Following months of negotiations and awaiting regulatory approval, the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint is expected to be complete fairly soon with the FCC approving the deal. As the two companies prepare for the eventual merger, Sprint subsidiary Virgin Mobile USA has now announced that it’s closing operations soon. Thankfully, the prepaid carrier mentions that users will still be able to keep their phone numbers in some cases and shift to a “comparable or better” plan. The carrier specifies that customers will not have to pay additional charges.
Sprint hasn’t announced when Virgin Mobile USA will shut down, so there may be a few weeks to go before the signals are pulled. As part of the terms of the T-Mobile and Sprint merger, Sprint is required to handover its prepaid subsidiaries over to Dish, with the carrier using this to launch a new national carrier in the future. So this move by Sprint doesn’t come as a surprise to many.
As Engadget notes, there have been hints about Virgin Mobile USA’s imminent closure given that the carrier’s phones and other products have been missing from retail stores like Walmart and Best Buy over the past few months. Sprint originally paired with the Virgin Group back in 2001 and eventually took over the entire business in 2009. But the carrier shortly shifted its focus onto newer brands like Boost Mobile, which ultimately led to the prepaid carrier’s demise in the U.S.
Virgin Mobile USA clarifies that your mobile broadband device won’t carry forward, and you will need to change your payment options if you rely on PayPal or the carrier’s 45 or 90-day top-ups.
Source: Virgin Mobile USA