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Virgin Mobile Cap Discovered - NOT UNLIMITED

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Matt
3Gstore Employee


Joined: 02 Apr 2008
Posts: 1370

PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:15 pm    Post subject: Virgin Mobile Cap Discovered - NOT UNLIMITED Reply with quote

Virgin mobile launched earlier this year and was meet with mixed reviews. The prepaid low cost option was appealing to some but a lot of users experienced pretty poor performance - Virgin Mobile - Poor download speeds and network quality

I kind of figured that the unlimited bubble would burst with Virgin and it looks like it has. Within the recent TOS it was discovered that the service has a 5GB cap, then throttles users to 256kbps after they reach their limit.

You can read the full details here - Virgin Mobile Cap Discovered (NOT Unlimited) - Users Throttled to 256kbps after 5GB
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waynefoutz
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Joined: 31 Mar 2008
Posts: 469

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If this is true, Virgin's website says the opposite

http://www.virginmobileusa.com/mobile-broadband/broadband2go.html


Quote:
†Speed varies based on location and coverage with average downlink data speeds between 600 and 1400 Kbps. Virgin Mobile does not restrict your speeds based on data usage caps.



Looks like this is the case though someone on DSLReports is saying this will come into effect after 2/15/11:

http://www.broadbandreports.com/forum/r25317041-Virgin-Mobile-Broadband-5GB-on-2-15-11-

Quote:
Hi, please note that this 5gb CAP to the Broadband2Go $40 Unlimited plan has not gone into effect and will not until February 15. Customers who log into their Broadband2Go account later today will see a message on their My Account page that reads:

"Broadband2Go Terms of Service have changed which potentially impact download and upload throughput speeds on the $40 Broadband2Go Plan when monthly data usage exceeds 5GB. The new terms and conditions will apply to new and existing customers purchasing Broadband2Go Plans on or after 2/15/11."

Later this week, customers who are on the $40 Broadband2Go plan will also be notified via email.

In order to keep the network operating at the best possible level, we need to leverage our ability to implement network controls to ensure the best experience for all subscribers.

Rather than an across-the-board limiting of throughput speeds, these measures will limit throughput speeds for customers on the $40 unlimited plan as they reach the 5GB threshold, temporarily for the remainder of their monthly cycle. Once a new monthly cycle is activated, throughput speeds will be restored and the customer starts with a “fresh slate.” We expect that most customers – those who use BB2Go for typical email, internet surfing and reasonable downloading - will likely not be impacted/notice any difference.

New materials have started to move into retail in preparation for this change.

SO, the RADIO SHACK AD in question WAS CORRECT!


I guess nothing lasts forever. This kind of stinks. That being said, for the price, still, I could live with those terms. At least you still don't have to worry about getting hit with overage charges, or worse, they just turn the damned thing off so you have to shell out another $40, which is what I figured would be the eventual result when Sprint finally clamped down on them. For the stuff I do, the 256 kbps throttle wouldn't effect me much, as long as I still got a decent ping. I have Sprint now, and here lately, I have less than 256 kbps at least 3 times a week anyway.

I just hope this is their final solution, and not the beginning of future harassment. I am planning on moving all my equipment (Sprint data card, AT&T phone,) over to Virgin in the near future mostly because it will more cut my total cell bill more than in half.
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Michael
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Joined: 13 Jan 2005
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Location: Cary, IL

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep in mind that carriers do this all the time (change plans).

Good News/Bad News....

Good news, is that people are grandfathered in, so that they can lock in and the carrier cannot touch them.

