UPC to get makeover as it becomes born-again Virgin

Richard Branson on hand in Dublin to launch new brand

Head of Virgin Media in Ireland Magnus Tsernsjo said the change would not be a simple rebrand, promising a “transformation” of the Irish company

Head of Virgin Media in Ireland Magnus Tsernsjo said the change would not be a simple rebrand, promising a “transformation” of the Irish company

 

UPC Ireland is getting a new image, as it changes over to the Virgin Media brand.

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson was on hand to help launch the new brand, arriving into the RDS Shelbourne Hall on a Virgin branded truck.

The change will begin taking place from October 5th, with the use of the old UPC brand disappearing.

But head of Virgin Media in Ireland Magnus Tsernsjo said the change would not be a simple rebrand, promising a “transformation” of the Irish company and saying it would take on the ethos of the Virgin Media Group.

“It’s the start of a fresh journey,” he said, adding that would mean doing more in a simpler, considerate way for its customers. “All the good things UPC stood for will continue.”

He pledged a greater focus on existing customers rather than concentrating on winning over new subscribers, a criticism often levelled at utility companies.

“UPC is a good brand and it has served us well,” he said.

“We have an array of new and exciting products up our sleeves, “ he added, promising some would be introduced before the end of the year.

First on the list is the launch of the Virgin Mobile service, which will be available only to Virgin Media customers. The addition rounds out UPC’s quad play service offering - TV, phone, broadband and mobile.

The mobile service will offer two tariffs on 30-day contracts- one low cost limited offering and a second unlimited subscription service that offers data, with the company offering three months free to customers.

“We expect this to be seen as something good,” he said. The company isn’t revealing specific targets just yet, but UPC has 500,000 customers throughout the country.

The network will offer sim-only plans initially, but Mr Tsernsjo said it would begin offering handsets to customers next year, along with 4G included in the price plans.

Among UPC’s services due for an upgrade is the Horizon TV service, with the company due to make changes to the user interface based on user feedback.

UPC has invested more than €1 billion in its services, a figure Branson jokingly described as “not enough”.

UPC’s parent company Liberty Global bought Virgin Media in 2013.