Is Virgin Mobile on the way to NZ?

Last updated 12:50 26/05/2008
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Watch out Telecom and Vodafone, here comes Virgin Mobile – well, maybe.

Raumati entrepreneur, property investor and "wealth coach" Stu Dunn put the cat among the pigeons when he incorporated Virgin Mobile New Zealand, sparking rumours that Telecom and Vodafone might have a new competitor.

Mr Dunn, who counts Sir Richard Branson among his role models, says he has not bought the licence to use the Virgin Mobile brand in New Zealand, however, and the New Zealand company is completely separate from Virgin Group.

Rights to the Virgin Mobile brand are owned by Sir Richard's Virgin Group. The brand is used by operators in Britain, the United States and Australia – where Optus owns Virgin Mobile Australia.

Virgin Mobile's head office in Britain said neither Virgin Mobile nor Virgin Group was aware of the newly registered company. Virgin's lawyers contacted The Dominion Post seeking information.

Mr Dunn says he was asked to register the company by an associate, and he is looking to lease property for the new company. He would not elaborate on plans for it.

According to his webpage, he is also a martial artist and the author of a fantasy novel. He has worked in the banking industry and in Parliament as an in-house IT technician.

Bill Osborne, chairman of would-be third mobile operator NZ Communications, says speculation that it might be partnering Virgin Mobile New Zealand is not true, and he does not know Mr Dunn.

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- The Dominion Post

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