mobile.
A few months back, Dish stepped in to replace Sprint’s position as the fourth wireless carrier in the country. This bold move was the company’s way of complying with the conditions set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve the proposed merger. The agreement includes purchasing $1.4 billion worth of Sprint’s prepaid businesses and $3.6 billion of 800 MHz spectrum. The prepaid business includes Boost Mobile.
According to Sprint, they will be transferring all of their Virgin Mobile customers to Boost Mobile starting February. These customers will also be offered “a comparable or better” service plan on Boost that will be in “most instances” at absolutely no extra cost. Customers can even keep their current phone number.
The only thing that differs in this move is that Virgin Mobile customers will no longer have an option to pay their bill with PayPal since Boost Mobile does not support it. If you are a Virgin Mobile customer, you will have to go with a different payment option.
Of course, this move does not really come as a surprise. Since 2017, Virgin Mobile has been making some bold moves to their business that resulted negatively. They also started to reduce its retail presence and budget for marketing. Back in August and October, Virgin Mobile phones disappeared from Best Buy and Walmart stores. Surely, this move is Sprint’s way of preparing for the approval of the proposed merger with T-Mobile.
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