Monday, July 18, 2011

Sprint Will Throttle Virgin Mobile Users Exceeding 2.5GB

Will Sprint remain the only "truly unlimited postpaid mobile data plans in place" in the US? Maybe, but at least its prepaid brand, Virgin Mobile, won’t.

The carrier announced that "Beginning in October 2011, Virgin Mobile will also move to reduce data speeds [to 256 kbps - see below] 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 .. 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".

See "Virgin Mobile New Beyond Talk Plans Offer Unlimited Data Plan With No Contract" - here.

David Trimble, vice president for Virgin Mobile USA said: “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 .. 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.

Virgin Mobile's site explains [here] that "Effective in October [exact date TBD] , when any Beyond  Talk customers reach 2.5GB of data usage within a current monthly cycle, they could have their maximum throughput speeds limited to 3G speeds of 256 kbps or below for the remainder of that plan cycle"

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