Virgin Mobile Introduces Shared Prepaid Data Plans At Walmart

con_virginmobilelogoWe learned yesterday that T-Mobile is introducing new prepaid plans that offer unlimited data as long as you’re content with unlimited access to the carrier’s slower 2G network. Their competitor in the prepaid market, Sprint’s Virgin Mobile brand, also has a new prepaid product that might work for some families who want to share a pool of data, but prefer a prepaid plan.

The new data share plans hit the market tomorrow, and will be available only at Walmart. The plans are actually quite similar to the new ones from T-Mobile in that once users gobble up a set amount of data, they still have data access, but only at slow 2G speeds. The plans allow 2 to 3 GB per user on average.

  • Two users share 4 GB of data for for $65 – 2 GB and $32.50 each
  • Three users share 8 GB of data for $90 – 2.67 GB and $30 each
  • Four users share 12 GB of data for $125 3 GB and $28.75 each

What parents might find useful about the service is that they can create data allowances for each user: if any one member, say, streams too much Netflix, they get kicked back to a slower speed.

CNET points out that T-Mobile’s plans are cheaper, but aren’t set up to let multiple people share a pool of data: that might work for your family. The first few months of the year are an important time in the mobile phone industry, especially for prepaid services where consumers buy their phones outright, because people tend to take their tax refund money and upgrade their phones.

As postpaid carriers ditch phone subsidies, that may also be the case in the rest of the mobile phone industry, but companies believe that prepaid has more room for growth, which is why they’re introducing so many new and exciting plans right now.

If shared data plans are