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Virgin Eyes Russia Based MVNO Launch

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Richard Branson has confirmed that he is looking to launch the Virgin MVNO service in Russia if it can secure an agreement with one of the incumbent mobile networks.

"We use their networks, and they use our brand," Branson said. "It has worked really well in other countries and we think it will work well in Russia."

He did not elaborate on how advanced the talks were with the mobile networks.

The company already has a presence in Russia, as an ISP, Virgin Connect, which offers a fixed WiMAX service in 20 cities across the country. The company was set up through an agreement with Swiss based telecoms investors, Trivon.

Virgin could invest up to USD1 billion in Russia-focused businesses if the telecoms venture and plans for airline services go ahead, Branson told Reuters on the sidelines of an innovation conference in Moscow.

Virgin Group recently announced plans to form a USD200 million investment fund with Russia's Rosnano Capital for emerging markets.

On the web: Reuters

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Tags: mvno  virgin mobile  Russia