To see the latest, check out the 2011 Virgin Mobile Broadband Speed Review
Virgin mobile broadband speed is the same as Sprint’s. Average downloads of 600-1400 Kbps and 350-500 Kbps uploads. Bursts get up to 3.1 Mbps on the downlink and 1.8 Mbps on the uplink.Here’s the ultra short one-liner:
Virgin mobile broadband speed is should be the same as Sprint mobile broadband.
Why You Ask?
Virgin doesn’t own their own mobile broadband network. They are simply reselling /rebranding/repackaging Sprint’s existing service.
This isn’t new.
As a matter of fact, Readybroadband, another prepaid mobile broadband carrier, does the same exact thing.
It’s almost like the relationship between Hondas & Acuras.
It’s the same engine underneath the hood but just a different exterior (for the uninitiated, they’re owned by the same company).
To drive the car analogy a bit further (I couldn’t help it), Lexus is basically a Toyota in some nice clothes and a fresh shave. Same engine though since Toyota makes Lexus.
So What’s Different Then?
Well, a couple things actually. While Sprint provides long-term 2 year/1 year contracts. On the flip side, Virgin’s Broadband2Go are small stints of mobile broadband without the contract. Naturally, they’re selling convenience. As with anything in that category, you will pay extra for it (just like buying last minute duty-free at the airport).
So How Fast Is It?
Virgin mobile broadband speed (via the Sprint mobile broadband network) will give you:
“average download speeds of 600-1400 Kbps, peaking at 3.1 Mbps, and 350-500 Kbps average upload speeds, peaking at 1.8 Mbps. Similar to DSL, and about ten times faster than using a dial-up modem”.
Unfortunately, real-world speeds vary greatly. As a DSLReports user commented:
There are definitive problems with Virgin Mobile’s unlimited offering now. I can confirm the problems exist whether you use their usb modem or their mifi. I bought the usb modem, and I had trouble, so I exchanged it for a mifi, and I continue to have trouble. Pages will not load at times. When they do load, it is usually after having to refresh several times. Images do not load well, and Flash-heavy sites bog down. I have Millenicom, too, and I am not having any of these issues with Millenicom. Seriously, the Virgin service is so poor, that I am considering cancelling after only two days.
To get a good feel of what speeds are like, the best thing is to see what you have now.
Then you’ll be able to relate whether Virgin mobile broadband speed will be faster or slower than what you are already used to.
Use this tool by Speedtest.net below to find out:
As I share in “Mobile Broadband Buyer’s Guide“, sometimes your best bet after checking speed & coverage is to simply take it for a test run. Naturally, we go through what you need to know in the first 5 lessons before doing that.
For now, let’s talk about where you can use it.
It’s very important to know that even though Virgin is ‘borrowing’ Sprint’s network, the Virgin Mobile Broadband 3G coverage is not the same.