Virgin Media began trading in early 2007, as a result of a merger between cable operator NTL:Telewest, and acquisitions of the VirginNet internet service provider, and Virgin Mobile. At launch, the new company heralded itself as being the first single provider of quad-play' (four-service) media in the UK. It has a strong marketing campaign and its broadband service in particular is popular with British customers, with the second largest subscriber base in the United Kingdom.
Virgin Media's products are predominantly intangible services. The company's product range includes landline telephone services, broadband internet, digital television, and mobile phone solutions. From the company's beginnings as two small cable companies (International CableTel, latterly NTL, and Croydon Cable, latterly Telewest), a series of mergers & acquisitions have seen the company develop into one of the leading media providers within the UK.
Virgin markets itself largely by publicising its unique selling points areas in which BSkyB, the largest pay-tv company in the UK, and Virgin's main rival cannot compete. These areas include On Demand' video through a customer's set top box, which can be paused, rewound, and fast forwarded, just like a DVD. This can is possible as it is directly delivered down the cable to the customer from the nearest junction box, with no contention from other factors. BSkyB, or Sky Digital, cannot compete with this as they operate a satellite broadcasting service, and the technology does not exist. Other unique services include the purchase of films and music video content, which can then be viewed for 24 hours, like a rental'. This can be called up instantly to watch when the viewer likes. Again, this technology does not exist via satellite broadcasting.
One of the other main unique points about Virgin, and one which encourages so many people in its service area to consider it over Sky Digital, is the fact that the