Number Portability gives Canadians the freedom they deserve
TORONTO, March 13 /CNW/ - Let freedom ring! From midnight tonight
Canada's 18.5 million customers will have the right to take their mobile
number with them to any company they choose.
In true Virgin style Sir Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group
and founder of Virgin Mobile Canada, celebrated the arrival of wireless
freedom in a thrilling public stunt at Yonge-Dundas Square. Perched high above
the Toronto landmark, Sir Richard was held captive inside a jail cell
suspended from a construction crane. In a pyrotechnic explosion the cell walls
burst open and Sir Richard escaped by using a rope made out of prison bed
sheets. After making it safely to the ground, he released "mobile prisoners"
from their shackles to symbolize the new-found freedom of all Canadians.
Sir Richard then hosted a media event where he announced that Virgin
Mobile has exceeded growth expectations to date and has flown past the 400,000
customer mark. But the excitement didn't stop there as Virgin Mobile unveiled
an unprecedented offer for anyone looking to switch to a new mobile phone
company on March 14th. Customers who switch their number to Virgin Mobile on
March 14, 2007, will be able to get a free phone without having to sign a
contract. Customers will receive an airtime credit equal to the value of their
new Virgin Mobile phone, exclusive of taxes.
"Two years ago, Virgin Mobile came to Canada to shake up the mobile phone
market and we made it our mission to ensure that Canadians benefited from the
basic right of number portability," said Sir Richard Branson. "On our second
anniversary, it is wonderful that we can celebrate the real freedom of choice
that number portability brings to Canadians."
"A December 2006 Synovate study revealed that 41% of Canadians who have
signed a contract would switch mobile companies if they could take their
number with them," said Andrew Black, president and CEO of Virgin Mobile
Canada when he joined Richard Branson at Yonge-Dundas Square. "The biggest
winners from the introduction of number portability are Canada's 18.5 million
mobile customers. Now they have the right to switch and take their number with
them and in turn, phone companies will have to work hard to keep their
THE HAPPIEST MOBILE CUSTOMERS IN CANADA
Just two years after the launch of Virgin Mobile Canada, the company has
already attracted hundreds of thousands of customers and an independent survey
in February 2007 confirmed that Virgin Mobile customers are the happiest among
customers of the national cell phone companies. In addition, for the last two
years running, Virgin Mobile Canada has been awarded the coveted J.D. Power
and Associates award for the "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Prepaid
"We are absolutely focused on delivering the best customer experience
possible and we believe that is why our customers have told us they are the
happiest across Canada," said Black. "By investing our time in creating a
business that puts customers first, rather than coming up with new ways to
lock people in, we have been able to make sure we stand out from the rest and
present a better place to switch to."
Virgin Mobile also offers a proposition that delivers all round excellent
value and that has revolutionized pre-paid through; no monthly charges for
basic services, no monthly system access fee, five cent Virgin 2 Virgin text,
monthly plans that offer postpaid value on prepaid, an evening clock for
included calls that starts in the evening at 7 p.m., call rates from just 10
cents on basic prepaid and expiry of up to 365 days on account credit. March
14th also signals the launch of Phase 2 of Virgin Mobile's number portability
awareness campaign. The multi-million dollar ad campaign encourages Canadians
to move their number to the mobile phone company with the happiest customers -
Virgin Mobile. Created by zig, headlines are written like phone numbers and
include two simple key messages - (YOU) CAN MOVE and (YOU) ARE FREE.
Switching to Virgin Mobile is easy. Here are the 3 simple steps.
1. Customers need to be sure not to deactivate their old phone service.
The number needs to still be active in order to get moved over and if
people have a contract, they'll need to check and make sure they
won't face a penalty for leaving early.
2. Customers will need to visit one of our retail partners or a Virgin
Mobile mini-store to get equipped with a brand new shiny Virgin
3. Call Virgin Mobile and say "I want to move". The Virgin Mobile team
will take care of the rest!
Customers will need to make sure they have a copy of an old phone bill
with them as their old account number will be needed to make the switch.
Virgin Mobile has no fees to switch to or from its service.
Virgin Mobile also unveiled a sneak peek at its new high speed wireless
EVDO portal - Virgin Mobile Live - launching this summer. The new service that
focuses on music and entertainment features exclusive content from partners
including Heavy.com, Virgin Radio International, Virgin Festival, Quickplay &
the Virgin Mobile SoundBar - Virgin's music download store. Virgin Mobile Live
customers will also be able to access a smorgasbord of cool stuff from fashion
(FT Raw), sports (Sportsnet), the latest celebrity dirt (Star Daily) and movie
"Virgin Mobile Live will take mobile entertainment to exactly the place
customers want it to be - a way to beat boredom in bite sized chunks of fun
stuff," said Nathan Rosenberg, Chief Marketing Officer of Virgin Mobile
Canada. "Our global entertainment brand has its heritage in music and so we
can guarantee this will be a service that customers will actually want to
(YOU) ARE FREE - TO FIND OUT MORE
Anyone can learn more learn about wireless number portability by checking
out www.youcanswitch.ca or by talking to a real, live person at
NOTE TO PHOTO Photos to accompany this release are available on
NOTE TO ASSIGNMENT B-roll footage and clips from the Virgin Mobile
DESKS: Canada stunt at Yonge-Dundas Square to be
released Tuesday, March 13th, 3:00 - 3:30 p.m. EST.
- Anik F2 C - Audio subcarrier 6.2 and 6.8
- Transponder 3B - Downlink frequency 3820
(ALL) ABOUT - VMC
Launched in 2005, Virgin Mobile is Canada's first wireless service
created for and defined by youth. The country's first mobile virtual network
operator (MVNO), Virgin Mobile's customers have access to a portfolio that
includes monthly price plans, a full range of phones and a broad array of
messaging, music and mobile content offerings - without long-term contracts.
J.D. Power and Associates has recognized Virgin Mobile as highest in customer
satisfaction with prepaid wireless service for two years in a row(1).
The Virgin Mobile group of companies has attracted more than 10 million
customers worldwide. Virgin Mobile phones are available at more than 4,000
locations with top-up cards available at more than 10,000 locations
nationally. Virgin Mobile products can also be purchased online at
http://www.virginmobile.ca or by calling 877-662-2824.
(1) J.D. Power and Associates 2005-2006 Canadian Wireless Customer
Satisfaction StudySM. 2006 study based on 5,784 total responses from
consumers with prepaid wireless service surveyed in October 2006.
/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
members of the media/
For further information:
For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Jen
Koster, Hill & Knowlton Canada, (416) 413-4615 (office), (416) 721-7991
(mobile), firstname.lastname@example.org; Erica Faltous, Hill & Knowlton
Canada, (416) 413-4695 (office), (416) 655-8221 (mobile),