Bad news, when you are on a month to month plan, your grandfathered period is 30 days. As, if you don't like the new Terms, you don't have to continue after 30 days.
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Last edited by Michael on Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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reb1
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Joined: 13 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Virgins service was already bad. The good news is many people will drop service and go somewhere else. The carriers may reserve the right to change but the customers will eventually drop the hammer on them by decreasing there profits in the only way they can. It is called your services are no longer needed.
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waynefoutz
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Joined: 31 Mar 2008
Posts: 469

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way I read that memo, I don.t think there will be any grandfathering going on since no contract exists in the first place. When you pay your $40 after the date in February, you are subject to the throttling.
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onedavester
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Joined: 26 Jul 2008
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Location: Upstate NY

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My speed averages about 300k, so the 256 throttle speed won't make any difference. I use it as a back up only since my "3rd party provider" increased my Verizon acct to 20gb for free.
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Osage
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Joined: 01 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

reb1 wrote:
Virgins service was already bad. The good news is many people will drop service and go somewhere else. The carriers may reserve the right to change but the customers will eventually drop the hammer on them by decreasing there profits in the only way they can. It is called your services are no longer needed.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Where I come from its not called your services are no longer needed, its called "YOU ARE FIRED".

Bur right now my options are all bad and I don't know when they improve. Right now I am on Verizon 3G without a contract, 4 G is not available in my area yet, and 4G modems are super expensive at this point now.

So even if Virgin mobile stinks for speed and frequent disconnects at my location, for now I use it every other month. That way the pressure is off my Verizon 3G 5GB cap, so I get enough 3G internet for an average of $80.00 a month. 15 days of Virgin mobile service on one Verizon billing month, and 15 days on the next billing month. Then skip a month of Virgin mobile.

The best strategy I have found so far, and as soon as I find something better I will CHEERFULLY tell Virgin and Verizon, YOU ARE FIRED.
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Michael
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Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 6208
Location: Cary, IL

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like it will happen around 2/15/2011

Quote:
Virgin Mobile is the latest carrier to cancel its unlimited wireless data plan.

The carrier will stop offering its $40 all-you-can-eat 3G Broadband2Go data plan after Feb. 15, PC World has reported, writing that Virgin said it needs “to implement network controls to ensure optimal experience.”

According to PC World, Virgin plans to go the route of T-Mobile and Cricket, offering “unlimited” data, though after using 5GB a month users can expect to see their cruising speeds slow down considerably.


BTW, I am with you on the "Your Fired!" approach. If things change after you signup, you have that right to vote with your pocketbook.
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Dwayne
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Joined: 30 Jul 2006
Posts: 134
Location: Florida, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well . . . my Sprint performance has dropped to about 256kb/s on average anyway. The days of 1.5 mb/s were really nice. I miss them. Sad I guess if you're using Virgin, at least you won't be in a contract and it's cheaper for the crappy performance than paying for Sprint branded service.


Have to admit, I spent years picking on AT&T customers and their (lack of) 3G coverage. But if you haven't tried them in a long time, you really should. My Sprint service has gone from great to terrible in a matter of about six months. I regularly get below 100kb/s during peak times. Now, my new AT&T MiFi . . . peaking over 4 mb/s down and 1.8 mb/s up. Normal (average) experience is about 2.1 down, 1.2 up. I forgot would a really usable 3G experience was like until I switched. I have to work really hard to get a speed test below 1.8mb/s with the AT&T.

Not to sound selfish or anything . . . but I hope all of the iPhone customers go over to Verizon and leave all of that extra bandwidth for me. Smile
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waynefoutz
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Joined: 31 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.phonenews.com/virgin-mobile-to-implement-soft-cap-on-broadband2go-by-february-15th-15109/

Quote:
Update: Virgin Mobile PR has confirmed to PhoneNews.com that the Broadband2Go soft cap and throttling will only apply to the service, while phones and smartphones on Beyond Talk plans will be unaffected.


Well, since I plan on getting a phone AND the broadband card..I'm betting tethering one week a month will work fine with me.


To you guys only getting 300 mbps, are you traveling any, or are you stationary, using it at home hitting one tower?
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editor1
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Joined: 26 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Osage"]
reb1 wrote:


So even if Virgin mobile stinks for speed and frequent disconnects at my location, for now I use it every other month. That way the pressure is off my Verizon 3G 5GB cap, so I get enough 3G internet for an average of $80.00 a month. 15 days of Virgin mobile service on one Verizon billing month, and 15 days on the next billing month. Then skip a month of Virgin mobile.


