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dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

Deciphering Virgin Mobile New Plans (wimax)

So with the 2 new devices vm also introduced 2 new plans.
The short version:

They are adding 2 new plans:
$35/mo - 2gigs of 3G (cut off), unlimited 4G (10GB then throttle)
$55/mo - 5gigs of 3G (cut off), unlimited 4G (10GB then throttle)

The old plans will be available until 7/4/2012 and once 7/4/2012 passes you will not be able to switch away from your 'grandfathered' plan or you will loose access to it.

It appears they are trying to eliminate the unlimited (throttled) 3G parts of their service... which is bad for new users.

If sprint starts turning on wimax on all its towers it would be a great improvement for the VM line (10GB is more usage) but looking at the maps on the VM site its still just the old clear/wimax coverage areas.

here is what their FAQ says (terms of service are not updated yet):

What are the speeds?

Operating on the Sprint 4G (WiMAX) Network, the Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go Overdrive ProTM 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot and the U600 3G/4G USB Sticks average speeds ranging between 3 - 6 mbps as compared to 600 kbps - 1.4 mbps on the 3G Nationwide Sprint Network - that's up to 10 times faster!* The Sprint 4G Network reaches over 70 markets in the US.

*Based on download speed comparison of Sprint 3G avg. speeds (600 kbps - 1.4 mbps) vs. Sprint 4G avg. speeds (3 - 6 mbps). Actual speeds may vary based upon plan or other factors. These Virgin Mobile's Broadband2Go devices operate on the Sprint 4G WiMAX Network.

Do all Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go plans include 4G?

No. 4G is only available with the new $35 and $55 plans. If you purchased a plan before 7/4/12, you may keep your existing plan unless you switch to another plan or until the plan is discontinued, however you will not be able to use 4G, even if you purchase a 3G/4G Broadband2Go device, unless you migrate to the $35 or $55 plans. If you purchase the $35 or $55 plan, you must have a 3G/4G device to be able to take advantage of 4G speeds. You may use your 3G-only Broadband2Go device (for example, the Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200) on the new plans, but will only be able to use the 3G component of those plans, and will not have access to 4G.

Does the Wal-Mart BroadBand2Go plan support 4G? (ONLY APPLICABLE FOR WMT)

No. The Wal-Mart plan does not currently support 4G, even if you have purchased a 3G/4G Broadband2Go device.

If I'm currently on a Virgin Mobile BroadBand2Go $10/$20/$50 plan, will I be able to keep my plan?

Yes. If you bought a $10/$20/$50 plan before 7/4/12, you will be able to keep your plan at this time, unless you switch to another plan or until the plan is discontinued. However, if you are on one of these plans, you will not be able to enjoy 4G speeds, even if you have purchased a 3G/4G device.

Can I activate a new Broadband2Go device on the 3G plans? How long will these plans be available?

Our new 3G/4G $35 and $55 plans will launch on 5/24/12. The 3G $10/$20/$50 plans will still be available until 7/4/12. Between 5/24/12 and 7/4/12, you will be able to activate your 3G or 3G/4G Broadband2Go device on any of our 3G or 3G/4G plans. After 7/4/12, you will only be able to activate on the new 3G/4G plans and the 3G plans will no longer be eligible for new activations. If you're on a 3G plan before 7/4/12, you will be able to keep that plan until you migrate off that plan or we choose to discontinue it. If you purchase or activate on a 3G plan, you will not be able to enjoy any 4G access, even if you buy a 3G/4G device.

Are the Virgin Mobile BroadBand2Go ZTE Peel 3200, Novatel Wireless MC760 Ovation, or MiFi 2200 compatible with the new $35/$55?

Yes. However, you will not get access to 4G speeds and you will not be able to access 4G data. You will only be able to use the 3G portion of that plan unless you purchase a 3G/4G device.

When and how will data speed reduction affect my 3G/4G $35 and $55 Broadband2Go plan?

If you use over 10GB of 4G data during your monthly cycle, your 4G data speeds may be reduced to 256kbps or below for the rest of that monthly plan cycle. During this time, you may experience slower page loads and file downloads, and lags in streaming media. Data speeds will return to normal as soon as your next plan month starts. If you'd rather not wait for your new month to start, you can resume normal speeds immediately by paying for another full month of service under your current plan which will add another month's allotment of data. Or you can purchase another plan. These changes can be completed through 'My Account.' You may continue to use the remainder of your 3G data allocation at full 3G speed if you are in a 3G area or turn off the 4G radio on your device.

