Virgin Mobile to throttle 40 unlimited data plan

first_imgVirgin Mobile USA turned heads when in August it announced that it would offer an unlimited wireless data plan in the wake of other wireless carriers who were choosing to eliminate them. While an unlimited plan in itself is a good thing, the offer was made even more attractive by the fact that you can get it pre-paid and without a contract for $40 which enables 30 days of use. The timing of the new plan was shortly after the company began offering the MiFi 2200 (see our hands-on) which acts as a mobile wireless router to provide Wi-Fi Internet access for up to five devices utilizing Sprint’s data network.The unlimited data plan and Virgin Mobile’s $10 plan, which offers 100MB of data access for 10 days, were created to simplify Virgin Mobile’s previous Broadband2Go Plans which included five options in all. Out of the five options, the highest plan offered allowed subscribers to access 5GB of data during a 30 day period for $60 a month. That being said, you can understand why the $40 unlimited plan was welcomed with open arms, but it seems the party won’t last forever for some.While Virgin Mobile is not eliminating its unlimited plan, the company will throttle it beginning February 15th should a subscriber exceed 5GB of usage within a 30 day period. That means subscribers won’t have to worry about paying an overage or being cutoff from access, but they will experience a degradation in service due to the restriction of throughput once they hit 5GB. The only option for a subscriber once they hit 5GB will be to purchase another $40 plan. That purchase will reset the clock to allow for normal service to resume.Read more at Wi-Fi Net News.Brian’s OpinionWhile I suspect Virgin Mobile will receive some grief on this move, you have to remember the deal they have for unlimited data is still the best there is right now. True, it’s hard to swallow that it is still an “unlimited” plan, but I can point to a few examples, and those in the wireless industry will tell you this as well, to prove there is really no such thing as an unlimited data plan. If you subscribe to an unlimited plan and begin to consistently use over 5GB of data on a monthly basis you can bet someone from the carrier will be reaching out to you with a good chance they may cancel your plan all together.If anything, Virgin Mobile’s unlimited plan is the fairest one out there. A user can go over 5GB of data and not have to worry about any overage charges. They also don’t have to worry about losing access to the Internet all together. Didn’t I also mention that Virgin Mobile’s plan doesn’t require a contract? Quite frankly, if you don’t like the terms you are free to simply not throw down $40 the next month to continue your subscription. Currentl wireless carriers who offer data plans as part of a contract don’t offer that ability.Unless you use your mobile Internet connection like crazy, chances are the people that are going to go over this 5GB limit are those using a MiFi device. That’s because if you consistently have up to five devices connecting to it that amount of data will get eating up relatively fast during a 30-day window. If you’re an average Internet user and your use of a MiFi device is limited, I doubt you are even coming close to the 5GB limit so this news isn’t something you need to worry about.last_img

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