Yesterday Virgin Mobile falsely claimed to have launched the industry's first no contract data sharing plans. Apparently the company has never heard of Consumer Cellular or Ting for that matter who each have long had such plans (Ting since 2012!). In fact, if you take a quick look at some of our family MVNO pages you'll find several other MVNOs that also offer data sharing. So what exactly has Virgin Mobile accomplished here, and are they really that unaware of what the rest of the competition is doing? Lets examine their new plan.
Virgin Mobiles new plans start at $65 for unlimited voice and messaging along with 4 GB of shared LTE data and are available exclusively at Walmart. Other plan options include $90 a month for 3 lines with 8 GB of shared LTE data, and $115 monthly for 4 lines with 12 GB of shared LTE data. Tethering is also included with these new cell phone plans as is text message roaming and domestic voice roaming at 100 minutes. If these plans interest you, you'll unfortunately be limited to just a handful of mobile phones to which these plans are currently available for including the $79.88 LG Tribute, $99.88 HTC Desire, $129.88 Samsung Galaxy Core Prime and the $149.88 LG Volt. More devices are expected to become available at the end of February. The current crop of eligible cell phones come preinstalled with a special data sharing application that allows customers to watch and manage their data from their device including giving the ability to buy data top ups. For $5 more a month users can buy addon packs that allow unlimited use and streaming of social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pandora that does not count against your LTE data cap. A $20 starter kit is required to activate each new line of service and includes two months of unlimited music streaming that does not count against your data cap. According to a report by Fierce Wireless Virgin Mobile is going to be bidding adieu to its custom build your own a la carte plans in favor of these new data sharing plans. This will once again leave former Zact Mobile subscribers who migrated over to this service in the dark. If you are one of those, you may want to take a look at Ting Wireless or US Mobile as a possible replacement for said plans. RingPlus also provides a nice low cost alternative although they do not offer plan customization.