Virgin Mobile USA Plans to Raise Data Fees, Add Throttling in October

Posted by at 11:54 am on July 13, 2011

Virgin Mobile is hiking the prices on two of its three Beyond Talk plans, according to an announcement. Although in all cases data will be unlimited, the option with 300 voice minutes is being pushed from $25 to $35 a month. The 1200-minute option is likewise going up $5 to $45, but the fully unlimited plan is being reduced $5 to $55. A $10 fee for BlackBerries is being dropped.

The switch takes effect on July 20th; people already on a Beyond Talk plan by July 19th can continue with their current rates. The impetus for raising prices appears to be the Motorola Triumph, which launches with Virgin on the 20th. The phone has features such as a 4.1-inch screen and a front-facing video camera, and being substantially more powerful than Virgin’s previous offerings, may attract more subscribers and impose a greater burden on the hosting Sprint network.

Virgin has also announced plans to throttle bandwidth. Beginning in October, people using more than 2.5GB in a month will see an unspecified slowdown take effect. Given the timing, the change does not appear to be connected to the Triumph; it may instead be connected to another device, such as the next Apple iPhone. Sprint is expected to be a future iPhone carrier, and AT&T is coincidentally raising its iPhone insurance prices on October 4th.

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