When and how will data speed reduction affect my Unlimited 3G Broadband2Go plan?

If you use more than the established threshold during your monthly cycle, your data speeds may be reduced to 256kbps or below for the rest of that monthly plan cycle. During this time, you may experience slower page loads and file downloads, and lags in streaming media. Data speeds will return to normal as soon as your next plan month starts. If you'd rather not wait for your new month to start, you can resume normal speeds immediately by paying for another full month of service under your current plan which will add another monthly allotment of data. Or you can purchase another plan through 'My Account.'

What exactly will customers experience if throughput speeds are reduced?

When a Broadband2Go customer on the $40, $50, $35, or $55 plan reaches their data reduction threshold within a current monthly cycle, they could have their throughput speed limited to a maximum of 256 kbps for the remainder of that plan cycle. $40 and $50 Plan customers will continue to have access to data service without a cap. $35 and $55 plan customers will continue to have access to the remainder of the 3G portion of their plan in addition to 4G data without a cap but for the duration of the cycle [i.e., up until the next monthly plan cycle begins] customers may experience slower page loads, file downloads and degraded streaming media. Throughput speeds will be restored when a new Broadband2Go monthly plan is purchased, giving customers a "fresh slate" for the month. They will not experience any throughput speed limitation unless they reach their applicable threshold within the next monthly plan, if applicable.



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

2 edits

Looking at their new plans for the phones (beyond talk plans) it appears that if you want unlimited (throttled) 3G service you would need to go with an android phone and add hotspot and the throttle would kick in at the 3.5GB usage mark.

So via android hotspot for $50 you would get unlimited 3g service (3.5GB full speed then throttle).

It appears hotspot is only available on the $300 HTC Evo V

TOS updated here are the hotspot details ( full tos »www.virginmobileusa.com/legal/ge···_hotspot ):
quote:
Mobile Hotspot plans

Virgin Mobile's Mobile Hotspot plans allow you to connect up to five (5) other wireless devices to the internet using the data connection of your Virgin Mobile smartphone. Purchasing a Mobile Hotspot plan will also provide you with an additional 1GB per month of full-speed data, giving you a total of 3.5GB per month of full-speed data. These per month allotments include 4G (WiMAX) data usage on 4G capable devices where available. The data limit is combination of phone and hotspot usage, if applicable. Connectivity dependent upon compatibility and speeds may vary. Virgin Mobile reserves the right, without notice, to limit throughput speeds when monthly data usage exceeds the applicable data usage limit. Customers will continue to have data access but maximum speeds may be limited to 256Kbps or below for the remainder of the monthly plan cycle.

There are two Mobile Hotspot add-on options available:

Option 1: "Monthly for $15/mo.": This add-on option is set up as a recurring charge that will have the same payment cycle as your Beyond Talk Monthly Plan. You can add this option to your account during activation or at any point during your plan month. When added during your plan month, you will be charged the full $15 with no proration, and will be given Mobile Hotspot access for the remainder of your monthly plan cycle. Once you sign up for this option, the add-on with the additional payment will remain a part of your monthly plan for all successive month cycles until manually removed.

Option 2: "This Month Only for $15": This add-on is set up as a one-time charge that will have the same lifecycle as the time remaining for the month of your Beyond Talk Monthly Plan. You can add this option to your account during activation or at any point during your plan month. When added during your plan month, you will be charged the full $15 with no proration, and will be given Mobile Hotspot access for the remainder of your Beyond Talk plan month. Unlike the Monthly plan option, this add-on will expire when your new plan month starts, and the $15 will not be automatically applied to your next plan payment.

Virgin Mobile 4G (WiMAX) Services

Virgin Mobile 4G devices are powered by the Sprint 4G (WiMAX) network, reaching over 70 markets. Unless otherwise noted, Virgin Mobile 4G devices will only work on the Sprint 4G (WiMAX) network, not the Sprint 4G LTE network. Not all services available on 4G and coverage may default to 3G/1xRTT where 4G is unavailable.

