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Virgin Mobile has signed up more than two million punters to its mobile phone service in record time.

During the three months to the end of September the mobile phone service attracted 232,300 new punters - up 36 per cent on the previous quarter - bringing the total number of subscribers to a smidge over two million. By comparison, gloats Virgin Mobile, Orange took more than four years to reach this milestone, T-Mobile five years, and O2 and Vodafone well over a decade to grow to the same size.

Virgin Mobile - a 50:50 joint venture company between Virgin Group and Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile - says it's done it in less than three years.

Of course, the fact that these companies helped grow the market from scratch has nothing to do with Virgin Mobile's success.

Turnover for the quarter skipped in at £75.4m compared with £65.8m in the previous three months.

In a statement Virgin Mobile's Sir Richard Branson said: "Our success is set against a turbulent mobile marketplace. Since our launch in November 1999, billions of pounds have been wiped off the value of our competitors, and many established names in telecoms have collapsed."

Virgin Mobile reckons that by the end of the year subscriber numbers will exceed 2.25m with revenues totalling more than £250m. ®

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