U.K. incumbent reportedly faced competition from 3UK.

Virgin Media on Monday announced it has signed a full MVNO deal with BT, parent of its current host network EE.

Peter Kelly, managing director of Virgin Media’s Virgin Mobile arm, said in a statement that the new agreement gives it "even more control and firepower to deliver innovative services to the U.K. mobile market."

Indeed, with a full MVNO deal in place, Virgin Mobile can deploy its own core network and back office systems, allowing it to offer a greater range of services to end users.

Virgin Mobile has been working with EE in one form or another for almost 20 years.

Virgin Mobile launched in the U.K. in 1999 on the One2One network, which at the time had recently been acquired by German incumbent Deutsche Telekom. One2One was rebranded as T-Mobile in 2002. In 2009, Deutsche Telekom agreed to merge T-Mobile into a 50:50 joint venture with Orange. Initially called Everything Everywhere, the JV adopted the EE brand in 2012. Click here for a more complete timeline of the U.K. mobile market.

Monday’s agreement extends the one that Liberty Global-owned Virgin Mobile had with EE – which became part of BT at the end of January 2016 – until 2021.

"This has proven a successful relationship for both parties for many years and, as we enter a period of further technological change in the mobile market, we are very pleased to renew and extend our 17 year old relationship," said Gerry McQuade, CEO of wholesale and ventures at BT.

Monday’s deal is not good news for everyone though.

According to a Telegraph report over the weekend, 3UK tried to win the Virgin Mobile contract from BT. However, Virgin opted to stick with its current host because of the one-off cost and the risk involved with switching to a new host network.