Virgin Mobile on Wednesday announced a new bold prepaid plan that may give certain smartphone buyers exactly the kind of tools they may have been dreaming of. Subscribers will be able to customize their Custom plans on the go, including number of voice minutes, messages and data allowance per month, via a special app that will let them make as many changes as they require.
Furthermore, the Custom plan will also let parents add up to four extra lines to their plans and customize other parameters including app access for kids, both when it comes to the time of day an app can be used, and whether their children are even allowed to use it.
Among the perks offered by Custom plans, Virgin Mobile mentions unlimited texting plans that cost $10 per month, and unlimited voice plans that cost $18. Unlimited access to certain apps including Facebook and Pandora is also available, and won’t count against monthly data buckets – insert net neutrality concerns about this feature here.
The most basic Custom plan starts at $6.98 per month and will be available exclusively from Walmart starting with August 9. Initially, Virgin Mobile Custom will be available on three devices at launch, including the ZTE Emblem, the LG Pulse or the LG Unify, but the company plans to make it available to other handsets in the future.
A video showing how Custom plan customization works, and the full press release, follow below.
Virgin Mobile USA Launches Virgin Mobile Custom – Fully Customizable Cell Phone Plan with Rich Parental Controls
Make it yours: Virgin Mobile’s first family plan offers the ability to build, share, control and manage plans for up to five lines without a contract
Virgin Mobile Custom to be available exclusively at 1,800 Walmart stores beginning Aug. 9
WARREN, N.J. – July 30, 2014 – Just in time for the back-to-school season, Virgin Mobile USA introduces Virgin Mobile Custom™, a no-annual-contract offer with unique parental controls and the ability for customers to build personally tailored rate plans. Virgin Mobile Custom will be available exclusively to Walmart customers at select stores beginning Saturday, Aug. 9. With the Virgin Mobile Custom personalized experience, no one plan is the same: customers can choose from a wide range of calling, texting and data options to suit individual needs while avoiding annual contracts.
“Custom represents both our first multi-line plan and a new model for buying no-contract wireless that gives consumers greater choice and control than ever before,” said Dow Draper, president-Sprint Prepaid Group. “Our customers will have a whole new level of spending management, plan customization, and parental control. They can tailor what they pay for to match their own and their family’s needs.”
“The Custom experience offers parents a great value as well a comprehensive set of remote controls that allow them to manage their child’s phone use by limiting when kids have access to different features, apps and websites. Best of all, parents stuck in a contract with other carriers can take advantage of this dynamic program by simply downloading the free iOS or Android app to any smartphone to manage the Custom handsets.”
How Virgin Mobile Custom works
With the ability to activate up to five lines for as little as $6.98 per line per month, the customer purchases a designated Custom phone and activates that device on the Base plan, which comes with 20 texts and 20 voice minutes, or the Unlimited plan for $35 with unlimited talk and text. Customers can then choose from a group of offers that include:
• Unlimited plans: Customers can also purchase only unlimited texting for $10 or only unlimited voice for $18.1
• Special offers: “Add-ons” that provide unlimited access to such apps as Facebook or Pandora, or provide 30 minutes of international calling to specific countries, can be added on a recurring or non-recurring basis.
The plans can be adjusted at any time during the month, even daily, directly from each person’s device, or controlled by the primary user, allowing the plans to add or subtract the amount of voice, text or data they use at any time within their monthly billing cycle. Pricing information is displayed in real-time, giving customers an instant, exact amount of what their mobile monthly charge will be before they confirm their selections.
The Virgin Mobile Custom experience is powered by the ItsOn Smart Service™ Virtual Network Technology, a cloud-based platform recently licensed by Sprint in a multiyear agreement. More information on Virgin Mobile Custom will be available atwww.virginmobileusa.com/custom2 and participating Walmart stores as of Aug. 9.
Use Virgin Mobile Custom Devices
Virgin Mobile Custom will initially be available on three devices: ZTE Emblem™ for $79.88, LG Pulse™ for $99.88, or LG Unify™ for $129.88 available exclusively at select Walmart stores (excludes taxes). Features on these three Android™-powered smartphones include a large touchscreen display, 5-megapixel rear-facing cameras, front-facing cameras for video calls, Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi.
Offering the ultimate in flexibility, parents can choose to use their existing smartphone on any carrier and still access the incredible controls available with Virgin Mobile Custom. Starting September 1, they can simply purchase a Custom smartphone for their child or other user, download the Custom Control App from the Apple App store or Google Play, for free, and manage what the family is using and spending.
Virgin Mobile Custom is an extension of the iconic Virgin Mobile USA brand that is part of Sprint’s Prepaid business unit and operates on the Nationwide Sprint 4G LTE Network. For more information, visit http://www.virginmobileusa.com.