Jul 13 AT 1:24 PM Edgar Cervantes 27 Comments

Virgin Mobile USA changing prices July 20th; still very cheap!

Virgin Mobile’s Beyond Talk plans for Android smartphones are definitely tempting. The selection of devices is not huge, but this prepaid-centric carrier offers some of the best rates around, along with affordable off-contract devices. Also, if you happen to like Vanilla Android, this carrier has a special commitment to the pure Google experience! But Virgin Mobile USA has just announced some changes to the Beyond Talk plans, which will take effect next July 20th.

You may or may not be very happy with the new changes; Virgin Mobile has chosen an interesting approach to its new rate plans. While plans will have a higher price, others are to be lowered. In either case, Virgin Mobile still offers some of the cheapest plans you can find in the United States.

Existing Beyond Talk plans

$25 – 300 anytime minutes / unlimited messaging and data
$40 – 1200 anytime minutes / unlimited messaging and data
$60 – Unlimited anytime minutes / unlimited messaging and data

New Beyond Talk plans

$35 – 300 anytime minutes / unlimited messaging and data
$45 – 1200 anytime minutes / unlimited messaging and data
$55 – Unlimited anytime minutes / unlimited messaging and data

As you can see, the first plan is raised by $10, the second by $5, and the third is lowered by $5. If you’re a current Virgin Mobile customer, there is nothing to fear. Current customers, as of July 19, will be able to keep the current plans as long as the account does not expire. You’ll even be able to keep your grandfathered plan after you upgrade your devices. If you’re considering switching to Virgin Mobile, do it before July 19 unless you’re opting for the unlimited minutes plan.

What a steal, right? Whether you’re considering the older plans or the newer ones, these prices seem simply unbeatable. Having an Android device for as low as $25/$35 is simply outstanding, especially compared to the 4 major carriers. Not everything is perfect, though, as Virgin Mobile is also planning to change its data policy. Virgin Mobile is planning to make a move similar to T-Mobile’s approach, slowing down data speeds after a device reaches a certain amount of data usage. Virgin Mobile will place this cap at 2.5 GB, which they claim less than 3% of customers ever reach. After surpassing the 2.5 GB threshold, users will experience lower data speeds until their next billing cycle begins.

According to Virgin Mobile, these new rate plans will show up on their site by July 20th, along with the Motorola Triumph. This is not a bad device, so you might want to consider checking it out if you are (or will be) a Virgin Mobile customer. For now, you have two options: the LG Optimus V for $149.99, and the Samsung Intercept for $199.99. Anyone signing up? If so, are you doing it before or after July 20? Are you liking the new plans? Current users, will you be keeping your current plans?

Show Press Release
Virgin Mobile New Beyond Talk Plans Offer Unlimited Data Plan With No Contract

Hot New Android Device and Unlimited Data are Best Value at $35/Month[1]
—No Caps or Overage on Data Usage—
Also Unlimited Data, Messaging and Voice at $55

WARREN, N.J. – July 13, 2011 – Changes to pricing and data usage costs are a familiar topic in the wireless industry these days, and customers are beginning to understand that the dramatic increase of smartphone usage and mobile internet access, now and in the future, means many carriers are making adjustments to their plans.

According to Nielsen’s May 2011 survey of mobile consumers in the United States, 38 percent now own smartphones. Of those consumers, 38 percent own an Android™-powered device. Further, 55 percent of those who purchased a new handset in the past three months reported buying a smartphone, up from 34 percent just a year ago.[2]

Virgin Mobile successfully repositioned itself last year with its Beyond Talk plans, catering to the growing number of savvy connectors who want unlimited data. With the brand moving from inexpensive pay-as-you-go and feature phones to a more smartphone-focused lineup, Virgin Mobile will change the current Beyond Talk pricing plans effective July 20, along with the introduction of the Motorola Triumph™, a powerful, exclusive Android device with a 4.1-inch WVGA touchscreen.

New Beyond Talk Plans
New Virgin Mobile plans lower the monthly price of unlimited data, text and voice to only $55 and offer the still unbeatable2 value of unlimited data and 300 voice minutes at $35 per month on smartphones without a contract.

Existing Beyond Talk plans
$25 – 300 anytime minutes / unlimited messaging and data
$40 – 1200 anytime minutes / unlimited messaging and data
$60 – Unlimited anytime minutes / unlimited messaging and data

New Beyond Talk plans
$35 – 300 anytime minutes / unlimited messaging and data
$45 – 1200 anytime minutes / unlimited messaging and data
$55 – Unlimited anytime minutes / unlimited messaging and data

Existing Beyond Talk Virgin Mobile customers as of July 19 can keep their current plan pricing as long as they don’t let their account expire, and they can upgrade to new devices without incurring additional costs.

“Smartphone adoption has grown significantly with mobile data traffic increasing to match,” said David Trimble, vice president for Virgin Mobile USA. “Adjusting these rates ensures that our Beyond Talk customers can continue to enjoy the best value overall in the market for Android devices with unlimited data and messaging. In fact, I challenge you to find a better monthly unlimited data plan for Android devices than the Beyond Talk at $35.

“And offering unlimited data, messaging and voice usage for only $55 – $5 per month less than the current plan – combined with our impressive smartphone line up is also a great option for customers looking for totally unlimited connectivity.”

Data Speeds
Last week, Verizon pulled its unlimited data plan; T-Mobile and AT&T have also moved away from unlimited data usage. At this time, only Sprint, which owns Virgin Mobile USA, has truly unlimited postpaid mobile data plans in place.

Beginning in October 2011, Virgin Mobile will also move to reduce data speeds when a customer’s data usage exceeds 2.5GB in a month but still provide unlimited 3G access without a contract, usage cap, overage or activation fees. Based on current usage patterns, fewer than 3 percent of Virgin Mobile USA customers use more than 2.5GB of data usage per month. After reaching this level, this minority of customers may experience slower page loads, file downloads and streaming media. When a customer’s next month begins, the data usage meter starts back at zero with unlimited 3G speeds.

According to Roger Entner, analyst and founder at Recon Analytics, “The unrelenting data tsunami is challenging all carriers. So that every subscriber receives their fair share of affordable bandwidth, new policies are being introduced such as speed throttling for the heaviest users. Such policies help to ensure that a small minority does not prevent the vast majority from enjoying the wireless internet in the palm of their hand.”

“We are all facing the same situation and this is the best way for Virgin Mobile to maintain the best network experience as data usage explodes,” said Trimble. “Our no-contract and postpaid competitors like Cricket, MetroPCS and T-Mobile have either implemented more stringent constraints and/or don’t disclose slower speeds and data caps. We believe this adjustment – with no hard cap or overage charges for more usage – gives the most value to the largest group of consumers. It’s important to Sprint and the Virgin brand that we be as up-front as possible with our customers.”

For more information about the new Beyond Talk plans, please visit our website Media Room. On July 20, the new rate structure and the Motorola Triumph will appear on the Virgin Mobile USA website home page.

ABOUT VIRGIN MOBILE USA
Virgin Mobile USA, one of Sprint’s prepaid brands, offers millions of customers control, flexibility and connectivity through Virgin Mobile’s Beyond Talk™ plans for mobile phone service and prepaid Broadband2Go high-speed Web access. Virgin Mobile branded devices are available at more than 40,000 retail stores, including Best Buy, Radio Shack, Target and Walmart. Top-Up cards are available at approximately 150,000 locations nationwide and can be used for Broadband2Go services. Purchase and experience Virgin Mobile on the Web and at Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and www.virginmobileusa.com.

Source: Virgin Mobile

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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