Cell C has informed MyBroadband that it will be cutting off network services to mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Virgin Mobile starting from Wednesday evening.
“Please be advised that Cell C will be terminating the provision of network services to Virgin Mobile South Africa from 17:00 this evening, in a phased approach.”
The operator said the cutoff would be done in a phased manner over three days.
Firstly, data connectivity will be terminated from today at 17:00, followed by voice services at 17:00 tomorrow (Thursday 16 September 2021), and SMS services at 17:00 on Friday (17 September).
“This phased approach ensures that consumers have time to secure new connectivity services,” Cell C said.
The operator said it was committed and ready to continue to provide connectivity to Virgin Mobile subscribers.
Last week, Cell C launched several offers to the estimated 15,000 Virgin Mobile subscribers that will need to migrate to other service providers to stay connected.
“A number of offers have been packaged and are open to all consumers, for the next 14 days exclusively via Cell C’s website, without any credit checks, contracts, or extended commitments.”
The “Time to make a Change” deals include three Pinnacle TopUp month-to-month offers, starting at R49 per month.
The seemingly abrupt cutoff of Virgin Mobile comes after the MVNO previously said it would allow customers to migrate to a new service provider without penalty until the end of November.
This was when it was due to stop operating under its current name and move from a consumer-focused business to an MVNO-enabler.
At the time, the operator said its expected its 10-month business rescue process would be concluded by the end of September.
The company appointed senior business rescue practitioner John Henning and junior practitioner Peter Thompson as its business rescue practitioners in 2020, after the business suffered heavy losses under the Covid-19 pandemic.
The operator was already in a vulnerable position before this and was sold by the Virgin Group in 2019.