Up to this point, T-Mobile's been the one shaking up the wireless industry with its "Un-carrier" initiatives that go against the grain. However, credit Virgin Mobile for being the first to launch no-contract data sharing plans in the U.S., though there's a small caveat -- they're exclusively available at Walmart locations.
If you don't mind a trip to Wally World, then beginning tomorrow (January 17), you can access the new plans on four specific 4G LTE smartphones that come pre-loaded with the Virgin Mobile data sharing application. In addition, each multi-line plan will also come with a free Mobile Hotspot feature so that it's easier to share data from one Wi-Fi enabled device to another.
"At Virgin Mobile we are committed to offering prepaid customers innovative new wireless options," said Angela Rittgers, vice president-Sprint Prepaid. "We were the first prepaid carrier to offer texting keyboards and texting-only plans, first to help customers pay less for talk they weren’t using, the first to feature a totally customized plan, and now the first data sharing plans. The new data sharing plans bring some of the most aggressive shared-line plans ever launched to Walmart."
So, what kind of pricing are we looking at? Here's a look:
- $65/month for 2 lines: Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 4GB 3G/4G LTE data
- $90/month for 3 lines: Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 8GB 3G/4G LTE data
- $115/month for 4 lines: Unlimited talk, unlimited text, 12GB 3G/4G LTE data
There are no additional monthly fees. And should you need more data, Virgin Mobile will offer one-touch data buy-up options starting at $10 per month for 1GB. Parental control features with device curfew and app restrictions will also be included.
Not interested in sharing data? Virgin Mobile is also rolling out some new single-line, unlimited plans at Walmart. They include at $35/month plan with 300 minutes of talk, unlimited text, and unlimited data (2.5GB of high-speed data), and a $45/month plan that bumps the talk time up to unlimited.