Verizon already offers 10G of 3g for $80/mo. with the Wifi 2200. If the Verizon service is better, this setup would simplify things.
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onedavester
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Joined: 26 Jul 2008
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Location: Upstate NY

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

E-mail from Virgin this morning:

Hey ***,
Here at Virgin Mobile, our mission is to deliver an outstanding customer experience. Sometimes that means making difficult choices in order to provide the best possible service to the greatest number of customers.

To make sure we can keep offering our $40 Unlimited Broadband2Go Plan at such a great price, we're putting a speed limit in place for anyone on that plan who uses over 5GB in a month.

How will it work?
Starting February 15, 2011, if you go over 5GB in a month on the $40 Unlimited Plan:


Your data speeds will be limited for the remainder of the monthly plan cycle. During this time, you may experience slower page loads and file downloads and lags in streaming media.
Your data speeds will return to normal as soon as you buy a new Broadband2Go Plan.
This change will only affect plans bought on or after 2/15/2011.
How will it affect me?
Keep in mind, 5GB is A LOT of data. To give you an idea, it's about 250 hours of web browsing or over 500,000(!) emails*. So this change shouldn't affect you unless you're a heavy downloader/streamer/etc.

How will I know if I'm getting close to 5GB?
We've updated the progress bar in your Connection Manager to show the amount of data you've used. If you go above 5GB in a month, the bar will turn yellow, letting you know your data speeds will be reduced until you buy a new plan.

By putting this speed limit in place, we're making sure we can deliver the same quality service you've come to expect from Broadband2Go. We hope you understand.



Thanks for being a Broadband2Go customer.
Virgin Mobile

* Data usage per activity is based on an average. Actual usage varies depending on the types of websites, video, email and other internet applications accessed.
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onedavester
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Joined: 26 Jul 2008
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Location: Upstate NY

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This change will only affect plans bought on or after 2/15/2011


we are grandfathered in even though its not a contracted service.
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cdc29
EVDO Newbie


Joined: 13 Jan 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just got that email also.. It sucks....... I'm getting 1.10mb download speed...
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CodeKrash
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Joined: 13 Jan 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been getting anywhere from 400k to 2MB, usually at 1MB with BB2Go. This kinda sucks, but it could be a good thing if I see more consistent connection quality. "use too much." and "reasonable bandwidth usage" are subjective measurements, and their meanings will change a lot as the years advance. I'm interested in how this industry will try to keep up with my bandwidth appetite. This 5GB mark that most of the wireless carriers seem to hover around must be this few years' sweet spot for the psychological control of customers' upload/download habits. The amount of money bandwidth costs is exactly how much we the consumer are willing to put up with. Every day 5GB seems smaller and smaller, and in a few years the average wireless bandwidth user will slice through that in a day or two, and the 5GB psychological trigger will be inevitably increased.

Quote:
Hey Matthew,

Here at Virgin Mobile, our mission is to deliver an outstanding customer experience. Sometimes that means making difficult choices in order to provide the best possible service to the greatest number of customers.

To make sure we can keep offering our $40 Unlimited Broadband2Go Plan at such a great price, we're putting a speed limit in place for anyone on that plan who uses over 5GB in a month.

How will it work?
Starting February 15, 2011, if you go over 5GB in a month on the $40 Unlimited Plan:

* Your data speeds will be limited for the remainder of the monthly plan cycle. During this time, you may experience slower page loads and file downloads and lags in streaming media.
* Your data speeds will return to normal as soon as you buy a new Broadband2Go Plan.
* This change will only affect plans bought on or after 2/15/2011.

How will it affect me?
Keep in mind, 5GB is A LOT of data. To give you an idea, it's about 250 hours of web browsing or over 500,000(!) emails*. So this change shouldn't affect you unless you're a heavy downloader/streamer/etc.

How will I know if I'm getting close to 5GB?
We've updated the progress bar in your Connection Manager to show the amount of data you've used. If you go above 5GB in a month, the bar will turn yellow, letting you know your data speeds will be reduced until you buy a new plan.

By putting this speed limit in place, we're making sure we can deliver the same quality service you've come to expect from Broadband2Go. We hope you understand.

Thanks for being a Broadband2Go customer.
Virgin Mobile

* Data usage per activity is based on an average. Actual usage varies depending on the types of websites, video, email and other internet applications accessed.
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