I think we all knew the day was inevitable when the final carrier offering truly unlimited data would start throttling users and that day is now here. Virgin Mobile will start to throttle the heaviest users of data on the pre-paid service. The last time a major carrier moved to data throttling for heavy users was Verizon when it started throttling back in February of 2011. If you are wondering what Virgin considers a heavy user and if the throttling will affect you at least Sprint gives a clear indication of who it will be slowing down.
The carriers parent company says that less than 3% of the customers on Virgin Mobile USA use more than 2.5GB of data per month. After the users hit the 2.5GB number, they will see their data speeds slowed down, this will result in slow page load times, media streaming, and file downloads. The data speed will be capped at 256Kbps and remain at that speed until the next billing cycle.
If you are a big fan of streaming things like Netflix, it might not take you that long to hit that 2.5GB limit. Still, I think slowing speeds for users is better that charging overage fees. Those overage fees can add up very quickly. Virgin Mobile President David Trimble said that lowered the data speeds was the best way for the company to deal with exploding data use.