Exclusive: Virgin Mobile changing Broadband2Go plans – $40 a month for unlimited data

Virgin Mobile prepaid broadband changes
Virgin Mobile prepaid broadband changes

In a bit of exclusive news, we just found out that Virgin Mobile plans to change its Broadband2Go prices and the new rates should make the prepaid broadband a more attractive option.

According to our tipster, Virgin Mobile will offer only two Broadband2Go plans beginning August 24: $10 for 10 days with a 100 MB cap and a $40 monthly unlimited plan.

The company currently offers four plans which range from $10 to $60 a month and span 100 MB to 5 GB. These new plans should make it much simpler to choose what kind of broadband you want.

As a blogger, I really need to be connected everywhere I go but I’m still reluctant to plunk down $60 a month for a Verizon MiFi because I am around WiFi networks most of the time. Sure, I can write off this cost but it still causes a cheapskate like me to hesitate.

That’s where Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go really fits in, as I’ve been using its prepaid MiFi 220 to get online when I’m in the field and can’t connect to a WiFi network. I don’t have to worry about speeds or coverage because it uses Sprint’s 3G network (Virgin Mobile is owned by Sprint) and I only pay for the limited times when I need it. The simplified Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go plans should just make it easier for me to use this service.

The move also comes as the competition is heating up, as high-end devices like the Apple iPhone 4, Motorola Droid X and other devices come with 3G tethering or the ability to create a WiFi hotspot. This comes with an extra monthly fee but you have the convenience of not having to carry around multiple devices.

Retail giant Best Buy is also jumping into the connection space and it will be reselling Clearwire WiMax services under the Best Buy Connect brand. The pricing and coverage area is still up in the air but the company has a strong brand name and could find success with this venture.

  • Artie

    If they do switch as suggested, that’s a bait and switch for those of us who bought the device when it came out, with the understanding that we could do $20/300 mb for 30 days, which is the sweet spot for full month coverage and limited usage . Nice to have an unlimited option, as well, for those who need it, but 10/100 doesn’t cover the full month, and for $40 a month I could get 4g with Clear, instead. There is no reason to pay VM that much for less than 1/4 the speed… and I’m not too happy at the prospect of a 100% increase over what I’m paying now after only two months as a broadband2go customer.

    • Artie

      actually, me again, just adjusting the math — if they do in fact change the rates, it would be a 50% increase over current cost for equivalent service, since 10/100 x 3 would cover the month for $30, vs the previous $20. (I reiterate… bait and switch). If they do this, I will either not use my mifi unless absolutely necessary and not keep a monthly coverage plan activated, or, if forced to the $40 plan, I will spend a lot MORE time on the network (as will everyone else) in order to get our money’s worth. Bet it all bogs down miserably, and it’s not that speedy to begin with. WHAT are they thinking… You sure about this?

      • Ben

        Hi Artie,

        That’s what happens when you let them get you under CONTRACT. I will never again get a contract service – if only to stop them from the BS they pull.

        • Re26

          This Plan is Dead as of Feb 15, 2011

      • Thomas Banacek

        Rates don’t change while under contract. That’s why you have a contract. I’ve had phone contracts that, by the time it was finished, they were even being offered anymore. But I was still paying for the service I had my contract for.

        As to this being ‘bait and switch’, it is nothing of the sort. Bait and Switch is the practice of luring a customer in by advertising one product/price, claiming it isn’t available/sold out and then upselling them to another device.

        What you’re lacking is the ‘switch’ part.

  • KJ

    Just how unlimited is “Unlimited”? And where’s the asterisk?

  • Artie

    Actually, it’s a pay as you go plan, so not a long term contract. And while legally they can change their rates and you can choose not to use the service, I have plunked down $150 for the device as a result of their ad and promotion (the bait) so was hoping for more than two months use before the price hike (seems like a switch to me since it’s a lot higher than I bargained for). I probably would have gone to Clear instead, if I had known VM was going to run $30/40 a month, or skipped it altogether and gone to Starbucks! Still haven’t seen anything official on this …only people copying the news first posted on this page. We shall see… personally, I could live with 10/100 if the time did not expire in only 10 days. Add more if /when you need it, or even make it disappear after 30 days. But 10/100/10 days screws things up since you dont always have coverage. They know that. That’s why the $20/300/30 days Dont think they should be screwing early adopters who have only been on board for two (count em) months — thought I admit, IF I were using it that much I suppose “unlimited” –with whatever * asterisk disclaimer they plan to add would be useful. It’s too slow a connection to stream video effectively, so the extra connection time doesn’t really amount to much for me.

  • Brian

    Yeah, this is a lousy deal. I was just talking up VM B2Go to someone else, with the 300 mb / 30day plan as the most attractive – with my plan (and experience) of buying more $/time when I was going to use it. Now I need to spend $40/month, every month, to get more service than 10d & 100 MB – really? This is getting closer to other plans with companies with larger networks. VM/Sprint has just about lost me, now. I am quite disappointed and will consider jumping ship or buying an iphone the next time around (but not too likely on the latter – still too expensive, with at&t)

  • goldenboy

    Clear sounds like a fantastic deal. If you live in the coverage area, and it seems as though millions of people, myself included, do not. I just checked there coverage map, Indiana (my home) Illinois and Ohio have zero coverage. That’s a HUGE chunk of the midwest that’s SOL. So we r gonna have to wait 2 years minimum before we r even considered. By then the system will be so bogged down with people trying to catch a deal that it probably wont be worth it. Case in point, Straight Talk Wireless. This was fantastic when I got it last year. Now it’s a joke, Half the time I cant even get on the web unless its 3 in the morning. Their ‘unlimited’ plan is very limited since you cant youtube or hulu or internet radio. Web sites are HTML only. I used to be able to download pics off google @ native res. Not anymore. Now it’s 1204 bytes no matter what. I hate the damned thing. Not a technical b and s but its not what I paid for.

  • Gilbert Adams

    I agree Artie this is clearly a two month “Bait & Switch” tactic and I just informed VM as well. All of the new Android phone can convert 3g into WiFi and data plans coupled with Voice is still cheapest way to go if your phone has this capability. I have been hoodwinked and bamboozled…

  • pissed

    I’m pissed. Data used to be available for $20/mo. Now, it’s 40/mo.

  • http://www.callingcards4you.com phone cards

    Virgin mobile is a no-contract company. If they locked you into a contract and THEN started to throttle, that would be a bait and switch. But with no contract, you can decide to stop buying more airtime if you don’t like the new terms.

  • Petercrisssgirl

    Actually Virgin Mobile has just changed the $40 UNLIMITED plan to one with limits….now for $40 you get 5GB…after that it says speeds with be much slower until you add more money. I was happy with myb VM plan at $40…we use alot of MB’s per month due to using it for XBOX Live…Now, this plan is not so good and I may have to look elsewhere! Virgin Mobile didn’t stick with the unlimited plan for very long, less than a year…VERY DISAPPOINTED VIRGIN MOBILE! I think they will lose a lot of customers!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/THGZEFWE7BBAQ2D3GH5LODD43U Fantasmagorian

    i have the unlimited…i avoid utube because i cant stand the lag..i hate virgin mobile…love my phone (which can be faster downloading videos than laptop which is RIDICULOUS!)

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