Virgin Mobile has become the latest company to say good-bye to unlimited data plans. Effective February 15th, users on the pre-paid network will find their normal data transfer capped at 5GB with any overages resulting in much slower speeds. It’s essentially the same model that T-Mobile employs and, really, should be no problem for a majority of users. The problem comes in how it’s perceived. There are very few who truly offer an unlimited plan with consistent speeds, regardless of usage. While we get the whole “principle” argument that unlimited should mean truly unlimited, however $40/month without contract is still a bargain in and of itself.
Virgin Mobile cites the need to “implement network controls to ensure optimal experience” as their reasoning for the shift. Users with a Samsung Intercept may not notice a difference in their service, however those using Virgin Mobile’s USB modem for a laptop likely will. It doesn’t take much to burn through 5GB on a notebook when you’re watching streaming shows and movies or listening to music from back home. Ironically, the Virgin Mobile network belongs to Sprint who still is one of the only players left offering a truly unlimited high-speed connection.