Account Status for Current Monthly Plans

Your monthly charge is due on the monthly payment date of your Beyond Talk Plan. Your monthly payment date is based on the day of the month that you activate your Beyond Talk Plan, switch from one Beyond Talk Plan to another Beyond Talk Plan, or restart your existing Beyond Talk Plan. If you do not pay your monthly charge on your payment date, you will not be able to make or receive calls (except 911 emergency calls), send or receive domestic text messages, picture messages, IM and email messages (collectively "Messages"), access Downloads (VirginXL), or use any other services, regardless of the balance in your account. When you next pay your monthly charge, you will receive the number of minutes and Messages associated with that monthly plan. If you fail to pay your monthly charge when due, your payment date will be reset based on the day you successfully pay your monthly charge. If you do not pay your monthly charge within 120 days after your payment date, your account will expire, we will deactivate your service, you will lose your mobile phone number, and we will assess you a termination charge equal to the value of any balance left in your account, which is not refundable even if you reactivate your account. If your account is deactivated, you must follow the activation process again in order to obtain service and use your Virgin Mobile phone. You may visit our website (www.virginmobileusa.com) or contact Virgin Mobile At Your Service at 1-888-322-1122 to reactivate your account using a Top-Up card, debit card or credit card. Virgin Mobile reserves the right, without notice, to temporarily limit throughput speeds when monthly data usage on your Monthly Plan exceeds 2.5GB. You will continue to have access to your service but maximum speeds may be limited to 256 kilobits per second or below for the remainder of your monthly plan cycle. During this time, you may experience slower page loads, file downloads and degraded streaming media. Throughput speeds will be restored when you pay your next monthly charge.


Justin Time5

join:2010-08-31

Thanks dib for making some sense of that. I'm still using the orig $40/UL (albeit throttled after 5 GB) plan from 2010. I'm also out in the sticks a long way from any 4G. (like a 100 miles)

So what's your guess, you think it's just a matter of time before they phase that out? (makes note of VM language "you will be able to keep that plan until you migrate off that plan or we choose to discontinue it.")



dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

said by Justin Time5:

So what's your guess, you think it's just a matter of time before they phase that out? (makes note of VM language "you will be able to keep that plan until you migrate off that plan or we choose to discontinue it.")

They have let us keep it so far I doubt they will kill it off, would just loose them money since there are other options better than their standard pricing now... (well after 7/4).

After 7/4 they are basically returning to their original plan... a chunk of usage (2GB or 5GB) for a fee. Use it, add more... this is basically the original $60 5GB plan for $55.

And of course I am only referring to 3G, it's not a bad plan for 4G... but I believe clear offers a better deal on the same 4G $50 a month unlimited, no throttle (their TOS does imply they can throttle however there is no clear threshold number I can find).

laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas
reply to Justin Time5

said by Justin Time5:

Thanks dib for making some sense of that. I'm still using the orig $40/UL (albeit throttled after 5 GB) plan from 2010. I'm also out in the sticks a long way from any 4G. (like a 100 miles)

So what's your guess, you think it's just a matter of time before they phase that out? (makes note of VM language "you will be able to keep that plan until you migrate off that plan or we choose to discontinue it.")

I too am still on the original $40 "unlimited" plan (very happy now though it took them fully a year or longer to get the bugs out!) but I harbor no expectations about the future--if or when they decide to terminate that plan, they will.

On the one hand, there are only 3 of us still on that plan Justin so why bother to terminate it; on the other hand there are only 3 customers to tick-off so why not just get rid of it?



I *am* surprised to see just how complicated the new world is getting, and wonder how well VM will do in managing it (from both a system and a customer support POV).


dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

said by laserfan:

On the one hand, there are only 3 of us still on that plan Justin so why bother to terminate it; on the other hand there are only 3 customers to tick-off so why not just get rid of it?

Hey now! I know of at least 7 devices still on the $40 plan... they don't wanna risk loosing 10 users do they???

laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas

said by dib22:

Hey now! I know of at least 7 devices still on the $40 plan... they don't wanna risk loosing 10 users do they???

We can hope anyway that they will just choose for us pioneers, loyal as we've been, to just leave us be!