Virgin Mobile today said it’s joining the unlimited calls trend with a service plan called “Totally Unlimited,” which will launch July 1.
The new plan costs $79.99 for voice and $10 extra for text messages. There are no roaming fees and no credit card is required, as with Virgin’s other prepaid services, said CMO Bob Stohrer.
“I think we’ve actually made some improvements to the unlimited bandwagon,” he said.
Virgin Mobile runs atop Sprint Nextel’s CDMA network and focuses on younger customers who do not want a contract and a credit check – and with this new plan the company means “unlimited” in the literal sense, Stohrer said.
“As long as the phone is being used for personal use, we have no issues with it. To date, we haven’t invoked a fair use policy… For us, unlimited means not only unlimited calling, but without restrictions and catches,” Stohrer said. However, “Like any other carrier, if someone is abusing the service and not using it for personal reasons, we want to understand why.”
Industry consultant Susan Eustis, president of WinterGreen Research, said Stohrer’s perspective is as realistic as customers should expect. “Everybody’s going to say that. I think that unlimited plans are here to stay. The cost of churn is so high, people are doing anything they can to hold on to their customers. It’s economics [but] I think that they will have to put a cap on it.”
Verizon Wireless announced an unlimited plan on Feb. 19 this year and was followed the next day by AT&T and T-Mobile. Sprint-Nextel announced its version nine days later.