Virgin Mobile (USA) To Begin Throttling 3% Of Data Hungry Customers This March


A few months ago we reported Virgin Mobile USA’s plans to begin throttling their customers back in October but that plan never came to fruition. Instead, Virgin Mobile delayed the inevitable throttling to sometime in 2012. Well, now the pay-as-you-go service provider is officially announcing their plans to introduce throttling (for real-sies this time), come March 23rd.

According to Virgin Mobile, only 3% of their customer base will be affected which doesn’t sound too bad at all. Reduced speeds of around 256Kbps of data will affect all individuals who use over 2.5GB of data in a month. These users will receive a friendly text message from VM, warning them of the sh*t storm to befall upon them as they wait 4+ minutes for to load on their web browsers (and another 7 minutes attempting to close the subsequent popup ad).

Throttling is the new black with cellphone service providers. The ever increasing demand of data hungry smartphones chomping through data like an 80’s videogame icon has proven too much for any 1 carrier to handle. Currently, only Sprint remains but who knows how long that will last with no mention of “truly” unlimited data coming to their recently announced 4G LTE network later this year.

Anyone of our readers out there who were once thinking about heading over to Virgin Mobile having second thoughts? Or is 2.5GB of data more than enough for your usage?

[Via PhoneScoop]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. yayyyy an author agrees that the horrible pop-up ads are well… horrible :)

    1. I never said it was “annoying.” I always thought it was just a complimentary game. Like Frogger O_o

      1. well, you have to admit, there were times when even frogger was “annoying” ;)

  2. Precede this with the fact that I’m on Sprint and my girlfriend has Virgin Mobile.
    Virgin Mobile’s backbone is Sprint (known for some of the slowest 3G) and most of virgin mobile’s phones are rev.0 anyway. Even with the Triumph standard speeds on average aren’t much better than the above ‘throttled’ speed.

    1. I have to agree. A standard speed for me a year ago when I had virgin mobile was 200-600kbps. I only saw 1mbps at night in NJ. In VT 200-600 all the time. So this throttling to 256kbps would hardly be throttling at all from the avg 300-400kbks. Especially if their network has been bogged down as much as verizon’s has for me in the past year, 256kbps might be a killer speed for them in some areas.

  3. I found throttling arent that bad. it’s a way to control those abuser. 

    1. Yeah, I’m not totally opposed to it. As long as they keep the cap around 3-5GB of data, I’m cool. =)

      1. I’m with ya there… as long as its not at 2GB like the other carriers… if its at 4 or 5GB I’d stay with Sprint if they ever did implement this.  I’m not a fan of this, but if it means slowing down the abusers so I can DL “unlimited” I’d be fine with it.  Now lets roll out some Network Vision with LTE in Phoenix.

    2. Unlimited is unlimited. Lowering our expectations opens the world up to giving up our rights and freedoms. The tech world really seems like its going to hell in a handbasket recently.

  4. I have had Virgin Mobile for about few months. Most of the time its fine. I am getting any where between 150 to about 750 kbps. I would not stay with them if they throttled. I am on the $1200 min $45 plan

    1. $1200……geez that makes Verizon look cheap

      1. he said 1200 minutes (currently) unlimited data and unlimited text for $45 bucks.

        1. thanks Captain obvious, your sarcasm detector must need new batteries………..

          1. You talking to me? I was actually helping people who dont know.

        2. Thanks for clarifying. I was posting from my phone..

  5. Virgina… haha

  6. The people who get throttled probably deserve it. They get mad about it because they want to keep doing what they shouldn’t be doing for nothing. If you’re not going to follow the rules of your plan, don’t be mad when they throttle you.

  7. VM should consider better phones then the Triumph! >.< I want ICS damnit. :p

    1. I think the Triumph was one of the first devices to receive an unofficial ICS port if I’m not mistaken… O_o

      1. Yeah there is a port. but it still not good. It is not stable.

  8. My Triumph gets speeds at 100 kbps so their piece of crap throttle wont affect me. They need to upgrade their network before implementing any cap. VM is affordable but cheap (Pun intended).

  9. I am honestly lucky if i get above 10kbps on boost mobile where i live and even trying to switch to a sprint prl was any better still got the same crappy speeds and i dont even get 4g at all ion this area so i am stuck with these speeds and it sucks for me

  10. Would be pretty sweet if they could have wimax for boost mobile and virgin mobile and keep it unlimited since wimax is on the 2500mhz spectrum which they won’t be running out of anytime soon

  11. they do not realize how easy it is to just pick up and leave, they better be careful with this throttling business.

  12. 2.5 is too little for me.  At least 4.  I’m just below 2GB at the end of my cycle this month (I’m on VZW’s 4GB plan) but that’s bcuz I’m scared to use Netflix or any music streaming without WIFI ever since I switched to VZW.

  13. LG Optimus 2x with Straight Talk is starting to look good. It would be better than most prepaid phones out there. I am in San Jose so hopefully I will be able to use the ATT/Tmo 4G LTE…dreaming….Hopefully the phone is not more than $300 or so. I had gotten my Moto Triumph at a discount, so hoping to dump it for about $200.

  14. I find this hilarious.

    256kbps would be an UPGRADE for most people on Virgin.

    I had Virgin for a few weeks while I was waiting for the BIONIC to come out. Data on that network is a joke. I also have a tablet on Sprint… same problems. I get about 200kbps on a good day.

  15. I hope Boost does not start this. But I’m on WiFi 90% of the time.
    Work & Home both have WiFi, the bars / resturants I go to are all WiFi.

  16. 256Kbit/s is fine for everything but video.  Congestion, and coverage (non-3G towers) are the problem as far as most people are concerned when simply loading a page or streaming music. (Though those most people aren’t be technical enough to realize that.)  Hell, I’d buy a plan that ONLY EVER gave 256Kbit/s if it cost me less, and Virgin costs less.  So, again, this is all perfectly fine good and OK in my book.

  17. Hope boost moble don’t do this…

  18. DoYou guys really get that crappy of speeds with VM? I get 1.5-2.0 mbps, regardless of time of day.

  19. I’ve tried VM, 256kpbs is about the average speed around town, some locations will see a jump to appx. 1mbps,
    So in other words, not much of a slow down in most places.

    And yes, 256 is fine for most uses, better than T-mo’s dialup speed slow downs!!

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