When Virgin Mobile launched their very own MiFi, plenty of folks were wondering why it hadn't happened sooner. Prepaid data seems like an instant hit, right? It must be working pretty well for Virgin, because they've just unveiled their intentions of providing a $40 per month unlimited mobile broadband plan for those who want to get in on the whole "Internet anywhere" idea.
When we reviewed the MiFi 2200 back in June, we told you that it was a pretty good device. And, despite the cost versus bandwidth allotted to customers at the time, it would probably be a perfect purchase for those who didn't want to get their Internet access on the go, and sign a lengthy contract with one of the major companies, like Verizon or AT&T.
Now, while the $10 option for 100MB (for 10 days) is still available, the $40 plan replaces the previous $20, $40, and $60 options that Virgin provided. Now you get unlimited or 100MB. The plans are obviously meant for data-intensive folks, and those who just need to be able to access the Internet from time to time when they're not near their home, or a well-known WiFi hotspot. The plan will go on sale starting tomorrow for those who want to pick it up from online retailers. It should be available in brick-and-mortar locations in the next few weeks. Meaning you can only order the plan online now. A good step forward for Virgin, for sure. It will be interesting to see how well this takes off.
Update: Virgin Mobile USA tell us they're having some issues with their activation systems, and the new $40 plan isn't immediately available. They hope to have it addressed within the next couple of days.
Virgin Mobile USA Moves to $40 Unlimited Offer for Prepaid Mobile
WARREN, N.J. – August 24, 2010 – Virgin Mobile USA recognized early on the
value in expanding the mobile broadband market to include nationwide prepaid
service with the introduction of the Broadband2Go portfolio last year, and
then launch of the MiFi™ 2200 device in June. Now, Virgin Mobile is
bolstering the Broadband2Go portfolio with a new $40 unlimited mobile
broadband plan . Available tomorrow online and rolling out at retail in the
coming weeks, the new offer replaces the previous $20, $40 and $60 plans,
allowing consumers to access unlimited internet use at home or on-the-go for
$40 per month. The $10 option for 100 MB, good for 10 days from purchase,
remains for less frequent internet users.
A recent study from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that the
self-employed and independent workers represent approximately 30% of the
nation’s workforce. The study determined that this segment of the
self-employed population, consisting mainly of small business owners and
freelancers, represents a large market of consumers who need to stay
connected, mainly with email and internet browsing, without the constraints
of a contract.
“Many unlimited broadband offerings require a contract or are on networks
with limited range, so they don’t meet the need for flexibility or true
mobility,” said Neil Lindsay, chief marketing officer, Virgin Mobile USA.
“The introduction of Virgin Mobile’s prepaid unlimited broadband for $40 a
month will provide the access you need on a nationwide network without a
New Broadband2Go Plans
Signing up for the new unlimited plan also means customers no longer need to
monitor data usage – and try to figure out how much they need --
Price Expires MBs/GBs* Web Browsing Video Emails
$40 1 month Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
$10 10 Days 100 MB 5 HRS 25 MIN 10,000
*Data usage per activity is based on average use. Actual usage varies
depending on the types of websites, video, email and other Internet
Broadband2Go activation remains simple and without fees. Customers who are
currently signed up for the $20, $40 and $60 plans will be able to use up
the data or time (whichever comes first) on their current plans. The next
time they need Broadband2Go, they will have the choice of these two plans.
Top-Up can still be handled online, with a Virgin Mobile Top-Up card, debit
or credit card.
Operating on the Sprint Nationwide Network and developed in conjunction with
Novatel Wireless [NASDAQ: NVTL], Virgin Mobile offers two different mobile
broadband devices on both plans as part of the Broadband2Go portfolio:
• the Ovation™ MC760 USB device connects to a single personal computer or
laptop and is available at retail for $79.99 and,
• the MiFi® 2200, the nation’s first prepaid Mobile Intelligent Hotspot,
priced at $149.99 allows up to five users at a time to connect using a
variety of Wi-Fi enabled devices
Devices are available at Best Buy, RadioShack , Sprint Stores, Virgin Mobile
and Boost Mobile stores, Walmart and online at BestBuy.com, Target.com,
Walmart.com and VirginMobileUSA.com.
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 handsets are available at more
than 40,000 retail stores, including Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and
RadioShack. Top-Up cards are available at approximately 150,000 locations
nationwide and can be used for Assurance Wireless and Broadband2Go services.
Purchase and experience Virgin Mobile on the Web and at Facebook, Twitter,
You Tube and www.virginmobileusa.com.
ABOUT NOVATEL WIRELESS
Novatel Wireless, Inc. is a leader in the design and development of
innovative wireless broadband access solutions based on 3G and 4G wireless
technologies. Novatel Wireless' Intelligent Mobile Hotspot products,
software, USB modems and embedded modules enable high-speed wireless
Internet access on leading wireless data networks. The Company delivers
specialized wireless solutions to carriers, distributors, OEMs and vertical
markets worldwide. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Novatel Wireless
is listed on NASDAQ: NVTL. For more information please visit