For Virgin Mobile, True Mobility Means No Contracts


The $40 Virgin Broadband2Go plan is aimed at capturing the small-business market, which has mobile broadband needs but not necessarily a large pocketbook to pay for them. A recent Department of Labor study found these workers, which include to a large extent small-business owners and freelancers, make up 30 percent of the overall workforce. This large market of consumers wants e-mail and Internet browsing while they are on the road.

"Many unlimited broadband offerings require a contract or are on networks with limited range, so they don't meet the need for flexibility or true mobility," said Neil Lindsay, chief marketing officer, Virgin Mobile USA, in a statement.

In addition to the flat $40-per-month broadband plan, Virgin still offers a $10 option for 100 MB, good for 10 days from purchase, for less frequent Internet users. Prepaid business is gaining momentum for carriers, while contracted business is eroding. For example, Sprint's Boost Mobile division, which lets customers pay for cell phone service month to month, has seen success in attracting customers.

Two mobile broadband devices on both the $40 and $10 plans are part of the Broadband2Go portfolio: The Ovation MC760 USB device connects to a single personal computer or laptop and is available at retail for $79.99; the $150 MiFi 2200, the nation’s first prepaid Mobile Intelligent Hotspot, lets up to five users at a time connect via a variety of Wi-Fi-enabled devices.

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