Virgin Mobile shutting down contract service in May, will offer pre-paid service only

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The Virgin Mobile experiment with post-paid customers is over. Virgin Mobile has confirmed that it will shut down its contract services on May 25, 2010, and revert back to offering only prepaid services.

The closure of Virgin Mobile’s post-paid arm brings to end to a venture that’s less than two years old. Virgin began offering contracts when it acquired Korean carrier Helio in June 2008, but Virgin was then bought by Sprint the following year. It doesn’t make sense for Sprint to continue operating those post-paid contracts when it wants to focus on promoting Sprint calling plans and phones. The company has decided to keep Virgin Mobile as its prepaid option.

Sprint is offering discounts to ease the transition from Virgin Mobile, though it will not be automatic. Current Virgin Mobile subscribers have the option of letting their current contract expire and moving to another carrier. Here is a statement from the company regarding the transition.

No customer will be automatically migrated to Sprint’s post-paid service. However, Sprint has created a special offer for our customers.

Current post-paid customers are being given $50 towards the purchase of a Sprint post-paid handset with a new two-year agreement. This credit is in addition to any applicable rebates that may apply. Post-paid customers moving from Virgin Mobile to Sprint will also receive $150 off of handsets as part of Sprint’s standing new customer offer. Activation fees will also be waived.

Read [MobileCrunch]

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