Virgin Mobile started out in 2002 as a MNVO, using the Sprint network to provide service. In 2009 Sprint purchased Virgin Mobile, making it a wholly owned subsidiary and improving their network.
Pros: Virgin Mobile offers two types of plans that fit different users' needs. Their 35 dollar Beyond Talk plan provides a lot of value for heavy data and messaging users. The 30 dollar payLo plan is a vood value for heavy voice and messaging users.
Cons: The basic rate for the payLo plans is far higher than the industry norm. Web access is also generally expensive with payLo.
Lowest Price Per Anytime Minute: $0.02 - $0.11
Virgin Mobile has three different types of plans, depending on your needs: unlimited data and text with limited voice, PayLo plans which offer all-around low payments or Custom plans where you can build your plan based on how many minutes, text and data you need. Plans range from as low as $7 for the minimum custom plan to $55 for the completely unlimited plan. Read more about Virgin Mobile Plans here
Read more about Virgin Mobile plans
Customer Service: Virgin Mobile's customer service can be reached at a toll-free number throughout the week, or by filling out a form on their website. They also have extensive FAQs and instruction videos on their website.
Free Nights: Available with unlimited plan
Credit Check: None
Free Weekends: Available with unlimited plan
Daily Access Fee: No
Payment Options: You can pay your Virgin Mobile prepaid bill or purchase minutes on Virgin Mobile's website or you can register a credit card, debit card, or PayPal account for automatic bill payment. You can also buy refill cards at thousands of retailers nationwide.
Text and Picture Messaging: Unlimited messaging is included with all Beyond Talk plans. The payLo rate for text messages is $0.15, and picture messages are $0.25 each. The 30 dollar payLo plan includes 1500 messages and most other plans include unlimited text messages.
Data Plans: Virgin Mobile Beyond Talk plans all include unlimited data. The 30 dollar payLo plan includes 30MB of web access and the 40 dollar plan includes 50MB. All data above that, and all data for the 10 and 20 dollar plans, cost $1.50 per MB. Virgin Mobile allows customers on any plan to add hotspot capabilities for $5/day for 250 MB of data. They also have a $15/month plan to make your phone a hotspot, but it is currently locked to certain phones. Check with Virgin Mobile for more details.
Downloads: There is a large selection of ringtones, games, screensavers and wallpapers available for download starting at 1 dollar each.
International Calling: Virgin Mobile offers international calling. International charges include standard airtime and the international rate per minute. Rates start at 15 cents per minute and vary depending upon the country. Be sure to check rates with customer service to get current rates.
Text Messaging Available: Yes
Roaming Charges: The Virgin Mobile pay as you go phone service has no roaming charges. Your phone will not work outside your coverage area.
Text Messaging Charge For Incoming: Yes
Calling Features: Virgin Mobile service include call waiting, caller ID and voicemail.
Unlimited Text Messaging Plan Available: Yes
Activation Fee: None
Nationwide Long Distance: Virgin Mobiles includes nationwide long distance in their plans including long distance to all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Long distance calls are treated the same as regular calls.
Unlimited Plan Available: Yes
411 Calls: Directory Assistance is available for $1.75 per call, plus airtime charges.
Earliest Minute Expiration: All of Virgin Mobile's plans expire in one month. Additional top ups are subject to a 30 day expiration date as well.
911 Calls: Yes
Phones: Available phones start at $9.99 and include color displays. Flip phones and some camera phones are also available. One model offered by Virgin Mobile has a full keyboard for IM, email and text messaging.
Standard Calling Features: call waiting, caller ID, voicemail
Some Available Cell Models: Kyocera Kona, Samsung Galaxy Ring, LG Aspire, iPhone 4s, HTC Desire, Samsung Montage and more.
Cheapest Phone Model: $9.99