Product Overview: Virgin Mobile by Sprint (Cellular Data Plans)

virgin-mobile-sprint-prepaid-reviewVirgin Mobile is a subsidiary of Sprint, and operates as a prepaid option for smartphones.

In later June of 2017, Virgin Mobile revamped their offerings, consolidating to a single 'unlimited' plan option ('Inner Circle'), available only on iPhone products (for new customers - existing customers have been provided with a work-around for their Android products).

Sprint’s biggest advantage is that it tends to have the most affordable options, especially when promotional plans are offered to lure new customers.

The vast bulk of Sprint’s usable fast data coverage is found in core urban areas and along major interstates.

If you’re planning to stick to urban areas, Sprint might be worthwhile – and Sprint’s tri-band LTE Plus network shows great promise for the future.

Their weaknesses: Their network is not nearly as large as Verizon or AT&T, and is roaming in most places outside of urban areas or off interstates. In 2016, they are trying to minimize their operating costs and will be moving their equipment to less expensive towers - which may result in service disruptions, and potentially reduced coverage.

Policies & Perks:

  • Domestic Roaming: Inner Circle offers 100mb of domestic roaming data. Notably, the TOS states: "Virgin Mobile may terminate service if off-network roaming use in a month exceeds: (1) 800 mins or a majority of mins.; or (2) 100MB or a majority of KB"
  • International: No international coverage is included on Sprint's prepaid plans.
  • Mobile Hotspot Use: Mobile hotspot use is available for an extra $10/month, and includes 10GB of use.
  • Billing: Customers must enroll in auto-pay.
  • Streaming: Video streams at 480p resolution, music at up to 500 kbps, and streaming cloud gaming at up to 2 mbps
  • Unlimited Data Plans: On device data is unlimited, with a 23GB network management threshold.
  • Device Lock/Unlock Policy: Although phones are locked upon activation, you can choose to international unlock your iPhone at any time [as long as the device has been activated for at least 14 days]. If you would like to domestic unlock it, your iPhone needs to last 12 month activated (unless is an iPhone 8/8 Plus or iPhone X, which unlock policy is after 14 days)

Testing Status: We do not keep a prepaid Sprint plan in our testing arsenal.

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Quick Take

Sprint's network is consistently ranks last amongst the four major carriers, and isn't an ideal carrier for RVers who venture outside of major urban areas.

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