Virgin Mobile recently announced that at the end of 2006 it had 4.6 million customers underneath its belt, which isn't half bad seeing that the company has only been around less than half a decade. The firm attributes the recent subscriber growth to penny text messaging, its hybrid pricing plans, and Sugermama -- a one-of-a-kind service in the US that allows customers to get airtime credit for watching advertisements. Of course, that uber-cheap texting rate is going directly against the waves created by the other, more prominent carriers here in the US, and it's not too shocking to see consumers flocking to lower-priced add-ons when everyone else uses these areas to pad their profit margins. Nevertheless, it's becoming increasingly difficult out there for an MVNO to make it, so kudos to VM for holding out this long, and look for a few more subscribers to come your way when fast-food value meals end up being cheaper than a two-way SMS conversation.

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Penny texting pays off for Virgin Mobile, hits 4.6 million customers