Today, Virgin Mobile USA announced that it would do away with its currently tiered $20, $40, and $60 prepaid mobile broadband plans and replace them with a prepaid, unlimited, $40 per month offering. Via a press release, Virgin wrote: “A recent study from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that the self-employed and independent workers represent approximately 30% of the nation’s workforce. The study determined that this segment of the self-employed population, consisting mainly of small business owners and freelancers, represents a large market of consumers who need to stay connected, mainly with email and internet browsing, without the constraints of a contract.” Virgin also noted it would offer a $10 per month, 100 MB plan for those users who need connectivity infrequently. Virgin currently offers an Ovation USB data-stick priced at $79.99 and a MiFi 2200 device priced at $149.99. What do you think? Prepaid, as you need it, mobile broadband. Any takers?
Virgin Mobile USA Moves to $40 Unlimited Offer for Prepaid Mobile Broadband2Go
WARREN, N.J., Aug 24, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Virgin Mobile USA recognized early on the value in expanding the mobile broadband market to include nationwide prepaid service with the introduction of the Broadband2Go portfolio last year, and then launch of the MiFi(TM) 2200 device in June. Now, Virgin Mobile is bolstering the Broadband2Go portfolio with a new $40 unlimited mobile broadband plan(1). Available tomorrow online and rolling out at retail in the coming weeks, the new offer replaces the previous $20, $40 and $60 plans, allowing consumers to access unlimited internet use at home or on-the-go for $40 per month. The $10 option for 100 MB, good for 10 days from purchase, remains for less frequent internet users.
A recent study from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that the self-employed and independent workers represent approximately 30% of the nation’s workforce. The study determined that this segment of the self-employed population, consisting mainly of small business owners and freelancers, represents a large market of consumers who need to stay connected, mainly with email and internet browsing, without the constraints of a contract.(2)
“Many unlimited broadband offerings require a contract or are on networks with limited range, so they don’t meet the need for flexibility or true mobility,” said Neil Lindsay, chief marketing officer, Virgin Mobile USA. “The introduction of Virgin Mobile’s prepaid unlimited broadband for $40 a month will provide the access you need on a nationwide network without a contract.”
New Broadband2Go Plans
Signing up for the new unlimited plan also means customers no longer need to monitor data usage — and try to figure out how much they need —
Price Expires MBs/GBs* Web Browsing Video Emails
—– ——- ——— ———— ——– ———
$40 1 month Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
$10 10 Days 100 MB 5 HRS 25 MIN 10,000
*Data usage per activity is based on average use. Actual usage varies depending on the types of websites, video, email and other Internet applications accessed.
Broadband2Go activation remains simple and without fees. Customers who are currently signed up for the $20, $40 and $60 plans will be able to use up the data or time (whichever comes first) on their current plans. The next time they need Broadband2Go, they will have the choice of these two plans.
Top-Up can still be handled online, with a Virgin Mobile Top-Up card, debit or credit card.
Operating on the Sprint Nationwide Network and developed in conjunction with Novatel Wireless [NASDAQ: NVTL], Virgin Mobile offers two different mobile broadband devices on both plans as part of the Broadband2Go portfolio:
— the Ovation(TM) MC760 USB device connects to a single personal computer or laptop and is available at retail for $79.99 and,
— the MiFi(R) 2200, the nation’s first prepaid Mobile Intelligent Hotspot, priced at $149.99 allows up to five users at a time to connect using a variety of Wi-Fi enabled devices
Devices are available at Best Buy, RadioShack , Sprint Stores, Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile stores, Walmart and online at BestBuy.com, Target.com, Walmart.com and VirginMobileUSA.com.