Crazy or Genius? Virgin Mobile Offers Smartphones With No Data Plans
We’ve got to hand it to Virgin Mobile: This one’s either brilliantly obvious or just plain crazy. The Sprint-owned carrier is offering the option for smartphone owners to use their devices without a data plan.
Virgin Mobile now offers a $20 plan that includes 300 minutes of talk time, unlimited texting and zero data. Anyone who opts for the plan will only be able to connect to the Internet over Wi-Fi.
The new plan is notable since, if you use a smartphone on one of the major carriers, opting out of data is simply not an option. You’ll need to at least subscribe to a cheap, usually limited plan in order to use a smartphone on a network. On T-Mobile, for example, the minimum data plan you can get is 500MB for $40 a month. On Verizon it’s 250MB for $55. (Both include unlimited talk and text.)
The no-data Virgin plan may appeal to parents who want to be able to give their kids a proper smartphone on the cheap, but need to still be able to call them in an emergency. And many people who spend most of their time at home, work or school might not find restricting themselves to Wi-Fi all that limiting.
Virgin also offers a $35 plan that includes unlimited talk, text and data. However, only 250MB is “high-speed.” After that, you’ll get throttled. If you can live with just 300 talk minutes per month, though, the high-speed limit increases to 2.5GB — enough for most to get through a month of tweeting and snapchatting.
At $45 and $55 levels (1GB and 3GB of high-speed data, respectively), Virgin adds 100 minutes of international talk time as well as unlimited international texting.
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