While other companies are embracing the idea of tiered data plans, and thinking that all companies will follow suit, some carriers are opting to go the completely opposite route.
Virgin Mobile, a subsidiary of Sprint Nextel in the United States, offers pre-paid calling options for people operating on a budget. One of their offerings is purchasing a mobile broadband device like the MiFi 2200 (which we gave a glowing review to), and then offering you differently priced data packages that will let you sign up for mobile connectivity only when you need it. The current packages run from $10 to $60 depending on how much time and bandwidth you need, but if a report from IntoMobile proves to be true, things will get even better this week.
The current set up of four plans is going to be dumped on the 24th of this month in favor of two plans. One will cost you $10 and get you 100 MBs of data over a ten day period, and the second will set you back $40, but get you unlimited data over a month. The former top tier package was $60 for 5 GBs of data that you had 30 days to use. These new plans will be available for both the MiFi 2200 and the MC 760 USB modem.
As the Virgin Mobile devices run on the Srpint Nextel network, coverage should be pretty good, but there is no word on these plans also coming to the parent company.
The other aspect that isn’t changing is that you have to buy the devices ($99 for the MC 760, $149 for the MiFi), but you don’t ever have to sign a contract to use them. You simply purchase plans from the Broadband2GO program as you need it, so if you aren’t traveling at any time during a certain 30 days, you aren’t required to keep paying out for the service.
While we all know “unlimited” really means “unlimited so long as you’re reasonable”, this is still an interesting move when AT&T and Verizon are both trying to declare the days of unlimited plans to be dead.
What say you? Do the new plans sound fair?