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Virgin Mobile hikes data fees, plans throttling in October

updated 01:05 pm EDT, Wed July 13, 2011

Motorola Triumph, Apple iPhone could be causes

The US branch of Virgin Mobile is hiking the prices on two of its three Beyond Talk plans, according to an announcement. Although in all cases data will be unlimited, the option with 300 voice minutes is being pushed from $25 to $35 a month. The 1200-minute option is likewise going up $5 to $45, but the fully unlimited plan is being reduced $5 to $55. A $10 fee for BlackBerries is being dropped.

The switch takes effect on July 20th; people already on a Beyond Talk plan by July 19th can continue with their current rates. The impetus for raising prices appears to be the Motorola Triumph, which launches with Virgin on the 20th. The phone has features such as a 4.1-inch screen and a front-facing video camera, and being substantially more powerful than Virgin's previous offerings, may attract more subscribers and impose a greater burden on the hosting Sprint network.

Virgin has also announced plans to throttle bandwidth. Beginning in October, people using more than 2.5GB in a month will see an unspecified slowdown take effect. Given the timing, the change does not appear to be connected to the Triumph; it may instead be connected to another device, such as the next Apple iPhone. Sprint is expected to be a future iPhone carrier, and AT&T is coincidentally raising its iPhone insurance prices on October 4th.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    can't find the article now

    just today I read an article that made the case that data rates are only going to impact users more, as apps get more data-intensive and especially when people start using video chat more often. Even if 2gb/mth is enough for you now, it won't be in a year or two. You'll pay more by then even if the carriers don't change their rates (which they will).

    Thank FSM for my grandfathered unlimited data plan at AT+T.

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004


    Grandfathering means nothing

    Take a good hard look at Netflix. AT&T will cancel grandfathering the moment they feel like the unlit tied plan is too much of a burden.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: Grandfathering means nothing

    Take a good hard look at Netflix. AT&T will cancel grandfathering the moment they feel like the unlit tied plan is too much of a burden.

    Grandfathering means what it means. There's nothing that states it will last forever, just that we'll keep you in at the price for the time being.

    The difference with ATT is that you have a contract that specifies "unlimited". They can't just change it. Now, if you let your contract expire and, say, go month to month, there might be a clause in there that states they can then change your plan as their plans change.

    But cell companies tend to be under the watchful eye of various agencies who come down hard on them if they change your rates/services out of the blue. Heck, back in the good ol' days with Verizon Wireless, I had a 'local' plan that covered just a couple of states, which they stopped carrying at some point. Yet I was still covered by that plan until I re-upped my contract with a new phone. Then it changed to the current plan. But before then, I was locked in.

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