Virgin Mobile has built its user base by offering no-contract smartphone plans for people who don't want to buy a subsidized device. Now they're slashing prices with the assumption that some people don't need data unless they're on a Wi-Fi network. Say hello to the $20 a month mobile plan that includes 300 minutes of talk time, unlimited texting, and no data unless you're on Wi-Fi. The plan changes don't stop there.
The $35 tier now gets to choose between unlimited talk and text, coupled with 250MB of high-speed 3G/4G data or 300 minutes of talk time, unlimited texting, and 2.5GB of data. Virgin's $45 and $55 plans seem best suited for users who often travel between countries. Each plan offers unlimited text and talk, with unlimited international texting and 100 international minutes thrown in on top. At $45 users get 1GB of mobile data, while $55 nets them 3GB of data each month.
What do you think? Does the spread of Wi-Fi in public life negate the need for a data plan for some users? It is, after all, still possible to use GPS and mapping services without a data plan, but it requires you to download the maps you'll be using in advance and noticeably slows down service. We look forward to seeing how many users pick up the new budget plan from Virgin. Perhaps we'll all be surprised.