Virgin Mobile looks to lure in T-Mobile USA customers with $100 credit

Virgin Mobile looks to lure in T-Mobile USA customers with 00 credit

Virgin Mobile USA has launched a new campaign, taking aim at T-Mobile USA’s new plans, and offering a $100 credit to T-Mobile users who switch. Virgin is hoping that their “Retrain Your Brain” effort will lure T-Mobile’s pre-paid users to their network looking for better deals on their plans. Because Sprint, the network behind Virgin’s service, is a CDMA network, while T-Mobile is GSM, you will need to get a new phone from Virgin, or bring a compatible phone with you.

One of Virgin’s primary arguments for switching from T-Mobile seems to be the speed throttling users experience after they exceed a certain limit. Neither T-Mobile or Virgin charges overage fees for data, but they do reduce data speeds after a user reaches their limit. While T-Mobile reduces speed down to 2G quality, Virgin claims to reduce speed to 3G quality. T-Mobile also gives users the option to pay for unlimited high-speed data, while Virgin users are limited to 2.5GB per month on all plans.

Virgin claims that customers will have access to LTE speeds, and while this is true for some users, Virgin uses Sprint's network to power its service. Sprint's LTE network rollout is still in its early stages and very few locations receive LTE service compared to Verizon and AT&T. Virgin customers using the iPhone will also be out of luck, as the latest model that Virgin offers is the 4S, and there is, as of yet, no time frame for the release of the iPhone 5 for Virgin. For its part, T-Mobile only started its LTE rollout two weeks ago, so there coverage area is the smallest of all four major US carriers.

Source: Virgin Mobile USA

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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Virgin Mobile looks to lure in T-Mobile USA customers with $100 credit

13 Comments

On a basic phone I see no reason not to go with Virgin Mobile, they were my first cell provider for about 5 months before I went to Cricket, from there to T-Mobile and from there to Verizon. But my sister has Virgin Mobile and a smartphone with them, it's not that great of a device. The problem with the prepaid carriers is the pay full price for your phone deal. People go to those carriers because they can't afford the higher prices plans of the major carriers, so how do these prepaid carriers expect those people to be able to buy the more expensive phones they are trying to sell? It's things like that that make me believe there is still too much of a lack of logic in businesses.

I have personally never had Virgin Mobile for a service provider. But a few of my friends have. For a pay-as-you-go phone you get exactly what you pay for. Are they any reception at the beach, somewhat okay reception where you need it and excellent reception we really don't. How much money are you really saving when you have to pay full price for the cell phone upfront? It seems to me that the difference in price that you were saving, you're spending more than that on the full price for the phone.

The better side of paying full price for your device are past anything the us providers are willing to give. I purchased a Samsung Galaxy SII GT-I9100 international model from a German friend of mine 3 years ago. The device upgraded to jellybean 4.2.9. Now if you were able to get this with a contract, why redo a 2year agreement. The SII also outdid the us model SIII's. It came 3 years ago with a duel core processor, an 8mgp camera, 1G ram, 16 G internal memory and a 32 G memory card compatible slot. You can get a factory direct unlocked (by factory no root needed) from apple, Samsung and Motoro. Apple sells full model phones every time but they do have software limitations set up by the carrier that orders them for there use. Samsung makes reductions on software as well and restricts software upgrades to that spacefic model they also allow the carrier to reduce the devices hardware. Keep in mind I love samsung I am not cutting them down I'm just stating facts. Now back to subject, Motorola has teamed up with Google and made two nice devices. A BYOP phone that is affordable yet has a great amount of power is the Moto G XT1032. The phone starts at 179 US dollar's and is unlocked from factory. The other is a bit more expensive but is totally worth it due to the fact its completely unlicked and the root folder is made available from the factory and its the MotoX. You can go research Samsung Motorola and Apple to see exactly what you want to spend and what features you want to do without at places like eBay or factory direct although I'm not aware Samsung having a factory direct but you can find an international model of any of there top devices such as the s2,3,4 and 5 or the notes from eBay.

Pay as you go and even the new T-Mobile plans are only a good value for people who keep their phone for more than 20 months. If you don't, no current plan on any carrier will save you much money over AT&T/Verizon. It is just how it is all spread out. Below 24 and 20 month (when AT&T and Verizon let you upgrade) comparisons

EXAMPLE:

AT&T: 16 GB iPhone 5 - $199.
Cheapest voice plan $40 (450 minutes, rollover, 5000 night/weekend, Mobile/Mobile)
3GB Data $30
Unlimited Text $20
Total Monthly - $90. 24 months = $2,160
Total 2 Year Output - $2,359
20 MONTH Calculation
Total Monthly - $90. 20 months = $1,800
Total 20 month outlay - $1,999

