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NTL woos corporates without Virgin

Cable giant NTL is to expand it business communications division – but without using the Virgin brand, which it bought earlier this year.

Starting in the first half of 2007, the freshly merged company will use the Virgin name to promote its mobile, cable TV, broadband and landline services under a licensing agreement reached at the time of the £962.4m takeover of the firm.

NTL, which took over Telewest last October for £3.4bn will invest “tens of millions” in its network and marketing over the next few years to challenge market leader BT, according to the firm’s managing director, Stephen Beynon.

NTL:Telewest Business has 70,000 corporate customers – 3,000 of them major public sector organisations and mid-sized corporations. According to Beynon the enlarged group’s economies of scale will allow it to attack BT on pricing and service in the small business sector.

“With Virgin Mobile on board we can offer small businesses a range of packages bringing together data, mobile and landlines,” Beynon said.

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