In sync with Sprint's plans to get its sub-brands on 4G using its legacy WiMAX network, both Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile have trotted out their initial 4G lineups. The early Virgin mix includes retreads of two Sprint data-only devices -- a Broadband2Go-badged version of the Sierra Wireless Overdrive Pro 3G/4G hotspot and a matching version of the Franklin U600 previously seen at Clear. Virgin's real star, however, is the HTC EVO V 4G: though it's ultimately the EVO 3D with a slightly more 2D name, it's shipping with Android 4.0 from the start and has HTC's Frankenstein-like Sense 3.6 rather than the 4.0 of the One series. The network upgrade and all three new devices swing into action on May 31, and while your $35 minimum monthly plan will stay in effect even with unlimited on-device 4G, you'll need to spend $300 (contract-free) to take home an EVO V 4G, $150 on the Overdrive Pro or $100 on the U600 stick.
Boost Mobile is also going the Sprint rebadge route through the HTC EVO Design 4G. As with its bigger brother over at Virgin, the single-core EVO Design 4G is identical in hardware to its Sprint equivalent but slaps Android 4.0 and Sense 3.6 on top to keep the software fresh. The update does mark the first time a Boost phone gets Visual Voicemail, so you can feel slightly less guilty when you miss a call. HTC's phone will oddly cost the same $300 off-contract as the more advanced EVO V 4G, although Boost is likely counting on customers sticking around long enough for an all-inclusive unlimited plan to drop to $40 per month and make it worthwhile.
Virgin Mobile USA Introduces 4G with No-Contract Plans Starting as Low as $35 per Month
First 4G smartphone on Beyond Talk is the HTC EVO™ V 4G, part of the award-winning EVO family
Overdrive Pro 3G/4G mobile hotspot by Sierra Wireless and U600 3G/4G USB Stick by Franklin Wireless come to Broadband2Go
WARREN, N.J. (BUSINESS WIRE), May 08, 2012 - Virgin Mobile USA continues to demonstrate how it's answering to A Higher Calling with the speed of 4G, by offering customers who prefer a no-contract option the fully loaded HTC EVO™ V 4G on Virgin Mobile Beyond Talk monthly plans. The data-centric offers start at $35 per month for unlimited data and messaging. HTC EVO V 4G will be available for $299.99 beginning May 31.
Virgin Mobile USA Introduces 4G Speed with the HTC EVO V (Photo: Business Wire)
As Sir Richard Branson states in his video manifesto for A Higher Calling, "Why pay for minutes when it's unlimited data you really want?" Now customers will be able to enjoy unlimited 4G data where available and messaging on an iconic Android™-powered device, all for just $35/month.1 Virgin Mobile USA was recently "Highest Ranked Customer Service Performance among Non-Contract Wireless Providers" by J.D. Power and Associates.2
"'Higher Calling' means we continue to look for ways to give our customers the best products possible at a great price, and we know our hyper-connected Beyond Talk customers will appreciate the real affordability paired with the innovative technology of the HTC EVO," said Jeff Auman, vice president for Virgin Mobile USA. "You just can't beat the value of EVO V 4G with plans starting at just $35 per month."
On the mobile broadband side, Virgin Mobile's Broadband2Go continues to offer no-contract plans ideal for people who need internet access when they're out and about. The versatile Overdrive Pro™ 3G/4G mobile hotspot by Sierra Wireless ($149.99) and the powerful U600 3G/4G USB Stick by Franklin Wireless ($99.99) provide customers two ways to stay connected at 4G speeds. "The launch of these two devices demonstrates our commitment to bring 4G speeds and innovation to our Broadband2Go customers who chose to forgo a contract as well," said Auman.
All three devices will operate on Sprint's 3G and 4G (WiMAX) network and be available beginning on May 31 at VirginMobileUSA.com. They will then be available in June at major retailers and at select independent dealers nationwide.
Going Beyond Talk
The HTC EVO V 4G strengthens Virgin Mobile USA's Android-powered smartphone lineup by adding such features as Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich and HTC Sense 3.6 user interface.
Proving that customers don't have to sacrifice technology to choose a prepaid smartphone that keeps them connected, HTC EVO V 4G specifications also include:
* Mobile hotspot capability – Connect up to five Wi-Fi devices
* 5MP camera with video and 3D HD imaging, and 1.3MP front-facing camera
* 4.3-inch qHD touchscreen
* 1730mAh battery (up to six hours of talk time)
* 1GB RAM/4GB ROM
* External micro SD memory card slot up to 32GB (8GB card included)
* HDMI and Bluetooth-capable
HTC EVO V 4G customers will enjoy Virgin Mobile USA Beyond Talk plans starting at just $35 a month for 300 minutes of voice with unlimited messaging and data.4 And the mobile hotspot on the HTC EVO V 4G can be added for this device on any Beyond Talk plan for an additional $15 per month.
