Earlier this week Virgin Mobile announced their new pricing plans, which brought down the cost of the unlimited everything plan and eliminated the extra fees associated with BlackBerry service; that’s bloody awesome. On the flip side, they’re making those who prefer to pay less by using a 300 or 1200 minute bucket cough up more money, which isn’t so hot. Something that was buried in their press release, which we missed because we’re the kind of folks who have no problem dropping $600 or more on an imported unlocked handset, was how they’re going to now handle data going forward. Right now you can use Virgin Mobile to consume as much data as you want, and you’ll get it as fast as Virgin Mobile can transmit it. Starting this October however, things change. After you consume 2.5 GB of data you’ll be kicked back to 256 kbps, which is roughly 4x faster than what you got back in the days of dialup, and what most people in Europe and Asia would refer to as EDGE.
Now while most of you will moan and groan about this, we actually support Virgin’s decision. T-Mobile also offers unlimited data, but they throttle after 5 GB. Rumor has it that Simple Mobile throttles after 1 GB, but they don’t have anything in their terms of service that says that. Throttling is fine in our book because we’d rather have to wait a few seconds for a page to load than get cut off from the internet completely or worse yet pay an arm and a leg for every extra megabyte we use once we’re done with our data bucket. If an operator sends you a text message when you’ve got say … 500 MB left, warning you that after half a gigabyte more you’ll be speed capped, that’s fine by us.
Both AT&T and Verizon should take a lesson from these guys.