Virgin Mobile CEO slates Vodacom, MTN in report

Virgin Mobile South Africa CEO, Jonathan Marchbank has blamed Vodacom and MTN and their “unregulated, anticompetitive behaviour” for making it tough for smaller players to enter the market. This is according to a report in the Sunday Times.

According to the report Virgin Mobile SA, with only 500,000 customers, is finding it challenging to enter the retail market.

Retailers, said Marchbank, are reluctant to offer Virgin Mobile products to customers because they will lose ‘trailing revenue’ from existing partnerships with Vodacom and MTN.

According to the report Marchbank said that he has given up trying to compete against Vodacom and MTN, and is rather trying to build a loyal Virgin Mobile brand following.

Jonathan Marchbank
Jonathan Marchbank

Marchbank was announced as Virgin Mobile SA CEO in August 2012. This followed stints as the head of Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa Group’s activities in Asia, and Chief Operating Officer for Virgin Mobile USA.

His appointments followed a significant investment into Virgin Mobile South Africa, with Marchbank being tasked with accelerating the growth of the company.

“I will spend the remainder of the year leading the planning and execution of our new go-to-market strategy, a process that is already well underway,” Marchbank said at the time of his appointment.

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Virgin Mobile CEO slates Vodacom, MTN in report