Pairing Broadband2Go with 4G
Virgin Mobile's new monthly 3G/4G Broadband2Go plans, combined with these new devices, allow customers to hook up their tablets, laptops, and other wireless devices. Starting at just $35/month, customers can enjoy access to unlimited 4G data. Where 4G coverage is not available, the $35 plan keeps you connected with 2GB of 3G data. For $55/month, customers benefit from unlimited 4G data and a whopping 5GB of 3G data.
The Overdrive Pro 3G/4G mobile hotspot connects up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices, making it ideal for families on-the-go and independent professionals. The compact device has top battery strength and a 1.7-inch LCD screen that makes setting up a cinch. It also offers a microSD slot for up to 32GB of shared network storage.
* The U600 3G/4G USB Stick supports Mac OS and Windows, and a rotating connector makes it easy to fit in most laptop configurations.
* Setting up your Broadband2Go account is extremely simple, and there are no activation fees. Top-Up can be handled online with a Virgin Mobile Top-Up card, debit or credit card.
Sprint 4G (WiMAX) is currently available to 120 million people in 71 markets across the country with average upload speeds of between 3-6 Mbps, with bursts of more than 10 Mbps.
Boost Mobile Pairs the Speed of 4G and Android Monthly Unlimited for as Low as $40 with HTC EVO Design 4G
IRIVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Boost Mobile, ranked Highest in Purchase Experience among Non-Contract Wireless Providers by J.D. Power and Associates1, today announced the May 31 release of HTC EVO Design 4G™, a member of the award-winning EVO family. This robust Android smartphone will operate on Sprint's 3G and 4G (WiMAX) networks, bringing 4G speeds to Boost Mobile customers in 71 markets across the country with average upload speeds between 3-6 Mbps with bursts of more than 10 Mbps.
This will be the first device that pairs the speed of 4G with the value of Boost Mobile's award-winning, no-contract $55 Android Monthly Unlimited plan with Shrinking Payments. For every six on-time payments, the cost of Boost Mobile's Monthly Unlimited plan shrinks by $5, eventually getting down to as low as $40 a month for unlimited nationwide talk, text messaging, Web, email and calls to 411. Payments do not need to be consecutive to qualify for the next savings milestone.
HTC EVO Design 4G will be available on May 31 for $299.99 (excluding taxes) at Boost Mobile's exclusive retail stores, select independent wireless dealer locations nationwide and at www.boostmobile.com with free shipping. It will be available in June at Best Buy, Radio Shack and Walmart.
"We are telling our customers to 'Be Heard' and not sacrifice technology or speed for value," said Andre Smith, vice president-Boost Mobile. "HTC EVO Design is a strong match with Boost's $55 Monthly Unlimited plan enabling our customers to enjoy the features of this robust device. With our shrinking monthly plans, customers will be able to enjoy an unlimited experience on an EVO device for as low as $40 a month – an industry first."
Launching as a no-contract exclusive with Boost Mobile, HTC EVO Design 4G boasts many of the "must-have" features of its post-paid predecessors, including a 4-inch qHD capacitive touchscreen display, while sporting a slim, pocket-friendly aluminum unibody design. HTC EVO Design 4G combines the acclaimed HTC Sense™ experience with Android™ 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. Additional features include:
* 1.2GHz processor
* 5MP rear-facing camera/camcorder with flash and HD video recording and 1.3MP front-facing camera for video chat
* Stereo Bluetooth
* Visual Voicemail
* Wi-Fi hotspot capable
* External memory slot for up to 32GB (2GB card included.)
For the first time on Boost Mobile, this device will include Visual Voicemail, powered by Smith Micro. At no additional cost, users can listen to messages in their order of preference and manage them with a simple tap of the screen.
This is also the first Boost Mobile device enabled with built-in mobile hotspot functionality allowing up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices to share the 3G or 4G experience on the go with a laptop, camera, music player, game unit, video player, or any other Wi-Fi enabled device. Use of this feature requires an additional fee of $10 per month.
Later this year, in order to provide the best value and customer experience, Boost Mobile will move to reduce 3G/4G data speeds to 3G speeds of 256kbps when a customer's data usage exceeds 2.5GB in a month. Customers who go over the 2.5GB threshold may experience slower page loads, file downloads and streaming media. Data speeds will restore to full 3G/4G speeds when a customer's new monthly plan begins.
Boost Mobile will continue to provide unlimited data access without a contract, usage cap, overage or activation fees. Based on recent usage patterns, approximately 95 percent of Boost Mobile customers use less than 2.5GB of data usage per month and will not experience any difference in their experience. Boost Mobile is committed to ensuring an unlimited robust data experience and intends to maintain 3G data speeds of 256 Kbps even after surpassing 2.5GB in a given month.
For more information, please visit http://www.boostmobile.com/htc-evo-design-4g.
HTC EVO 3D
Sierra Wireless Overdrive Pro 3G/4G