Verizon: 16 GB iPhone 5 - $199.
Cheapest voice plan $60 (Unlimited voice, text, 2GB Data)
$40 line (smartphone)
Total Monthly - $100. 24 months = $2,400
Total 2 Year Output - $2,599
20 MONTH Calculation
Total Monthly - $100. 20 months = $2,000
Total 20 month outlay - $2,199

T-Mobile: 16 GB iPhone 5 - $99
Monthly Plan $60 (Unlimited Voice/text, 2GB Data (for consistency))
Phone Payback $20
Total Monthly - $80. 24 months = $1,920
Total 2 Year Output = $2,119
20 MONTH Calculation
Total Monthly - $80. 20 months = $1,600
Additional Phone payment ($20. 4 months) $80
Total 20 month outlay - $1,779

That's a savings of nearly 250 of T-Mobile over att and even more for T-Mobile over Verizon (480). Maybe that's not a lot to you but that seems like a lot to me. Also this doesn't even include the fact that you can bring your own device with T-Mobile and save, which isn't true for any other major carrier. Do the math for that and see how much you would save.

Yes, bringing your device to tmobile is a good deal. But at some point you had to pay for it (in theory). You can bring your own to the others, too, but don't get a break on the monthly.

And yes, I agree. I edited my comments to add the examples, and was actually surprised. They were as close to the same as I could, but there are differences, which, admittedly, may not mean much to a lot of people, but I also went with the cheapest available. AT&T would be more if it was unlimited voice like Verizon and tmobile.

But, yes, up to $20/month savings with tmobile. More is you don't mind 2G speed

I have VM i love the data unlimited, but it is throttled @ 2.5 gigs then u only get 3g speeds in theroy when they throttle, VM got there first Wimaxx phone in 2012 mayish, the Evo V 4G Aka the evo 3d that has been around since 2010 on sprint,so they havent had 4g very long & tsprints doing away with Wimax in 2015 ///also VM just got there first Lte phone the samsung victory this year in Feburary 2013 & now the Galaxy S3 & they havent had 4g services that long & so when they only had 3g hat are they saying they speed capped your 3g @ 3g speeds, Sprints Data speed has aways been sluggish. There just now upgrading to Lte services & the byo phone on T-Mobile does sound better to me even if they do speed cap you because u can use any unlocked gsm phone & have the latest & greatest phone now where in VM u wait till you get sprints hand me downs, you cannot just bring any phone to VM it is Cdma no sim cards. Once you buy the full price of the phone your stuck with it rather you like there services or not or your out the money u spent on the phone & the only way to bring a cdma phone to another carrier is flashing it to another carrier via pc to phone hookup & software designed for flashing cdma phones which i believe is illegal now also you gotta find a carrier that will accept a flashed phone anymore if u can do that so your just stuck with it the VM phone u pay almost full price for a antique phone thats a hand me down of sprint thats on a extremely congested network from boost mobile & sprint & any other virtual poviders that may be buying wholesale data from sprint too open up their own prepaid cell, id say T-Mobile would be the best if you wanted to use the latest & greatest of phones plus have the ability to unlock & change to another gsm carrier maybe even at&t or u could use one of the many prepaid byo phone plans sim cards like straight talk or net10. But there just wholesale data buyers of a At&t & T-mobile & as far as i know do not offer 4g servservices with there prepaid sims but maybe ive also heard of another sim based one that does offer 4g called P-Tell. But a Gsm phone is the best way if u wanna try the newest phones plus have options to switch carriers, Cdma phones Like Sprint & verizon your stuck with once u buy them unless they'reflashed by a computer which can brick your phone over to another carrier thats cdma, but like i said i believe phone flashing is illegal here now in usa,

Now do the math on an unlocked model with no carrier restrictions with a plan such as straight talk.
IPhone 5, $900
$45, unlimited/month 540
$1440 for one year $1980 2 years.
The difference is you won't need to try for an upgrade when your unlocked full version of the device is still doing what the so called new wave models are able to do.

I would never bring a phone over to Virgin unless it was a dumbphone. Either I've always had bad luck, or simply these types of carriers offer bad connections.

You made me just think of something. I wonder, since they are using another carriers towers, if the tower owners prioritize their own subscribers.

Great article. Thanks for keeping it in perspective. Something to win, something to lose either way you go. If I had to chose T-Mobile would get my money. Just saying.

I personally have Virgin Mobile USA. I first had the Motorola Triumph which started out good but it was the phone quality that left a bad experience not VM. I then bought the iPhone 4S which has Sprint quality phone service area.... i've had little to no problems what-soever and my friends are shocked that i'm paying only $35 a month. You do have to buy a VM iphone and can't bring one from another carrier, but the cost in savings is significant monthly.

Catch is to just pick a phone you know will perform and can get some mileage out of. I'd also like to see the iphone 5s come to VM close to the launch date to stay competitive and offer LTE.