Virgin Mobile USA nixes fully unlimited prepaid plans

virgin mobile usa nixes fully unlimited prepaid plans

No one can say it was unexpected: Sprint, the lone major wireless provider still offering true unlimited plans, has just decided to test out the data-limiting water with its recently-acquired Virgin Mobile USA service. Virgin’s prepaid plans will still be fully unlimited until October, when Sprint says it will start throttling customers’ data speeds based on usage.

Sprint users needn’t worry, because the change is limited to the Virgin brand. But depending on how cynical you are, Sprint is either reshaping its Virgin business plan to face the fact that an unlimited prepaid service is hard to find success with, or, more dastardly, testing out the reaction to data metering in a sub-brand before rolling it out across the board.

“Based on current usage patterns, fewer than three percent of Virgin Mobile USA customers use more than 2.5GB of data usage per month,” Virgin said in a statement. “After reaching this level, this minority of customers may experience slower page loads, file downloads and streaming media.”

Data wise, the Virgin plan is still technically unlimited, but users who reach a 2.5GB monthly threshold will see data speeds reduced dramatically until the next month’s cycle begins. The lower rate is a paltry 256KB per second; Virgin’s 3G hotspot, for example, advertises normal speeds between 600 and 1400 kbps.

The plan mirrors T-Mobile, who first used the idea of data-throttling, as opposed to AT&T and Verizon who force users to pay for more data once they exceed the cap. It’s tough to tell which type of plan will be more successful. T-Mobile and now Virgin still offer unlimited data, albeit at reduced speeds, but customers won’t be hit with extra fees. With AT&T and Verizon, however, customers have to pay extra once they exceed the limit, but aren’t stuck with a slow phone for the rest of the month. And while Sprint users are as yet unaffected, they can’t be blamed if they feel like the clock is ticking.


Authentic, holistic, retro photography is in: Here are 2019’s predicted trends

What types of imagery are we most drawn to? According to recent stock photography data from Adobe, StoryBlocks, and Shutterstock, authentic, holistic, and humanitarian content will be in high demand in 2019.

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Emerging Tech

Scientists debate mysterious flash of light in space, known as ‘The Cow’

On June 16, 2018 there was an unusual flash in the sky which puzzled astronomers around the world. NASA researchers have been collecting data on the event and have shared two competing theories for what could have caused it.
Emerging Tech

Black holes devour nearby stars and spew brilliant X-rays during outburst phase

Physicists have investigated an explosion of X-ray light originating from a black hole in an outburst phase. The data suggests during an outburst, black holes consume huge amounts of stellar material and shrink in size by a factor of ten.

The most expensive Galaxy S10 could be the priciest Galaxy phone we've seen

Not long now; with 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.

Yes, Android apps can run on your PC, and it's easier than you think

Wish you knew how to run Android apps in Windows? It's easier than you might think and there are a number of different ways to do it. In this guide, we break down the steps so you can follow along with ease.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…

C you soon? Rumors swirl of a USB-C port on 2019 iPhones

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.

Biometric phone unlocks can’t be forced by feds, says U.S. judge

Fingerprint and face unlocks used to not be protected by the Fifth Amendment, but that may soon change. A judge in California has ruled biometric unlocking methods of all kinds are protected in the same way as passcodes.

The Note 8 and S8 range now have access to the Android Pie beta

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

The Motorola Razr may return as a foldable phone — for $1,500

The Motorola Razr V3 is one of the world's most iconic phones, and it could be making a stylistic return in the form of a foldable Motorola smartphone -- but it may cost around $1,500. Is the nostalgia worth it?

The iPhone XS Battery Case's battery has a smaller capacity than previous cases

Apple has been rumored to be working on a new iPhone battery case for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now, those new cases are finally here, offering seven hours of extra use for each iPhone and are available for $129.